#ConTechTrio Episode 1.14 – #Construction Tech News, Interview w/ Jonathan Widney, President of @Solibri & member of AGC BIM Forum
Last Friday, the #ConTechTrio aired episode 1.14 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 Microsoft updates, BIM news, and much more! Special guest Jonathan Widney, President of @Solibri and member of the Leadership Team of the AGC @theBIMForum joined to discuss the Solibri Model Checker™ concept and capabilities.
The news kicked off with Oracle acquiring Textura for $663M to build up its Construction IT business. @Oracle remarked that together @Primavera and @Textura will form a new worldwide business unit, Oracle Engineering and Construction. @Microsoft released the Surface Hub, which is an 84’ computer and TV combined into one that will be ideal for the construction industry. A competing device @TecSlate Pro was discussed, which is on the market with similar features and is significantly better priced than the Surface Hub. In other news, Business Today announced that researchers from the University of Tokyo developed a tattoo-like ‘e-skin’ that turns your body into a digital screen. The screen displays an “electronic skin” that portrays items like your blood oxygen level. This new technology is predicted to have many benefits for the construction industry, allowing for contractors to wear their devices instead of holding them. In regards to 3D printing, Dubai announced that by 2030 they plan to 3D print a full 25% of buildings. The 3D printing strategy was part of Dubai’s plan to achieve global leadership in future innovations.
A new app made headlines as Microsoft officially launched its new iPhone keyboard, Word Flow, that makes it easier to text with one hand. Microsoft also released the update for its Surface Pro and Surface Book that fixed most, if not all, of the bugs and problems. An anniversary was celebrated on the podcast, the Apple Watch, had its one-year anniversary last week and despite its $6B in sales, the wearable is considered a flop by many critics. The #ConTechTrio politely disagreed with this article, sighting Apple’s dominant market share and high quality products.
In the world of smartphones, @DeWalt, yes the drill maker, is jumping into the mobile market with the rugged MD501. The new phone is waterproof and has many impressive features, such as a dual SIM, micro SD slot and a glove-friendly 5-inch HD screen. Virtual reality is continuing to spill over into the design industry and has lead to the architecture firm @NBBJ to collaborate with the startup Visual Vocal on Samsung’s new Silicon Valley Campus. Together, they created a virtual reality platform for architects that will make it easier to collaborate and efficiently make important decisions on projects. In other construction streamlining news, @Turner teamed with a computer science and engineering professor to develop a clever drone based on a construction monitoring tool that tracks construction progress using predictive visual data analytics.
In the second half of the podcast, Jonathan Widney, President of Solibri and member of AGC BIM Forum joined the #ConTechTrio to discuss the Solibri Model Checker™. Jonathan got his start in construction through his previous leadership position at @Autodesk of UK, Middle East, South Africa, Ireland and Israel. In 2001 he brought a technology to the US called Navisworks which he later sold to Autodesk. In 2002 this technology proved vital among contractors and ended up being instrumental in technology software taking off within the construction industry. Jonathan continued to search for growth opportunities within the construction technology industry and brought Solibri into the US in 2008. Solibri was later acquired by Nemetschek and allowed for exponential growth in quality assurance and quality control. He went on to discuss the concept and capabilities of the Solibri Model Checker™, which is a software tool that analyzes Building Information Models for integrity, quality and security. The Solibri Model Checker™ makes the QA/QC process efficient and easy by X-raying the building model to portray any flaws and weaknesses within the design, highlighting the disagreeing components and checking that the model complies with all building codes and organizations’ own practices. Jonathan and the #ConTechTrio concluded their discussion with the challenges that have arrived from Kobe and the importance of incorporating a cloud/mobile based strategy within any construction technology software.
Tune into the podcast again this Friday as the CEO of Raken, Kyle Slager, will be joining the #ConTechTrio podcast for Episode 1.15! Until then you can catch up on episodes of our construction technology podcast and even check out some bonus episodes!
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