Boston — CDM Smith is harnessing the power of Microsoft’s HoloLens, a mixed reality technology, to help its clients design, build, and operate their infrastructure assets faster, more efficiently and with fewer errors. The firm announced that during the last seven months, it has been investing in mixed reality technology to determine the most relevant applications to large infrastructure projects.

Technological advances are improving CDM Smith’s ability to design, construct and operate infrastructure with fewer errors, greater efficiency and improved collaboration, the company said in a press release. What once seemed only possible in sci-fi movies can now be applied to greatly enhance large infrastructure projects, helping communities and businesses overcome their water, environment, transportation, energy and facility challenges.

“Next generation technologies like this will revolutionize our industry by allowing all stakeholders to visualize, communicate, and collaborate together in the design and construction process in a more experiential and transparent process,” said Dave Neitz, CDM Smith’s CIO.

Imagine standing on a future site and visualizing the future facility to scale. Then, imagine walking into the facility, inspecting project elements and conceiving improvements to make the project safer, easier to operate, and more sustainable. This not an unrealistic future scenario; this is possible today with Microsoft HoloLens, the company said.

Applying mixed reality on engineering and construction projects will enhance collaboration across the project life cycle by enabling remote team members to experience the project immediately, without travel. It will improve decision-making and resolve questions faster by enabling everyone to experience “what if” scenarios in the context of a physical environment. Design and constructability issues will be resolved in real time. Data, such as schedule, specifications, and simulations can be overlaid onto the real world, creating a hyper-reality environment.

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