Google has just released a new photo app with unlimited cloud storage called Google Photos. Cloud based photo applications are nothing new, and, in the construction industry, they allow supervisors can take photos in the field and the project manager can see them back in the office instantaneously. However, the new Google Photos app takes photo storage to the next level, even scary levels at times. The technology in the app can actually assign keywords to the pictures you take automatically using photo recognition software allowing users to search photos using "keywords" to find objects or locations in your photos! Not only that, it can also automatically create panoramas and animations, turning your pictures into an effortless time lapse of your project. Every construction project should be using the new Google Photos phone and desktop app.
Unlimited storage space. I know this sounds crazy as many of our jobs take up thousands of photos. It is hard to believe that these can all be stored in the cloud for free, but in this case, it's as good as it sounds!
With everything stored in the cloud, I can easily share all of my photos and albums with the owner, architect, or my coworkers without having to send multiple emails or spend time shrinking the size down to meet email size limitations.
I use my phone for personal use and work use, which means I have take tons of pictures that don't really relate to each other. The Google Assistant is able to automatically assign keywords or "tags" to each one of your pictures so you can search for like pictures without having to do anything manually. Now, with a simple search of "Construction", I can quickly sort all of my construction photos from my personal ones, as you can see below. The auto-keywords aren't always correct though, so there will be some things you have to do on your own. Also, if you allow geo-tagging of your photos through your camera app Google will allow you to search by location. So if you have multiple jobs you can easily search between them.
This time I searched for "Foundation". The results are pretty amazing!
This week I took four photos of a mess that was made on my job site. By the time I got back to my computer the photos had magically been stitched together to make a panorama thanks to Google's photo assistant! Panoramas aren't the only thing that Photos does either, it can also turn a group of pictures into an animation, instantaneously creating a time lapse with just a click of a button. Even if the assistant doesn't automatically create a panorama for you, you can still select a group of pictures manually and create one yourself. The group of four photos just below this are the ones I took and the panorama below is what Google created automatically:
And the panorama created:
Here's a second group of pictures Google automatically created into a panorama:
And the second panorama:
For decades and decades, construction and technology didn’t mix. In recent years, companies have been flocking to the underutilized construction industry to try and offer the newest solutions. When we talk about technology, we’re not just talking about computer work, there are tons of new products out there that are challenging the way our industry thinks and acts.
Many of the items on our 2016 technology list are still very much conceptual and will undergo plenty of testing over the next few years, but that’s one of the beauties of technological advances: many are extremely forward thinking.
There’s a small, but growing, fear in the construction industry that robots will soon make construction jobs obsolete, but, in all reality, the next logical step is for technology and robotics to first enhance the jobs of human construction workers. There is a lot of money being poured into the industry every day, looking for the next big piece of technology to take over jobsites by storm. A few recent examples are a bionic suit aimed at construction workers and an augmented reality smart hard hat. The next idea may make scaling walls at construction sites extremely easy.
Construction document control is the hot item right now with regards to industry technology. With several leading tech companies working tirelessly to convert all contractors from hard copy drawings to digital, the race is on to see who will emerge victorious. Not only are technology companies seeing opportunity in plan management, their also seeing opportunity with the new Windows platform. The Surface Pro tablets and Surface Book laptops have given Apple products a run for their money recently for jobsite use, after jumping 20% in use in 2016 compared to the previous year, according to a new construction technology survey.
As far as technology goes, the construction industry is behind. We’ve done our best throughout the past couple of decades to resist all incoming technological advancements, because who needs some fancy, new-fangled computer machine when you’ve got hands made of steel and a work ethic that could shame an Alaskan sled dog? Well, these times, they are a changin’, and construction companies throughout the world are starting to realize the benefits of using better technology in both the office and in the field.
JBKnowledge, a construction technology company responsible for software such as SmartBid, SmartReality, and SmartCompliance, has recently released their 5th Annual Construction Technology Report, after successfully receiving over 2,600 participant entries.
[guest post] Joining the tech world from construction was a big change. The transition was made more smooth because I went to work at a company developing technology for construction so there were some other construction vets around me. But still- going from working at a homegrown, mid-sized, family-owned construction company in Utah to a tech startup based out of the heart of the tech scene in NYC was eye opening.
World’s fairs have been held in varying locations across the globe since 1844 and are responsible for some of the most memorable buildings and structures that still stand today. The Eiffel Tower in Paris was originally built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge was built to coincide with the 1939 World Fair, and Seattle’s Space Needle was designed and built for the 1962 World’s Fair (you can check out photos of the construction here), just to name a few.
At the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, 16 homes were constructed for display to promote new building products and materials to the fair-goers.
Now that we've got Halloween out of the way, it's time to start eating some turkey and buying gifts for your favorite people. Historically, construction professionals can be difficult to buy for, so we've compiled a list of products that we think would be home runs for that special person on your list or even help you decide what you'd like to ask for. We've got hands-on experience with many of these products and we like some so much that they also showed up on our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide! The list is broken up into four categories: stocking stuffers (small and inexpensive), apparel, tools, and kids.
Construction companies rely on two main assets to get their jobs done every day: their people and their equipment. Without either component, you will not be able to serve your customers well. You wouldn't think of sending your people to a site without proper insurance coverage and safety gear, yet if you are operating your fleet without fleet tracking, then you are putting those valuable vehicles at risk. Here are some ways that fleet management systems protect your assets, and therefore your business, from serious financial loss.
There’s no doubt that drones are the hot technology item for the construction industry. They allow you inspect your overall site more quickly, take aerial photos for marketing and documentation, measure tonnage and volume of on-site stockpiles, and even monitor employee productivity. Now, one company has designed a drone that can safely inspect structures for damage and detect cracks as small as .0039 inches wide (.1mm), when fitted with an HD camera.
One thing’s for sure about Milwaukee Tool, they aren’t satisfied with putting the same tools out year after year. They’re constantly improving age old classics and leading in the innovation of new tool solutions. Their latest announcement is a variation on their extremely popular line of M18 tools.