Boris Johnson Wowed by AR for Thames Tideway Tunnel


Boris Johnson was open-jawed when presented with an augmented reality enhanced model of the proposed multi-billion pound Thames Water Tideway Tunnel.

The project, planned to start construction in 2016, will upgrade London’s sewerage system to cope with the demand of the 21st Century and Thames Water approached Inition to create a fitting 21st Century presentation tool.

The Inition team re-fitted an existing model with markers and produced an augmented reality iPad application that transformed the static cut-away representation into a 3D animated interactive piece that allowed people to see how the water would flow through the proposed tunnels beneath London.

With accurate tracking and the illusion of ‘seeing through’ the underground layers, visitors could easily visualise how the epic project will prevent 39 million cubic metres of untreated sewage overflowing into the River Thames every year.

“Now I know what augmented reality is!” declared the London Major as Inition Ltd, Creative Director, Andy Millns presented him with an iPad at the Skills London 2012 show.

Thames Water was delighted with the implementation and the project continues to highlight the potential augmented reality offers for visualising environments in the pre-build stage.

During the 3D Printshow 2012, Inition showcased a collaboration with Zaha Hadid Architects. For that, Inition used supplied CAD data to create a miniature of the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan. A supporting iPad application then augmented several layers onto the model including windflow simulations, room interiors, context of location and outside environments.

Who knows, perhaps Boris will soon want to see a model of Boris Island Airport brought to life complete with augmented reality birds, taxiing Dreamliners, baggage handlers and queuing Duty Free shoppers? Actually, now there’s a thought…