Last Friday, the ConTechTrio aired episode 56 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 SketchUp Viewer for Hololens, Daqri 3D printers using holograms, AT&T’s LTE equipped drones, Dubai’s rotating wind-powered skyscraper and much more! Special guest Tim Shepherd, Director of Applications and Market Intelligence at Cat Phones, also joined to discuss rugged smartphones.
Tech You Should Try:
SketchUp for Hololens – SketchUp has released a rather expensive app that is $1500 dollars. SketchUp Viewer allows users to experience design in the most natural way possible. It works by allowing Trimble SketchUp models in the cloud to be downloaded directly into Hololens and then projected anywhere you want and on any surface area you are working on. You can even scale it to life size!
Kardia By AliveCor – 90% of strokes can be prevented with this “tech you should try!” James Benham discovered Kardia by AliveCor at the Abundance 360 Conference he recently attended. This device attaches to the back of your phone and by simply placing two fingers on the device you can receive EKG readings, test your resting heart rate, receive expert analysis and much more! This device of the future gives users a hospital at their fingertips and will drastically improve the safety of workers on the job site.
Weekly ConTechTrio Twitter Poll:
Last Week’s Poll: What is the most common reoccurring issue you face during the BIM coordination process? The poll resulted in 39% “Other,” 28% “Latency in coordination,” 22% “Aligning to a common origin” and 11% “Keeping track of models.”
This Week’s Poll: “How many phones have you replaced due to breaking them on the job site last year?” Visit the ConTechTrio Twitter page and choose from the following answers “None” “1-2” “3-4” or “More than 4.”
Make sure you join the ConTechTrio Live at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 for live podcasts from their new podcast pavilion! Coming to you March 9th,10th & 11th in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information, visit jbknowledge.com/vegas.
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Construction Tech News:
Industry Education, Insights & Trends
Construction Junkie provides video footage of a water tower in Rowlett, Texas being torn down after becoming damaged from a tornado in 2015. Since 1980, this water tower has stood at 160 feet tall and now it’s time to take it down for the safety of the residents in Rowlett. Click here to watch this intense demolition that was executed perfectly. (Don’t worry the water was fully drained before this demolition.)
Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella and founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, discuss how they do not believe that robots will take away jobs in our future. Satya states “when there is a lot of artificial intelligence, real intelligence will be scarce, real empathy will be scarce, real common sense will be scarce, so we can have new jobs that are actually predicated on those attributes.” We exist in a onward and upward generation that is being transformed by technology and if we look at this as an opportunity, we will have tremendous job growth.
This future article was written by Doug Chambers, from Fieldlens, as if he was in the year 2040. It is forward thinking and thought provoking and discusses the state of U.S. construction and the economy as a whole. People have the opportunity to mobilize an entire industry and change our economy for the better and with this article it shows the possibilities we have for our future.
DeWALT tweeted teaser updates on “3 New Ways to Connect.” First, DeWALT now has Integrated tools that use Bluetooth on the tool itself instead of just using the battery. Second, with the DeWALT Connector, you can now connect any DeWALT 20 volt max tool. Lastly, DeWALT Tag was announced which allows users to track anything on the job site.
Partnerships & Acquisitions
Skanska UK has signed on to be on board for the 2017 trial run of Daqri’s Smart Helmets which involves field testing the augmented reality-enabled hard hats. This is a make or break moment for Daqri and should prove the effectiveness of these smart helmets. James Benham (ConTechTrio host) is skeptical about Daqri and their products and expresses his concerns in the podcast.
Prefabrication & Design
DIRTT, a construction firm based out of Calgary, built a 2-story medical facility with an ICU room that is fully equipped in just 72 hours. DIRTT’s approach focuses on interactive 3D design and specification technology which allows them to streamline planning and design through to manufacturing and installation. Features of this medical office include DIRTT’s timber frame construction, touch-triggered cabinetry doors, wall-integrated technology and medical gases, laser-cut metal railings and more! This is proof that prefabrication is making a huge difference in the speed of the construction industry. Click here to watch the full process.
