Tag: <span>Augmented Reality</span>

3 Virtual Reality applications for roofing contractors

By Michelle Mittelman, AccuLynx.

Virtual and augmented reality games may have originally been developed as entertainment, but are finding new applications across different industries every day. Innovative uses for these emerging technologies are starting to carve out quite the spot within the construction and roofing sectors as a way to help homeowners visualize their projects, and for contractors to provide more accurate estimates and safety measures for their crews.

Roofing Virtual Reality Applications for Homeowners:

The most accessible application of virtual reality in the roofing industry for homeowners is the ability to see products and visualize projects ahead of time without having to visit the store or job site.

It’s not until the project is finished that you know what it’s actually like to stand in the space. By that point, of course, it’s too late to make any meaningful changes. [source]

Technology has already significantly evolved the shopping process for homeowners looking to repaint or re-shingle their homes. Online applications like the GAF Virtual Remodeler are giving homeowners the ability to visualize the changes using actual photos of their home to help them make decisions alongside their contractors, giving them greater control over the process.

Using Technology to Help Educate Customers and Sell Your Services

Roofers who can provide virtual reality tools during their sales process can help homeowners make educated decisions regarding their homes, and ensure that they feel comfortable working with a professional contractor.

Virtual reality can be used to help educate homeowners. GAF’s virtual reality feature includes interactive teaching points that can help explain different roof structures and products to customers. It allows you to point out exactly what is wrong with a roof and actually show homeowners why it is a problem. This feature is helpful in ensuring that homeowners understand what is going on with their home and makes interactions with your client more informative and professional.

After discussing why a roof needs replacing, your sales team can use augmented, or computer generated virtual reality technology to digitally overlay recommended products onto a house at the job site as part of a sales pitch. As part of your customer service model, helping homeowners make informed decisions for their home with the help of virtual reality can give your company an edge when compared to basic paper estimates.

“By engaging clients early on it prevents costly fixes later and keeps clients interested in the project. They can see their vision, they know they’re heard, and they know work is being done. It makes augmented reality in construction a major investment in reducing costs for re-work” [source].

This augmented reality can also be used to the advantage of your estimators and sales team.

“3D modeling acts as a crystal ball, allowing contractors to look into the future and spot errors before they’re made. Simply by exploring the 3D model with virtual reality glasses, [roofing] professionals can spot errors and tweak designs before the work crew starts”. [source]

Offer Virtual Estimates

Another aspect of virtual reality that makes your job easier is removing the problem of scheduling conflicts. Homeowners cannot always be around to meet with someone from your team and vice versa, so it can be difficult to schedule a time when both parties can meet. Some companies are using virtual reality to resolve this problem by offering virtual estimates.

“3D modeling and BIM programs, which made huge advancements in the field of project modeling, can now be adapted to VR tools, to visualize a fully virtual representation of an idea in a new dimension at a relatively low cost point. Put simply, the user sees a 3D display through a headset and can get an ‘all-round’ view by turning their head to the side, up and down”. [source]

A drone operator take images of the house that the contractor uses to create an estimate and leaves behind virtual reality goggles. The homeowner can then use the goggles when they have time to view a virtual tour that explains the estimate. Both your company and the homeowner can do their part when it is convenient for them, resulting in a more efficient process that skips over any messy scheduling

Providing these 3D models to your foreman and crews can also help your team visualize the project before it begins, so they see and understand what the homeowner does –

“Many of the problems found in the construction industry are directly correlated with the inability of field personnel, designers, architects and engineers to truly experience a project before it is built.” [source]

The uses for virtual reality are growing everyday, especially in the roofing industry. Virtual reality allows your company to show what a project will look when its done, educate homeowners with ease, and prevent schedule conflicts, proving its usefulness. Ensure you stay up to date on the newest technology by employing virtual reality at your company today.

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Source: AccuLynx

The Internet of Things in Construction

By Karen L. Edwards, RoffersCoffeeShop® Editor.

The Internet of Things is just about everywhere, and it is going to be changing the way construction sites operate.

I first heard the phrase, the Internet of Things (IoT), related to a new conference that was being planned. This was eight or nine years ago. At the time I didn’t really grasp just what the IoT was and how it would impact nearly every single thing we do.

What is the IoT?

If you’re reading this and still trying to understand just what the IoT is, let’s look at some real-life examples. Did you get a Ring video doorbell for Christmas? It pairs with an app on your phone that alerts you when someone is at your door. You can see who is there and even talk to them remotely via the app. All of this is happening because you have an internet connection at your home that the doorbell uses to communicate to you.

Maybe you got a smart speaker or Amazon Echo device for Christmas. The addition of a smart plug, like a WeMo, makes ordinary things, such as a lamp on the end table in your living room, become part of the IoT. Once connected, you use your internet connection, your voice and your smart speaker to turn the light on and off.

IoT in Roofing

Now the IoT is creeping its way into the roofing and construction industries. You might already be using the IoT in your business and didn’t even realize it. Perhaps one of the most well-known uses is GPS tracking. Do your trucks have GPS monitoring on them? If so, you are using the IoT as the GPS unit on the truck is now able to communicate back to the office where it is and in some cases what it is doing, i.e. sudden stops, speeding.

What’s coming is even more exciting. Augmented reality now exists so that workers can be trained for specific workplace scenarios and to improve safety. Verizon began using this technology in 2018 to train its service technicians so they know how to perform installation and repairs safely from ladders, bucket trucks and in manholes under streets.

The IoT will allow for virtual live support from the rooftop. Using special software and equipment such as Microsoft’s Hololens, a technician on the roof will be able to share exactly what they are seeing with someone offsite. That offsite person will be able to assist in solving whatever problem the technician is struggling to repair.

Wearable technology will allow workers hours to be logged to prevent fatigue and reduce the risk of accidents.  Many of us use Fit Bit and other wristband style technology to track steps and overall fitness activity. These are just being taken one step further and applied to the worksite to help ensure the safety and well-being of the workforce.

Other wearable trackers can indicate exactly where workers are on the jobsite to help prevent accidents or other mishaps. They also can send an alert for sudden jolts, such as those caused by an impact or fall.

Be ready

It can be challenging to stay on top of the latest technologies and understand how you can use them in your business, but there are several resources that can help.

  1. National and local roofing associations – they host annual trade shows where vendors who supply the latest technologies display and demonstrate their use. In fact, the International Roofing Expo is taking place in February 2019 in Nashville. A pass to the expo hall is free.
  2. The Roofing Technology Think Tank – this organization was formed by innovative, forward-thinking industry leaders whose goal is to educate and advance technology into the industry. Sign up for their twice-a-week SmartBrief email to stay informed.
  3. RoofersCoffeeShop® – Your place for news, ideas, education, talking to other contractors in the forum and hearing on industry influencers on topics relative to your business. Visit the site and sign up for the Week in Review email so you don’t miss any news.

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop