JOURNAL

BASICS: An Architectural Solar Analysis Tool for Microsoft Hololens (Video)

By Onur Karaduman, Digital Experience Designer

Energy efficiency is not the only major focus for solar analysis in an architectural composition; end-user comfort level is also crucial. With this in mind, I developed the concept for Basics, a cutting-edge design tool that will allow architects to see, measure and record shading data from different orientations and conditions so they can make an informed decision on optimal user comfort. What sets Basics apart from other solar analysis software is its unique design process experience utilizing the Microsoft Hololens, a tool that merges both physical and digital mediums as complementary inputs and outputs in a mixed reality environment.

Basics uses the Microsoft Hololens to create a mixed reality (MR), or combination of real and virtual elements that forms a hybrid reality. When using Basics, the user will virtually define necessary architectural components, such as walls and floors, using a two-dimensional, physical floor plan printout. This static graphic can then be transformed into three-dimensional, interactive dynamic content. Once the virtual setup is complete, the architect can constitute different solar conditions by changing the date within the program. Each solar case will virtually drop digital shadows on the physical floor plan, allowing the designer to physically trace the corresponding shading schemes. Basics utilizes voice commands, gestures, and gaze input controls, which create an immersive navigation experience. In the future, the application will evolve to become aware of existing physical architectural material by employing the potential of computer vision and machine learning.

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