According to Augment, augmented reality (AR) on a tablet device is the ideal tool for architects to present their building ideas and collaborate with clients and other team members, and for property developers to let or sell the finished buildings to tenants or buyers (architecture and construction is just one market the company is targeting). The VC-backed company, with offices in Paris and in the US, exhibited at the Digital Construction Week show in October, and I got a demonstration of the platform.
Using an Augment app on an iOS or Android device, and then using the tablet camera to view an image, users can view 3D models of both building exteriors and interiors. I was given some sample images in an Augment brochure and I’ve downloaded the Augment app to my Android tablet and been able to view detailed 3D models, doing walk-throughs and spinning round buildings from every angle. Using a tablet allowed me to show the images to other people, something less easy with Google Glass-type AR tools (eg: Visual-Wise, May 2015 post), and it was relatively intuitive to use – within minutes I was zooming in and out of apartments, and showing others points of interest.
Augment is offering a 30-day free trial. Whether in sales meetings, design reviews or just using it internally, business users can upload models to Augment’s servers and then invite other users to view the models on their own devices. If you then want to continue to use the service, then prices start from $300 per device per year (with a minimum of 10 devices – though I wonder if this rules it out as a tool for small design practices?), which allows users to upload unlimited 3D models.
Update (4 March 2016) – Augment has announced a Series A Funding Round bringing the total invested in developing its solution to $US4.7m.