XYZ Reality Comes to Market with Ultra-Accurate Construction AR

Part III: When accuracy matters in mission-critical environments, millimeters make the difference for construction AR.


PART I: Is Now the Time for Augmented Reality in Construction--Trimble AR Connect

PART II: vGIS Extends AR Solution for Utilities

>PART III: XYZ Coming to Market With Ultra-Accurate Construction AR

Emerging construction AR vendor XYZ Reality is at an inflection point in the business, transitioning from a services model where they deployed their software and ATOM headset through a professional services model to distribution to become more of a pure play products business.

On an August 2023 IRONPROS discovery call, XYZ Reality Mission Critical Director Waleed Zafar described how the company was currently driving the millimeter-accuracy tech to market by delivering not just the application and headsets as raw gear, but also a crew of operators to use the tech rather than customers’ own crews.

IRONPROS got a demo at Procore Groundbreak from XYZ Reality Solutions Engineer Ken Pritchard.

“As of today, when we offer a solution, it is a full end-to-end service,” Zafar said. “We provide the headsets and technology, but also the boots on the ground so our customers get people who are using this tech every day. Oftentimes, people resources at our customer organizations are 130% committed. If they are adding new technology, there is no capacity to master it. Doing it this way is driving stronger adoption and maximum value add right off the bat. It ensures customer success that scales across the project.”

Owners and contractors involved in complex projects in data center, hospital, oil and gas, manufacturing or life sciences construction, contractors with multiple projects happening simultaneously and a project value of $200 million and up are a fit. The XYZ Reality solution excels at projects with extensive mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) work, and if 80 percent of project value consists of MEP, a contractor would be a fit for the technology.

As XYZ productizes its Atom construction VR software and headset, their differentiating focus will according to company sources be on accuracy, which can be between three to five millimeters, a strong value proposition for mission-critical settings. Mixed reality on tablets and smartphones is not currently supported, but the headset can share the view from a headset with third parties in real time.

Pricing is based on several metrics including project size by square footage and timeline and the number of headsets. The number of headsets will rise and fall during the project, based on the amount of addressable work on the timeline.


Construction AR ROI

So where is the payback in construction AR?

“It is kind of self-explanatory in some respects,” Trimble’s Broad said. “Some people, when they first see it with their own data, realize immediately that it will be able to prevent and solve so many problems. That is really hard to wrap a number around.”

Companies may also find return on investment (ROI) from AR in operational efficiencies.

“Getting all your models into a common data environment, you can track and manage those models and do different workflows with them,” Broad said. “You can push a couple buttons here and view them in AI. You are making the data more available and transparent, getting everyone on the same page, and resolving communication issues. You are taking data people have invested 10s of thousands of dollars in and getting out to job trailer on laptop, because otherwise the people in the field doing the work may not get to see it.”

XYZ’s Zafar contrasted the ROI from construction AR with that of data capture technologies.

“Once someone goes out with one of these solutions to do captures by walking through a project flying a drone, or using a fixed position camera, there is still a fairly tedious task to collate all of the information, often putting it into Excel,” Zafar said. “What percentage of completion are we for each trade? We can make that determination in real time.”

BOTTOM LINE: AR and mixed reality have already found their place in both horizontal and vertical construction, but with pressures to do more with less, cut costs and control timelines, investments may be heating up. The disappearance of an early market player will also goose the fortunes of vendors with a viable product in the space. Contractors evaluating solutions should seek briefings on the near-term roadmap for emerging features, including progress and discrepancy tracking from Trimble and new vSite features and supported AR devices from vGIS. IRONPROS will follow XYZ Reality’s distribution network, and contractors and engineering firms involved in work that requires tight tolerances may want to do the same.

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