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       smartphone, but failed miserably due to several bugs   sumer preferences through emotion and factor this in to
       and its failure to consider invasion of privacy issues. As   their design.
       a result, Google lost interest and stopped pursuing fur-
       ther software updates. However, Glass made a come-   With the amount and variety of data captured from pro-
       back this year with a much-improved version of the de-  totyping, we can iterate, iterate, and iterate, until we,
       vice, and not for the users it was initially intended. Now,   and the rest of our team of collaborators (including fu-
       Google Glass is used as an innovative tool to boost the   ture users), are happy with our final design. Similar to a
       productivity of skilled factory workers by providing guid-  Beta artist in the Cézanne mold, we add layer upon
       ance on step-by-step processes, which tools to use, and   layer, always building up a better solution than the one
       reporting quality assessment concerns.               we were looking at, only moments before.

       While some creative mindsets will happily settle on an   Unfinished Masterpieces
       early solution, others rarely reach the rarefied heights of
       creative happiness until the end of a long, drawn out   But our new visualization tools also have the potential
       process, aka Google Glass. Some never get there at all.   to keep on improving our infrastructures even after
       Their work will always be in an unfinished state. For   they’ve been built. By taking the big data that we’ll re-
       them, everything will always be in Beta mode.        ceive from our smart buildings and cities of the future,
                                                            we can also use VR, AR and all our other tools to revis-
       The Art of Prototyping                               it what we’ve already built and look at it anew. Using a
                                                            fresh set of information, we can relook at our creations
       In the engineering world, we get to have many bites of   and make alterations accordingly. Perhaps we’ll discov-
       the cherry through a process of prototyping. A prototype   er that the signage of an underground car park is creat-
       is “an early sample, model, or release of a product built   ing unnecessary bottlenecks at certain exits, or that the
       to test a concept or process or to act as a thing to be   furthest lift in an apartment block would be used as
       replicated or learned from.” Historically, prototyping took   much as the others if it was changed to an express lift
       place by creating physical, downscaled models of build-  that only serviced the top half of the building. Or maybe
       ings, structures and spaces that engineers could move   through SLD’s new method, we’ll discover what our
       around, explore and change. This freedom to experi-  users feel with the current design of our buildings and
       ment with future constructions allowed mistakes to be   explore how we can make them even happier and more
       made in the design stage, way before a project started   comfortable tomorrow.
       to take shape in the real world.
                                                            To some, ‘always being in Beta’ sounds as if you’re in a
       Today, our prototyping exists in multiple formats, and for   state of limbo, never actually getting anything made. In
       various functions that can contribute to creating a more   fact, the opposite is true. The Beta Artist, the Beta De-
       holistic design. Digitization has given us the ability to   signer and the Beta Engineer are making things all the
       create a visualized, virtual experience of absolutely any-  time. It’s just that the things they make today, they’ll
       thing we intend to make in the future. The latest 3D   happily improve on tomorrow. Beta is better. ◊
       technologies allow us to imagine walking around in the
       end user’s shoes and examine all the aspects of the
       infrastructure throughout a project’s lifetime and be-  By Declan Barrett,
                                                            Digital Practice Leader,
       yond.                                                Western Australia at Aurecon

       More importantly, with emerging technologies such    This post originally appeared on
                                                            Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog.
       as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR),
       engineers now have the tools to not only test a design’s
       functionality, but to capture feedback from targeted us-
       ers. Shikatani Lacroix Design (SLD) conducted re-
       search integrating AR and VR with neuroscience as a
       new method of prototyping, and it worked! Through the
       use of Microsoft HoloLens, Samsung VR, and Electro-
       encephalogram (EEG), they were able to decipher con-
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