Augmented Reality Revolution

June 6, 2017

About the author: Amy McIntosh, managing editor, [email protected]

Much of storm water and erosion control work involves modifying and working in conjunction with the natural environment to achieve a goal. However, an effective storm water program will likely integrate technology within these natural approaches. Augmented reality (AR) is one such type of technology gaining momentum in the industry.

AR technology superimposes images and information on top of the world in front of you, altering your sense of reality. Remember Pokemon Go? The popularity of that app, short-lived as it was, brought AR mainstream, offering users an alternate view of the real world.

In the storm water industry, application of this technology is starting to emerge. For example, the Georgia Institute of Technology’s IMAGINE Lab created Cistern AR, an AR application to help the Georgia Tech Department of Capital Planning and Space Management update its storm water master plan. The app allows users to visualize underground pipes and cisterns on campus through the screens of their Android tablets.

As use of this technology grows, so will its ability to bring more information to those who need it. Imagine holding your smartphone toward a site and seeing all the runoff patterns, underground infrastructure and soil data you need without digging a single hole. The possibilities are aplenty, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for this exciting new technology.

SWS also will be incorporating AR as part of our ongoing effort to stay up to date with industry trends while connecting our print and digital platforms. We’ve partnered with visual discovery app Blippar to bring this AR content right to your smart device.

The first step is to download the Blippar app on your smartphone or tablet. Then, look for the Blippar logo in the issue. Open the app, hover your phone over the page, and watch the page come to life on your screen. Try it on this page and see what happens! 

About the Author

Amy McIntosh