Last Friday, the #ConTechTrio aired episode 24 of the podcast in which James Benham (@jamesmbenham), Rob McKinney (@conappguru) and Josh Bone (@bim2thebone) discussed the latest construction tech news. Headliners last week included the 2016 JBKnowledge Construction Technology Survey, Yulios DIY VR platform for architects and interior designers, EarthCam’s timelapse video of the Panama Canal projects, biobricks made from hemp and lime, and much more! Special guest Todd Wynne, Technology Manager at Rogers-O’Brien Construction, also joined to discuss research and development within the construction industry.
The show kicked off with JBKnowledge news. The fifth annual 2016 Construction Technology Survey is live! Take the 10 minute survey on how your construction company employs technology and receive a complimentary copy of the 2016 Construction Tech Report. In other exciting JBKnowledge news, the SmartBidNet User Conference returned to downtown Austin, TX on July 10-12, 2016!
The JBKnowledge Twitter poll question from last week’s episode, “Does the learning curve of technology keep you from adopting new software?” – resulted in 56% No and 44% Yes. A new poll question was also highlighted on the show, that’s related to this week’s episode – “Does your company have a technology Research & Development budget?” The poll can be found on the JBK Twitter page and participants need only answer the single question with “Yes” or “No.”
In construction news, the 100 year old company, Black and Veatch, is harnessing the “hacker gene” to continuously adapt, change and evolve. Pavia Systems is partnering with PlanGrid to create a streamlined, mobile-first approach to inspection and integrate e-construction tools and software. ENR reported that there are significant changes being made to the materials used in the building process, highlighting one material in particular – biobricks, which are made from hemp and lime. In the world of robotics, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing small low-flying robots, coupled with 3D imaging and state-of-the art planning, modeling and analysis to inspect items such as bridges and buildings and to identify problems, track progress and assess any needs.
Truck manufacturers are developing new tech with safety and efficiency in mind, from hands-free communication to rear-facing back-up cameras, the work truck is now the largest, most powerful “smart” device that contractors are able to access. Also discussed on the podcast, Construction Executive has produced a technology and software rundown list, highlighting the top construction apps, products, software, partnerships and acquisitions for the week. Construction Executive was also featured on the podcast for its article on how smart, connected inventory management is fueling efficient service teams.
EarthCam recently released its timelapse video of the 5-year long Panama Canal project, highlighting the entire process, from beginning to end. Google has added WebVR and VR shell to beta and dev versions of Chrome on Android, allowing all websites to be viewed in VR. IBM’s Watson is now being put to use in buildings, the buildings will potentially be retrofitted with IoT sensors, from which Watson will gather and analyze information about the building’s operations.Virtual reality made headlines again, Yulio is now offering a DIY VR platform for architects and interior designers, aimed at making sophisticated VR technology simple to use.
In regards to recent tech partnerships, GM and Bioservo Technologies are working together to combine their glove technologies to develop a new grasp assist device for industrial use that could increase human operator efficiency. The construction industry can celebrate this amazing stat from the Census Bureau, who reported that the latest-12-months over previous-12-months calculation, total PIP construction spending in May was +10.2%! The geek out product of the week featured on the podcast was “smart” building blocks that let kids build worlds and then explore them through augmented reality.
Also in terms of building block technology, Unit Solutions has created SYSTEM 4 that promises greener homes with 86% more energy efficiency, built on prefabricated plug in easy LEGO-like construction principles. Drone Deploy recently added new elevation and volume tools for construction and mining, aiming to become a one-stop shop for drone use. The trio finished out their weekly tech news updates highlighting Congress’ decision to discontinue BlackBerry device usage for Senate staffers.
In the second half of the podcast, Todd Wynne, Technology Manager at Rogers-O’Brien Construction, also joined the #ConTechTrio to discuss research and development within the construction industry. Todd has continuously had a passion for technology and construction throughout his entire life. When he received the job opportunity to interact and test new technology everyday, he jumped on the occasion. Todd discussed his research and development position with Rogers-O’Brien and his three step process for testing/implementing new technology within the company. He later went on to review his methods for training employees on new technology, his thoughts on technology literacy and R&D trends within the industry. The ConTechTrio and Todd wrapped up the interview by highlighting Todd’s VDC title, how he qualifies models from design pros and how he’s leading subcontractors into VDC.
Tune into the #ConTechTrio podcast again this Friday for Episode 25, featuring James Mercado from SKYSITE. Until then, you can catch up on past episodes of our construction technology podcast and even check out some bonus episodes via the links below!
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