Tips for using HoloLens outside even on the brightest days

23 March 2018

The Microsoft HoloLens has great potential to help with construction applications but it currently suffers from light interference issues when used outdoors, particularly in bright sunshine. The need for an indoors environment to clearly view models has meant that although BIM Holoview is highly effective during and post construction, its application for use on-site in the pre-build and early construction phases was poor. This also limited the potential for BIM Holoview to be used for civil engineering applications.

However, we have found that with the addition of a secondary lens (such as shown in the picture) the HoloLens works perfectly outside even on the brightest days. The trick is to position the secondary lens below the HoloLens sensors and the camera, so that the tracking and spatial mapping work correctly. We recommend using a small reflective ski goggle lens for this as the coverage is well suited to the size of the HoloLens and the foam padding on the inside of the lens protects the HoloLens from scratching. Also, we recommend using easy-peel tape on either side of the lens so it is easy to remove the secondary lens when you return to normal inside use.

This inexpensive and easy to use solution means that BIM Holoview can be used outdoors to view models on-site. This means that decisions regarding the exact placement of a building on the site and the layout of key design features (such as placement of windows for the best view) can be made early before any construction begins. Clients can now walk over their site fully immersed in their building design, and experiencing how it looks and feels before work begins.

Engineers and construction teams can visually see where planned underground services will be located and where reinforcing is to be placed before pouring concrete. Structural elements and framing can be verified on-site during the early stages of construction to avoid expensive mistakes. Civil engineers can also use BIM Holoview to plan roads and visualize overpasses, bridges etc.

With the simple attachment of a secondary lens BIM Holoview adds value to a wider range of applications. If you have any questions about this setup please don’t hesitate to contact us.