Last Friday, the ConTechTrio aired episode 53 of the podcast in which James Benham (@jamesmbenham), Rob McKinney (@conappguru) and special guest host, Nathan Wood (@nathancwood) discussed the latest construction tech news. Headliners last week included the Lenovo Yoga Home 900, Google Chrome’s built-in QR code and bar code scanner, Microsoft’s new partnership, FLIR updates on thermal imaging and much more! Special guest Jake Macholtz, CEO of InEight and VP of Technology at Kiewit also joined to discuss building vs buying software for construction.
Tech You Should Try:
Lenovo Yoga Home 900 – The ultimate construction app device. The Lenovo Yoga Home 900 is battery powered with a 27 inch multi-touch display which makes this device great for viewing plans.The Lenovo Yoga Home 900 has flexible functionality with an adjustable kick stand that allows the device to work as both a surface tablet as well as a PC. This tech you should try is available for $1,389.99!
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Construction Tech News:
Industry Education, Insights & Trends
Law360 announced that Oculus executives are required to pay a $500 million dollar fine in damages to ZeniMax Media LLC, a video game developer. Oculus is being sued for copyright and trademark infringement and breach of a non-disclosure case that was tied to virtual reality technology.
Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt (one of Europe’s top hotels) had their electronic key system hacked which resulted in all 180 guests at the time denied access to get back into their rooms. After no help from the police or insurance companies, the hotel ended up paying the ransom of 1,500 EUR in bitcoin to the hackers, who then restored the system as promised. Construction companies who underestimate how secure their facilities and companies are need to realize how important data security and risk management truly is.
Sasha Reed, VP Strategic Development at Bluebeam Inc., explains how the amount of energy spent on end-to-end training is wasteful due to the rapid changes in technology. Technology is becoming easier and easier to adopt, but the industry is struggling on how to teach and talk about this technology and decide the appropriate amount of training. Organizations looking to integrate new enterprise platforms need to check this article out!
Productivity and safety are critical issues and technology can help solve these issues. Josh Newland, Manager of Enterprise Strategy at Procore Technologies, discusses where technology can improve overall jobsite safety and management. For example, DAQRI, a hardhat and safety glasses manufacturer, uses augmented reality visualization capabilities to connect workers to immediate instruction, insight and oversight as they complete tasks.
Google Chrome’s mobile browser now includes a built-in scanning functionality that is available for both android and iOS devices. You can access the QR & bar code scanner by simply typing it in search using spotlight or by 3D touch on the apps icon. This built-in feature can come in handy when construction professionals want to track devices and equipment with a QR code.
Partnerships & Acquisitions
This is a real platform that allows for collaboration! In the next Windows 10 update, Microsoft has paired with HP, Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer to ship VR headsets, starting at $300 dollars, for your PC. This VR platform that has unified the HoloLens program allowing users inside of VR the ability to interact with users inside of HoloLens making the experience multi-party and truly interactive. “This is a really big deal!” – James Benham
Drones & UAV’s
TechCrunch provides an article about Caterpillar Inc., a major manufacture of construction and mining equipment, who recently invested in Airware, a drone tech start up, rather than making their own unmanned air vehicles. Airware is providing services and software that help companies, like Caterpillar, to use drones throughout their operations.
Roger and Valerie Morash and their two cats died in their Berkeley home due to being poisoned from carbon monoxide that came from their 3D printer. 3D printers emit toxic gases after using their lasers to shape and heat up certain types of plastic which caused the death of these two MIT graduates and their cats. This case should warn future customers to be aware of the potential dangers of 3D printers for home use and remind people to place your printer in a well ventilated area that is not enclosed.
This article discusses the updates in the use of holograms for 3D displays by focusing light through frosted glass leads. In holography, a distorted wave front carries information to recreate a 3D image causing an illusion of a hologram to people standing in the path of the projected system. Researchers are hoping that holographic displays become commercial displays but they first need to overcome obstacles dealing with the relationship between pixel numbers and image resolution and the sensitivity holographic displays have to changes in the environment, including temperature. Researchers are still currently working on both holograms and holographic displays.
Construction professionals have to check this out! FLIR ONE Pro, starting at $399 dollars, is a smartphone accessory for thermal imaging. The camera can measure temperatures on any spot in the view from -4 degrees Fahrenheit to 248 degrees Fahrenheit. FLIR ONE Pro uses the charge from your phone and is available for Apple and Android phones and also comes with a “onefit” adjustable connector.
[INTERVIEW] Jake Macholtz, CEO of InEight & VP of Technology at Kiewit, Discusses Building vs Buying Software for Construction
In the second half of the podcast, Jake Macholtz, CEO of InEight and VP of Technology at Kiewit joined the ConTechTrio to discuss building vs buying software for construction. Jake was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona and was fortunate to stay there and graduate with a civil engineering degree from the University of Arizona. Right out of college Jake was given a job with Kiewit in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Jake has been with Kiewit for nearly 18 years, from starting off as a field engineer to now being the Vice President of Technology.
Jake now manages the direction of software at InEight, as well as making sure Kiewit is consuming the tools that InEight is providing and continuing the mission of making technology a strategic part of Kiewit’s business. InEight combines proven software technology with a unified vision to help companies visualize, estimate, manage, control and connect all aspects of projects. In the podcast, Jake discusses the pros and cons of buying technology off the shelf verses building it in-house while giving examples of how buying vs building technology has affected Kiewit throughout the years. Jake and the ConTechTrio wrapped up the interview by explaining EPC (Engineer Procure Construct), InEight’s mobile apps and field tools, and the new InEight cloud offering that will be available May 1st 2017 for customer consumption.
Tune into the ConTechTrio podcast next week for Episode 54, featuring Sarah Hodges from Autodesk, discussing the rise of common data environments. 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
Rob McKinney: @conappguru
Nathan Wood: @nathancwood