Augmented/Mixed Reality at the NExT Lab

This article introduces Augmented Reality and its workflows.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) are a subset of Extended Reality (XR) technologies. AR/MR are experiences where one's physical environment is overlayed with digital elements. AR usually refers to experiences where the physical and digital elements do not interact, whereas they do interact in MR experiences.

The idea of using AR/MR to visualise designs or instructions in-situ to assist with manufacturing tasks has existed since the technology's conception. For example; The first head-mounted display (HMD) designed by Caudell and Mizell, was designed to augment an aircraft assembly worker’s field of view with digital information to facilitate manufacturing, such as the location of drill holes in 3D space.

Mixed Reality Hardware

The Next Lab has several Microsoft Hololens that come pre-installed with an AR demo that lets you place a variety of 3D objects as holograms into the real world and allows you to walk around and inspect the holograms from all sides.

Additionally via the use of the software package Fologram you can use the HoloLens to display geometries generated in Rhino. In conjunction with the use of Grasshopper, these geometries can be manipulated via gestures and pointers in the HoloLens itself.

You can also develop mobile applications using software packages such as Vuforia and Unity.


HoloLens is a standalone computer and as such can be used to do the demo. However, an additional computer/laptop is needed to run Rhino and Fologram.

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