Using the HoloLens for accurate subsurface utility pipes augmented reality

The 3D rendering of subsurface utility pipes inside a virtual excavation is cool. But if you don’t have 3D data to support it (e.g. if you don’t know the depth of the pipes), that sort of renderings could actually be misleading.

Users told us that in spite of their limited 3D depth data, 2D pipe maps are very useful for excavation planning, and 2D renderings of those maps in the physical world would be quite handy, even without depth info.

We prototyped that concept using the Microsoft HoloLens and Bentley ContextCapture. We simulated a workflow where a user wants to find a service pipe connection and a valve, and mark their location. Our results are shown in this video: