Forecast: the future of digital construction
Ever the past few decades, technology has rebuilt the construction industry. New techniques, methodologies and innovations disrupt the way the industry designs, collaborates and builds. And change continues at a rapid pace.
We asked our Construction team, who creates some of the products which are changing the face of the industry, to share their predictions about the future of digital construction.
How do you see the Crane Camera influencing the future of digital construction?
Miguel Baquero Gago, Crane Camera Hardware Engineer
Miguel: Many companies have already tried the Crane Camera and seen its benefits. Before you could have weekly or monthly site data, and now - daily. It is up to you to decide what to do with it: compare as-built vs as-design, track the progress of your site, or use it as a reference in resolving disputes. But at the end of the day, it is in the interest of the industry to see the benefits. The more benefits they see, the more benefits they can receive - because we can create new functionality in response.
Matthew Franklin, Hardware Engineer
Matthew: I have been to different construction sites and I know that there are many stakeholders working on any given project. Organizing them and making sure that everyone is up-to-date with everything happening on site is a constant challenge for the crew. It is impossible to have a single person checking the site all day long - especially if you have ten different sites! But with the Crane Camera you can check what is going on in real time, on any site and without even leaving your office - you just need to click the button.
In the future, I think this will become the norm. We may see more centralized project management and the efficiencies which come with that.
Marc Leroy, Hardware Engineer
Marc: Drones are becoming easier and easier to fly, especially with flight applications, such as Pix4Dcapture. But what happens when you need data daily? Sometimes the weather is bad or you don’t have permission to fly a site. In that case the drone will not be sufficient and your construction site will not advance as much as expected. Then you need the Crane Camera - to deliver automated, daily 2D and 3D updates of your construction site. By combining drones and Crane Camera, crews can get the most complete picture of a site. In the future, aerial data will be essential for every site - whether it comes from drones or from a Crane Camera.
Casey Deyle, Development Manager
Casey: The biggest value of the Crane Camera solution is the documentation it provides, analyzes once or twice per day for the entire extent of the project. Daily documented updates of the whole site so that at the end of the project the stakeholders can go back to the very beginning and see what happened at which specific dates. The Crane Camera can be used to trace back issues during post-project review and say ‘why was this delayed’. Construction stakeholders can go back and say ‘this concrete pour didn't happen that week, it happened the previous week because these contractors haven't finished yet or we had to redo work’... it gives crews a chance to resolve disputes before they happen. I think that documentation is one of the most important features but other possibilities are coming, such as comparison of as-built 3D data to 3D designs and 4D schedules.
How do you think that Pix4Dbim software will affect the future of digital construction?
Philippe Morier, Front-End Developer
Philippe: I think that in the near future Pix4Dbim Cloud could become the homepage of your work in the industry. The third party integrations we have and the ones we plan to have in the future could make Pix4D the entrance point of the digitized construction site of the future. Pix4D will be like the glue - it connects everything together.
Emilie van Koningsveld , UX Designer
Emilie: In the future what we want to provide is a lot of automation in the process of inputs, analysis and outputs. The more automation we can bring, the more this translates to time savings for our customers.
Alexis Sultan, Back-end Developer
Alexis: Thanks to the compatibility of Pix4Dbim software with a variety of third party BIM and CAD softwares, the information will not be siloed. We are working on adding new integrations with other cloud based applications, in order to provide a workflow which can be used by everyone in the industry - not just surveyors. This will open an infinite number of opportunities.
Julien Von Oetinger, Front-End Developer
Julien: The real value of Pix4Dbim is being able to monitor multiple sites and have a greater overview of the project in real time without going actually on site. Go back in time and see what happened daily - right from your computer.
But what would add even more value in the future would be the so called “site management”. By integrating machine learning in our software, the site managers will have greater automation and site planning opportunities. They will be able to see their devices, schedule when they should take images and send tasks to all stakeholders accordingly.
Angelo Feltrin, Key Account Executive for Construction
Angelo: Actually, a tool for anyone who is interested in seeing live data from construction sites. This will allow the stakeholders to take instant decisions, share data with a click of a button and be able to collaborate with people wherever they are - whether they are based on site or another country.
Pix4D is really well placed to be part of that and be able to influence how people communicate and share information on the built environment and certainly within the construction industry.
Sylvain Filhioux, Technical Sales Engineer for Construction
Sylvain: Construction is all about communication and precision. Providing both visual and survey information, Pix4D gives real value to the industry. I believe that in the future Pix4Dbim Cloud will be the platform for site monitoring and as built data repository.
Speaking about the future of digital construction, what are your expectations for Digital Construction Week this year?
Emily: To learn more about the industry’s needs so that I can offer better solutions. Alexis: I don't have specific expectations - I'm just looking forward to this challenge! Philippe: It’s nice to see what is out there, what construction means nowadays - and how Pix4D is influencing the industry’s evolution. Julien: To see what is going on in the market, and to see other key players within the industry and what are they doing. Angelo: My expectations for Digital Construction Week are firstly to meet people interested in the future of digital construction and see the tools available. I look forward to seeing other solutions that possibly are complementary to what we do - or totally new.
I am really interested in seeing the people presenting this year and the topics that they'll be talking about. After all, we only get two days a year to see what's going to be happening with the future of digital construction and I intend to make the most of it!