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Here’s a quick rundown on the latest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) for construction; software to improve document management, collaboration and workflow; products that enhance safety; and promising research on a bacteria that repairs concrete.


GRAPHISOFT BIMx Now Offers Google Cardboard Support
graphisoft-google-cardboardGRAPHISOFT® has added VR functions to BIMx® with Google CardboardTM viewer (version 2.0) for Android and iOS smart phones so users can navigate in the 3-D space simply by turning their heads in the desired direction. For a demonstration, watch Using Google Cardboard with BIMx on iPhone and Android video.

Context VR Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality App for Easy Project Updates
Context VR, augmented reality/virtual reality app, enables users to record, manage, track and share construction or real estate project updates and milestones with stakeholders. Context VR delivers a time-stamped affidavit of as-built condition to help protect against liability claims and to document the "birth record" of the building for remote access and facility maintenance.

SKYSITE Expands User Base With Application Upgrade For Smartphone
SKYSITE’s ProjectLink application for managing and distributing construction documents and information now includes a fully integrated version for the Apple iPhone. Other upgrades include improved hyperlinking identification, “Drag and Drop” uploading and a simpler, cleaner user interface for publishing pages. There are sample projects to get started faster, better distinctions between trial and paid accounts and improved integration.


Triax spot-r Wearable System Sends Injury and Hazard Notifications
triax-spot-rSpot-r by Triax, an integrated, cloud-based system for improving jobsite safety, incorporates The spot-r system, a proprietary wireless network with an unobtrusive sensor that clips onto a worker’s belt and features more than a year of battery life. Real-time injury and hazard notifications, including worker-generated alerts, are automatically sent to jobsite personnel’s mobile device. Aggregated safety and productivity data can be filtered and analyzed by trade, geographic location or individual worker and accessed via computer, tablet or mobile device. Custom reports allow supervisors to analyze a job’s progress by week, month or phase.

Netarus Offers Five-Year Warranty on HoistCam Cameras
hoistcamNetarus LLC HoistCam™ remote wireless camera monitoring systems come with a five-year warranty on standard HoistCam camera systems. HoistCam cameras place the eyes of the crane operator anywhere on the job. The HoistCam platform suite provides remote monitoring, recording and management analytics reporting to operators and site supervisors. The cameras operate in extreme temperatures at -40° F to 140° F, and have undergone impact and drop testing as well as functionality after water submersion.

 3M™ Personal Safety Division Launches New PELTOR™ Headsets
3m-headsets3M™ Personal Safety Division has expanded its line of PELTOR™ headsets for use in hazardous, high-noise environments. The 3M PELTOR ProTac III Headset is designed for environments where loud or sharp noises are present. It monitors the surrounding environment and automatically adjusts the amount of attenuation when hazardous noises are present. The 3M PELTOR WorkTunes Pro AM/FM Radio Headset has a built-in AM/FM radio and easy channel searching so wearers don’t have to take off their hearing protection to change stations. Both headsets can connect with smartphones, radios, shoulder mics or other external devices.

Software & In the Cloud

Bluebeam Unlocks Productivity with Microsoft Surface Studio Integration
bluebeam-revuBluebeam Inc.’s Revu 2016.5.2 streamlines digital workflows, increases efficiency and unlocks productivity by leveraging Microsoft’s Surface Studio and Surface Dial. Surface Studio turns every desk into a collaborative work environment by effortlessly switching between desktop and tabletop-viewing orientations and interfacing with a variety of creative input tools, including touch, stylus, mouse and the new Surface Dial. With Revu 2016.5.2, users leverage Surface Studio’s innovative enhancements to simplify tasks and create new value for project teams. Place Surface Dial on the screen to instantly access a radial menu of Revu tools. Annotation appearance properties, undo/redo editing functionality, the Tool Chest, Markups List, Layers and Tab Access all can be administered through intuitive scrolling.

3-D Robotics Integrates BIM Integration for Commercial Drones into Site Scan
sitescan3D Robotics’ 3DR Site Scan with BIM processing capabilities brings construction design and planning into the real world by using daily scans conducted by drones to track each day's progress. These real-time scans then can be overlaid on original designs to identify building errors before they grow in cost and time, closing the model/site loop by introducing clash detection that no longer lives solely on a screen. Features include Save and Refly Mission, Design Overlays and Ground Control Points data.

Viewpoint Construction Software® Comes With Time-saving Desktop Application for Viewpoint For Projects
Viewpoint For Projects, a cloud-based document control solution, includes the Viewpoint For Projects Desktop app. Users access project documents and drawings from Windows Explorer with workflows, ball-in-court visibility and audit capabilities. As long as the editing program is available on the desktop, users can create new or revise existing documents and drawings in their editor of choice, then save-as directly to Viewpoint For Projects. Users can work offline and still have access to all information held in Viewpoint For Projects.

Autodesk Bets Big on Forge Platform to Make Anything
Autodesk, Inc. introduced new AR/VR capabilities to drive immersive real-time industry experiences and announced plans to use Autodesk Forge as its common data environment and engine for simplifying its own product offerings. The Forge platform and ecosystem now include AR/VR support into the Forge 3-D browser and mobile viewing experience and enhanced data management to support access projects and files managed in support for BIM 360 Docs and Fusion.

Acquisitions & Partnerships

Dodge Data & Analytics and STACK Construction Technologies Partner on Integrated Platform for Construction
Dodge Data & Analytics has partnered with STACK Construction Technologies to integrate Dodge’s data and analytics with STACK’s cloud-based takeoff and estimating tools. Dodge Data & Analytics provides comprehensive intelligence on commercial construction projects to customers at every step in the design and build process. STACK Construction Technologies is a Software-as-a-Service provider and cloud-based solution for construction takeoff and estimating. The partnership will help customers plan, bid and execute the projects that drive their businesses.

Video & Cool Stuff

Researchers Developing Bacterium to Fix Cracks in Concrete
Science Magazine reported on the development of a concrete-repairing bacterium, called BacillaFilla, that could be sprayed onto concrete surfaces to repair cracks in concrete and prevent catastrophic structural failure. Researchers at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom are developing genetically engineered microbes that respond to changing pressures in soil and “swim” deep into cracks. The goal is to create a “thinking soil” that will form a self-constructing foundation.

HCCS Announces Construction Intern Awards
Seventeen winners have been selected from the 200 interns throughout the construction industry who applied for the 2016 HCSS Construction Intern Awards. Each will be receiving a scholarship ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. 

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