Mobile Inspections on Android Devices
August 31, 2012
In the past year, construction technology acquisitions have inundated the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) market. Some of the big tech players such as Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., and Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., have picked up construction technology providers, increasingly their reach into new applications.
As one example, in June, Autodesk announced the acquisition of Vela Systems, www.velasystems.com, which provides field-management software for BIM (building information modeling), quality, and safety reporting. By integrating Autodesk Navisworks with Vela Systems, contractors can visualize design in the field and improve quality of the project.
These acquisitions can help push the construction industry further with initiatives such as moving BIM data to the field. Still, with all this transition in the technology space in construction, is there room for new software vendors to enter the market?
The possibility exists that with Vela Systems—a seemly niche product in the U.S.—now a part of Autodesk, new standalone players with similar solutions could view this as a good time to enter the market.
In the U.K., SmartBuilder Software, www.smartbuilder1.com, Dublin, Ireland, offers SmartBuilder1. The solution allows builders and contractors to manage defects and inspections and perform quality management, commissioning, and safety in the field. The technology also has customizable reports and administrative capabilities.
The mobile solution works on Android devices and can be used online or offline. It also provides access to checklists and communicates to-do lists to subcontractors. According to the company, the technology gives in-field managers the ability to quickly communicate, access relevant documentation and drawings, and track progress from tablet devices.
The company’s managing director, Peter Daly, says the technology cuts the time and cost of defect management. He adds the technology is being used on small projects as well as large ones such as a sports complex and 50-story residential tower in London.
The market for mobile-inspection technology is heating up. With all the technology acquisitions that have been happening in the construction industry as of late, there could be room for new standalone software vendors to enter the market and provide more options to construction companies.