Trimble updates its AR hard hat with Microsoft HoloLens 2: Layer-able, hand-manipulated 3D hologram designs right before your eyes

Updated Mar 10, 2019
trimble 2
See your buildings and all the layers in them in a 3D hologram with Trimble’s XR10 with HoloLens 2 hardhat accessory.See your buildings and all the layers in them in a 3D hologram with Trimble’s XR10 with HoloLens 2 hardhat accessory.

Trimble has teamed up with Microsoft’s HoloLens Customization Program to create a hard hat-compatible device that enables workers to see 3D holographic information on the jobsite.

The Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 allows workers to see an image of the building’s design on its flip-up view screen or view different layers of the built structure that are hidden inside walls or behind drywall or other surface materials.

According to the company, the Trimble HoloLens 2 will have the same specs, performance and functionality of the earlier product but with improved sensors, and processors, a significantly larger field-of-view, 10-finger gestures, and eye-tracking.

Trimble Connect for HoloLens provides an easy solution to load 3D construction data into the HoloLens. No additional hardware or software is required. Trimble Connect is an open platform which means you can access 3D models and existing workflows and models in other programs such as in Tekla, SketchUp, Revit, and SysQue, as well.

How does this help you? Perhaps the best use is its ability to see through walls, so to speak.

With a building’s mechanical plans loaded into the cloud, you can view different layers to ensure that, for instance, the plumbing and wiring lines don’t bump into each other, causing a lot of rework when its discovered later. Likewise, demolition workers or crews cutting openings in walls can scan through them to make sure they don’t hit anything vital. It can also be used for pre-construction walkthroughs and post-construction validations.

In addition to viewing the building systems and layers on site, you can use this technology to study 3D models of the projects in an office or other remote location. This allows architects and engineers to check models for alignments, connection points and any hidden conflicts that may have emerged in the design process.

Trimble says the HoloLens technology works best when not exposed to direct sunlight. Due to the light-based visualization HoloLens images can be hard to see outside. For work outdoors Augmented Reality technologies are viewed on a sunlight-readable table.

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Trimble has a video of its HoloLens 1 product being used by some construction guys which you can view here:

and a HoloLens 1 instructional video you can view here:

For a deeper dive into the new technology and the differences between HoloLens 1 and HoloLens 2, check out this video from The Verge. One of the more interesting comments in this video is that HoloLens 2 is in many respects geared towards people who do not work with a computer all day but rather work with their hands. Sounds like construction to us.

Suggested retail price for the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2 is $4,750. It’s not being sold to end users currently, but to corporations like Trimble who will incorporate it into their products.

If the price scares you away, keep in mind that are drones are expensive too, yet drones, which only entered the construction market in the last five years or so, have established their value in many construction companies.

In fact, the construction industry has become a key driver in the $5-billion drone industry.