The building industry is notoriously slow when it comes to adopting and utilizing technological solutions. However, Google's Project Tango could be about to change all that if its self-3D mapping software becomes impossible to ignore, as expected. Our thirst for faster and more accurate data is increasingly leading all industries to finally reach the eureka moment of how digital technology can and will revolutionize their industry.
Project Tango's Development Kit is "equipped with technology that allows it to understand space and motion." But the most exciting opportunities will not reveal themselves until the third-party developers learn how to unlock its true potential. Progress like this will take time, and although I expect we will have to wait a few years until we realize the true potential, the pace of change is accelerating quickly.
The kit required is probably best described as a small device that is equipped with an infrared camera, emitter, and a wide-angle lens. Note that a smartphone or tablet could be equipped to do this as well. These special ingredients are all that's required for the technology to map out a room in 3D. When taking things a step further, an augmented reality app called Through the Wall could potentially allow a user to hold up his/her device inside any room of a building and be able to see where pipes and electrical wires are positioned.
Back in 2014 reported how this technology has the power to see through walls and to make editable 3D maps with the wave of a tablet. Elsewhere, some suggested that the builder of the future will replace his/her nail gun with a new technology that will completely overhaul the construction industry.
However, it's easy to forget that there is already a wealth of software in the industry, such as Construction Manager, PlanGrid, and many more, but they all are criminally underused. There seems to be a distrust of technology within the sector, which is affecting the adoption rate compared to other sectors.
Technology continues to disrupt anything in its path that is stubborn enough to think that the old way of doing things should never change. This is the digital age of collaboration, and some areas just need a little encouragement to realize that digital tools can be more powerful than the ones in a rusty toolbox.
The recent arrival of virtual reality is already making waves, and some hospitals that are trying to avoid costly mistakes when building are using . Whether it be a project site visit, or a real estate tour, the old-fashioned and expensive method of building a mock-up to set the scene is already being replaced by virtual tours that make you feel like you are inside the new building.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) represents the use of digital models in construction and is rapidly becoming a major trend in the industry. Wherever we look, it seems that the personalization of nearly everything is at the top of everyone's wish list.
Once again, Google's Project Tango Development Kit offers us a glimpse of what technology is on the horizon. Third parties will take their time to perfect the solutions of tomorrow, and although the moment we see widespread adoption of these forms of technology is still a few years away, there is no doubt where we are heading, and there are almost endless possibilities for those who lead the way in this field.
Developments like these represent Hard Trends that will help ease the construction industry through this digital transformation. There is something quite poetic about technology and a digital toolset helping to quite literally build our future by doing things differently from before.