Mixed Reality Tools as an Enabler for Improving Operation and Maintenance in Small and Medium Enterprises
The use of Mixed Reality (MR) tools can improve information retrieval, collaboration and decision making, thus aiding the management of buildings within the operation and maintenance (O&M) lifecycle stages. In this paper, we focus on the use of MR in visualising BIM data to aid building lifecycle management.
This paper compares current and emerging MR tools and explores their potential in being applied to O&M of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). MR refers to technology that enhances reality by integrating it with the digital world, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and spherical panoramas, known as Photospheres.
Current literature on applications and limitations of MR in the O&M cycle for small businesses is explored and the user requirements for implementation and use are elicited. Key requirements are found to be cost, skill level, interoperability, pre-requisite data, interactivity and time. Using these requirements, the state-of-the-art in VR, AR and Photosphere environments is assessed and the contexts in which they are most appropriate are developed. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations for the selection of an appropriate strategy dependent on the maturity of BIM adoption within an enterprise. A number of theoretical and conceptual implications are also developed.
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