Architecture and AR

November 6, 2018

When people think about augmented reality, most think about Pokemon Go or Snapchat . AR has various uses though; visualisation and marketing are just a couple of different ways AR can improve various industries around the world, the architecture industry is no different.

Augmented Reality or AR consists of digital objects that integrate and interact with the real world. An example of an augmented reality technology is a recent project by Pocket Sized Hands, Follingsby Max AR. The project was an AR visualisation of a 3D architectural model of one of our client’s buildings. The application featured facts about the building alongside animations to better market the building. An AR application such as this gives users the ability to see a full 360-degree visualisation.


Pocket Sized Hands was originally approached by a marketing company to develop an AR realization of Follingsby Max so that it could be presented at a public showcase event. The idea of the AR app was to market the building through the AR application. Using augmented reality technology for marketing purposes is nothing new, with companies ranging from IKEA to Starbucks using AR to market their products. IKEA was one of the early adopters of AR. Using IKEA’s AR mobile app, users could see how existing IKEA products would fit into their own homes, it was one of the first uses of AR for interior design. By using AR technology, you can present designs to customers and potential investors to pique their interest and attract the right kind of stakeholders. AR give users the ability to view a fully 3D mock-up of architectural designs, using AR the user can view architectural designs considerably better than simple 3D visualisations and paper blueprints.

Co-design and unit selling

AR can be a powerful tool to present and collaborate, with customers and business able to co-design interior designs of the customers future home, office etc. For example, using AR, customers can preview designs of how certain furniture arrangements would look like in a customer’s unit. This can be the same for different materials, fixings, fittings etc in a customer’s building with the customer being able to change designs all through their own mobile phone or tablet in collaboration with the business.

Planning permission

Acquiring planning permission and approval from local governments, business, community members and residents can be a long and arduous process. Using AR to demonstrate designs to different stakeholders is a much more visual representation than traditional architectural visualisation methods. Using AR, stakeholders will be able to see how potential architectural projects would look like within the existing community’s infrastructure. Pocket Sized Hands completed a similar project which allowed different stakeholders to view architectural designs, but within VR.

Virtual Reality

Driving Vision is a VR visualization tool that allows Architects and City Planners to present design options through an immersive and communicative experience. Using Driving Vision, residents and clients can view visualisations of city scale models within Virtual Reality. Driving Vision has proven to be a much better way to communicate designs to clients, residents and other users. Driving Vision allowed SketchUp and Revit files to be viewed within VR. Doing something similar for SketchUp and Revit files as well as Rhino files for AR could be a great tool for businesses.

As you’ve read, AR will have a massive impact on the architectural industry. From helping architectural business with presenting designs to potential clients, to presenting visualisations to local government for planning permission, AR is an incredible tool for architects.

If you have an idea you want created get in touch with us and we can bring it to life. Whether it’s a quick prototype, a full product or even just to brainstorm, our team will be here to help. From the beginnings of your prototype to the final product we can support you with professional advice and delivery.

Contact Us