Drones & UAV’s
Chinese companies have come up with an alarming way of eliminating trash by attaching flame throwers to drones to remove hanging debris from power lines. The flames can reach to temperatures around 472 degrees Fahrenheit and usually burn the objects immediately causing no damage to the surroundings. The whole process of setting up these flame-throwing drones and lighting them up takes around 15 minutes.
TechCrunch explains how a startup called Exyn Technologies reveals artificial intelligence (AI) software that helps drones fly autonomously in the dark, indoors, off the grid, and in obstacle filled environments. Exyn Technologies is using sensor fusion to give drones situational awareness, much like humans. This software has its own self registration, 3D mapping, and remembers where it is located by memory. This will be extremely helpful when managers are going through drone inspections inside of buildings.
Construction drones are now being flown over Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country. With special permission and a licensed commercial pilot, drones are completing workflows for the upcoming $6 billion expansion which includes two new parking garages and a SkyTrain station.
AT&T is the first wireless company that is testing ways to deliver LTE wireless connection via drones. The test flights were successful in showing how the drones transmit and receive LTE signals. AT&T states how each drone will able to provide LTE coverage up to 40 square miles. Watch the video here of these flying COW’s (“Cell On Wings.”)
Goodbye to ordinary 3D printers! Daqri, a tech start-up, discovered a way to speed up the process of 3D printing by using a 3-dimensional hologram. The whole process takes just 5 seconds. It works by projecting a 3D light field into a dish of the light sensitive monomer “goo” and after the plastic hardens it is extracted using a screen. Check out the video here to witness the future of 3D printing.
This upcoming Dubai skyscraper is taking the term “eye catching buildings” to the next level. David Fisher, an Israeli-Italian architect is the brains behind creating this dynamic tower. This skyscraper will be completely powered by sun and wind energy and will stand 1,375 feet tall. This Dynamic Tower will have 80 floors that individually twist and rotate 360 degrees allowing hotel guests and tenants to select their view via voice command. “Dubai is becoming our testing grounds because they can do so many things regulatory we can’t do in the U.S. and UK.” – Josh Bone
Disney is making sure you never miss a moment of the happiest place on earth! This 177 square foot room has a passive magnetic field that automatically juices up any device you have through wireless charging. This passive power could cut the need for multiple room outlets, charge large objects such as drones and could provide information for construction professionals to re-evaluate how they charge devices on the job site.
“Smartflower” is claimed to be the first “intelligent energy plant.” The unfolding giant solar panel petals tracks the sun all day long and closes up at night or during heavy weather conditions. Due to its mobility this “smartflower” is more efficient than traditional solar panel systems.
[INTERVIEW] Tim Shepherd, Director, Applications & Market Intelligence at Cat Phones, Discusses Rugged Smartphones
In the second half of the podcast, Tim Shepherd, Director of Applications and Market Intelligence at Cat Phones joined the ConTechTrio to discuss rugged smartphones. Tim was born in England but raised in Wales. He graduated from Oxford University with a modern history major. After graduating, Tim became an industry analysis putting his love for technology to use and focusing on trends with the smartphone. After about a decade, Tim moved over to Cat Phones.
Tim works for Bullitt which is the global licensee for Caterpillar Inc. He landed a role at Cat Phones after a colleague from a previous job introduced him to the company. Tim looks after applications to preload and install on smartphones, as well as, building the knowledge around the customer base.
Tim discusses the Cat S60 Smartphone and its fit for purpose features which include, FLIR thermal imaging, waterproof up to 5 meters and military drop tests up to 1.8 meters. Tim and the ConTechTrio wrapped up the interview by explaining why Cat Phones use the Android platform over iOS, Googles’ Project Tango, 3 key criteria customers are looking for in smartphones.
Tune into the ConTechTrio podcast next week for Episode 57, featuring Cody Nowak, Director of R&D at Martin Bros, discussing augmented reality workflows in construction! 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!
Follow On Twitter:
James Benham: @JamesMBenham
Josh Bone: @BIM2theBone
Rob McKinney: @conappguru