Virtual designs enter the real world with new interactive HoloLens platform

SketchUp Viewer can dramatically improve collaboration, decision making, efficiency, quality, and safety by giving users the unique ability to bring digital content into the real world, real-time as part of their current workflow
– Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft HoloLens

California software developer Trimble has launched the mixed-reality SketchUp Viewer platform for the Microsoft HoloLens, allowing architects to alter hologram images in the real world.

During a product launch presentation, architect Greg Lynn demonstrated how architects using HoloLens can experience SketchUp models in mixed reality as holograms placed in the real world and virtually inhabit and experience their designs. This enables them to view and analyse various different design scenarios in the context of the building’s physical environment.

According to Lynn, the technology – which is the first commercial application for the Microsoft HoloLens available in the Windows Store – will allow remote teams to review and collaborate in order to resolve constructability issues on projects in real time – a new paradigm he described as “Experiential Design Review.”

“This will bring the design to life and bridge the gap between the digital and physical,” he said. “Using this technology, I can make decisions at the moment of inception, shorten the design cycle and improve communication with my clients.”

Earlier this year, Lynn represented the United States at the 2016 Venice Biennale. He showcased how the Trimble technology allowed him to envision and plot dimensions for a drastic redesign of a Packard car factory in Detroit that has been abandoned for half a century, turning it into a new cultural and education complex.

Chris Keating, general manager of Trimble's SketchUp, said: “Empowering people to design and communicate better in 3D is part of our DNA. Across the SketchUp platform, we are dedicated to the idea that technology should get out of the way of our users. With SketchUp Viewer, we are taking another big step toward delivering the ultimate experience for designers and their clients – the experience of inhabiting their own work."

Lorraine Bardeen, general manager of Microsoft HoloLens, added: “We are thrilled to deliver new innovation to SketchUp, one of the most widely used applications in the architecture, engineering, construction and operations industry.

“SketchUp Viewer can dramatically improve collaboration, decision making, efficiency, quality, and safety by giving users the unique ability to bring digital content into the real world, real-time as part of their current workflow."

With SketchUp Viewer, users can view models that have been published to their HoloLens device, browse and download models from Trimble's 3D Warehouse or pull project files down from Trimble Connect – a cloud-based collaboration platform. Then, in Tabletop mode, models can be scaled, moved and rotated as needed to best fit the available space or specific design review requirements. Models can be anchored and re-anchored in the physical environment, so designers and engineers can walk around the project and examine it from any vantage point.

SketchUp Viewer  Trimble  Microsoft HoloLens  architecture  design  3D  mixed reality 
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California software developer Trimble has launched the mixed-reality SketchUp Viewer platform for the Microsoft HoloLens, allowing architects to alter hologram images in the real world. During a product launch presentation, architect Greg Lynn demonstrated how architects using HoloLens can experience SketchUp models in mixed reality as holograms placed in the real world and virtually inhabit and experience their designs. This enables them to view and analyse various different design scenarios
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Digital models can be anchored in the physical environment, so designers and engineers can walk around the project and examine it from any vantage point
/ Trimble
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