AI Image Recognition & Reality Capture in Construction

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Construction technology is having a moment. With developers, contractors and others seeking to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, adoption of innovative technologies on the job site is ramping up.

Two of the most exciting emerging construction technologies are AI image recognition and advanced reality capture. The convergence of these two technologies promises to be game-changing on several levels. 

What is AI image recognition? 

Also referred to as image classification, object detection, and object identification, AI image recognition uses trained AI programs to scan and classify images.

AI image recognition is among the most promising use cases for automation in construction. Combining AI image recognition with robust visual documentation can help project teams automatically identify costly mistakes, stay on schedule, and track materials. 

AI image recognition is a part of the broader category of computer vision that is growing in popularity among forward-looking construction firms. 

Related: 3 ways AI is changing the construction industry

What is reality capture in construction?

Reality capture is the process of documenting real world objects and locations. In construction, it usually refers to capturing on-site conditions in order to compare them with plans and prepare for future work. 

Reality capture can be accomplished by using high definition photography and/or scanning tools (such as LiDAR). This documentation can then be processed into accurate, measurable 3D models and other visualizations of as-built conditions. 

The uses for reality capture in construction are varied. For example, Scan to BIM technology can be used by architects and engineers to document real site conditions and plan more efficiently for future redesign or retrofit work. 

Using AI to analyze reality capture data

Both AI image recognition and reality capture are powerful in their own ways but combine them and you get something potentially transformative for the construction industry. 

Benefits include:

  • Progress tracking: By automatically recognizing studs, drywall, plumbing, windows, and other objects, project teams can stay on top of progress, improve schedules, and keep stakeholders informed. 
  • Materials tracking: Track the materials on site so you know how much is available and when you need to reorder.
  • Personnel tracking: AI can be used to track and document who is present on site and whether workers are wearing the correct safety gear.
  • Error tracking: Advanced AI can be used to compare existing conditions to plans and identify discrepancies and common mistakes. 

Together, AI image recognition and reality capture have the potential to save hundreds of hours of labor, days or weeks on the project, and thousands of dollars of rework. 

As the cost of implementing these technologies decreases, the question will shift from “can we afford to,” to “can we afford not to?”

What’s next?

As the world changes, new technology will have a strong role in determining who stays competitive and who falls behind in the construction industry. New tools like reality capture and AI image recognition can be combined to unlock new possibilities in ConTech. 

Getting the most from new technologies doesn’t require a background in computer science. Partnering with a construction technology specialist like Multivista takes a lot of the technical work off your plate — so you can focus on creating value.

Multivista leverages the latest technology to provide industry-leading construction documentation. Learn more about our services.