Linknode Ltd in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Engineering Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design at Heriot-Watt University have commenced a two-year long research and development project.
UrbanPlanAR will create a “Mobile Architectural Visualisation Platform for Planners and Communities”. The project received funding from the InnovateUK funding board, following a successful bid in the ‘Innovation in Location Based Services’ competition.
The business proposition for UrbanPlanAR is to revolutionise communication and engagement within urban design and master planning. UrbanPlanAR will deliver an augmented reality solution for visualising proposed urban developments. All stakeholders, including architects, developers, planning authorities as well as communities and citizens, will be able to picture planned developments within their actual urban environments in real-time.
Existing architectural visualisation solutions are mainly desktop based, limiting reach and engagement, preventing robust assessment and decision making by planners and communities where it matters. Other visualisation systems (such as Linknode’s VentusAR for onshore wind planning) use GPS positioning, which is just not precise enough for many urban environments. The solution will implement state-of-the-art urban location tracking, harnessing the value of increasingly available city 3D models to create a unique experience. The system will also integrate technology to enable a smooth workflow with Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Dr Crispin Hoult, Director, Linknode said “The opportunity to extend Linknode’s business in AR solutions, in collaboration with the academic input from Heriot-Watt University will create a world-leading solution and a fabulous partnership for further opportunities.”
Dr Frédéric Bosché of Heriot-Watt University added, “UrbanPlanAR is about delivering a modern solution to transform stakeholder engagement in the construction sector, including engagement with the general public. We are delighted about this project and the prospect of collaborating with Linknode, as our expertise and interests perfectly align and complement each other.”
The collaboration presents an exciting opportunity for Linknode who see this as a way to cement their position as leaders in the exponentially growing professional AR marketplace. Heriot-Watt University will benefit from this project through the generation of new and improved knowledge and expertise. The project will also likely raise new research questions that will drive future research projects.
This first collaboration between Linknode and Heriot-Watt University creates a strategic partnership that will leverage the research skills of Heriot-Watt University with the development and commercialisation expertise of Linknode.