This past week was a big one for technology targeted at infrastructure. Major announcements from a few heavy hitters in the tech space look to push the boundaries forward for designing and building next-generation infrastructure, all around the idea of intelligent modeling and mobility.

Bentley Systems Inc., www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa., announced the next generation of its i-models as well as its new Navigator Mobile app this week. Built to provide users with the ability to review 3D models using the iPad, Navigator Mobile allows for the online or offline navigation of 3D architecture, engineering, and construction models using i-models.

Through the app users are offered 3D model scale and fidelity for dynamic review on mobile devices. This is enabled by its use of i-models as it allows 3D models and related documents to be packaged together for use on mobile devices. Through the use of SQLite software library, this next generation of models has the ability to deliver on multiple types of mobile devices.

So, what is new with this latest version? According to Harry Vitelli, vice president, construction and field products, Bentley, while the first generation contained multiple functional requirements and the ability to normalize AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) data for accessibility through office technologies and enterprise connections, this latest generation has the technology capabilities that allow such high-end info to run on mobile devices. In particular, says Vitelli, it is underlying an i-model with the power of SQLite, which is ideal to fit the challenges of industrial-strength, ‘purpose-built’ apps for mobile infrastructure professionals.

On the whole, this latest release extends the value for ProjectWise Passport holders by improving workflow efficiencies and providing additional opportunity for project reviews. Perhaps most innovative is the fact users can leverage all the great motion-based technology contained with a device like the iPad in order to better navigate a model. Such as, for instance, the ability to navigate architectural, engineering, or construction models in 3D using touch gestures to walk, fly, zoom, and analyze objects in the model.

In addition, the devices allows them to review properties of a selected object, query to find similar objects, filter to hide or display objects that match specific properties, and measure distances between objects, among other tasks.

Another infrastructure-related release this week comes from Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif. The company announced its 2014 portfolio of software and cloud services for civil infrastructure planning, design, construction, and management all around the idea of BIM (building information modeling) for infrastructure.

Chief among the highlights to the latest release is Autodesk InfraWorks software and Autodesk ReCap software. Formerly known as Autodesk Infrastructure Modeler, this software provides 3D modeling and visualization technology for desktop, Web, and mobile. According to the company, such functionality goes beyond traditional computer-aided drafting-based workflows by enabling civil engineers and planners to design within the context of the real-world environment.

Additionally, new road and highway design capabilities are designed to help civil engineers and designers enhance the design process and reduce costs by tapping into a new cloud-based service that automates engineering calculation and designs. With this, engineers and designers can develop engineering models in 3D right from the beginning in order to confirm scope, budget, and schedule.

According to Autodesk, these capabilities are the first in a series of modules designed to expand the functionality of Autodesk InfraWorks for select industry segments.