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:
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.
Concrete can adapt to any shape its formwork calls for while it’s being placed. While it’s POSSIBLE to make intricate designs with the material, it’s not always easy or practical to do so. Researchers from ETH Zurich have designed a new method of forming and placing an ultra-thin, curved concrete roof system that they plan on installing on a construction project next year.
The immense technological growth the construction industry has seen in the past decade has been a refreshing change, to say the least. Fax machines, large filing cabinets, and redundant work are slowly becoming a thing of the past. More importantly, software developers are actually paying attention to the construction industry, making our lives collectively easier, while giving us more data to make better decisions. Bluebeam, maker of one of the industry’s favorite construction document software, has recently announced a wireless digital sensor specifically for under construction buildings.
In July, we shared an article about a new augmented reality app that would allow iPhone and iPad users to use their devices’s camera as a tape measure. That app, Air Measure, is now available for download after Apple’s iOs 11 release.
As electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular around the world, researchers are trying to find ways to adapt the technology to heavier duty applications. Due to the large size of projects and amount of money in the industry, the mining industry has seen its fair share of technological advancement. Several manufacturers, like Komatsu, have developed and released driverless dump trucks for mining operations in the past few years. A team of companies in Switzerland is now working on a gigantic battery powered dump truck that will be tested for 10 years.
CAT, the name synonymous with heavy construction equipment across the world, has been slowly adding technology to its brand over the past year. Early last year, the company announced it would be releasing a rugged smart phone, which was also the first ever to have a built-in thermal imaging camera. This year, they’re releasing their first step into the world of tablets.
Video feeds on a construction site are not only great for timelapse videos, they can potentially help stop intruders who enter your site.
On August 18th, around 200 new tools were showcased at the annual DeWalt Media Event. This particular event was held in Nashville, Tennessee, where you can’t escape country music no matter how hard you try.
Below are what we thought were the highlights of the event. Let us know what new release you’re most excited about!
Falls from height is one of the leading causes of death among construction workers and ladders are a major contributor to that number. According to the CDC, falls from ladders caused 64 fatalities and 11,500 injuries in the construction industry alone in 2011. There are many things ladder users can do to make their work safer, like setting it at proper angles on level ground, checking for damage, and maintaining 3 points of contact, among others. One technology company is trying to take some of the thinking out of ladder set up.
Almost exactly 2 years ago, we shared details about an autonomous, driverless construction work zone vehicle that would be the first to hit US streets of its kind. That vehicle is gearing up to hit US streets as the Colorado Department of Transportation has teamed up with its developers.