Can video play more of a role in virtual collaboration for construction? It’s possible, and don’t think Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif., isn’t at least considering the possibilities following its latest acquisition of a mobile app focused on social video capture, editing, and sharing.
Autodesk has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Socialcam for a purchase price of approximately $60 million; a deal that it anticipates will close in its third quarter of fiscal. With more than 16 million downloads since its initial launch in 2011, Socialcam has been a very successful and popular app for both iOS and Android-based devices in the consumer realm. But don’t discount the possibilities in the business world too—e.g., AEC (architecture, engineering, construction).
As Samir Hanna, vice president, Autodesk Consumer Group, noted in the press release, such technology changes the way people design, engineer, and create projects, and called video an ideal medium for professionals and consumers as they look to communicate and share their design ideas.
But as contractors continue to bring devices to the field that have video capturing capabilities, could we soon see this app playing a role in things like identifying defects out in the field with video, or simply capturing conditions and somehow tying that into a model or some type of project-information system?
At this point it might seem like a stretch to some, but the truth of the matter is the jobsite is becoming more interactive and contactors are readily embracing a number of different devices and technologies that incorporate everything from voice to video.
Greg Smolens, director of IT, Sunland Asphalt, www.sunlandasphalt.com, Phoenix, Ariz., for example, believes part of the cellular boom in construction will be associated with still and live video transport efficiency. He even points to devices like the Samsung Galaxy Note as providing some unique capabilities that could be addressed at the jobsite; things like markup and note taking capabilities.
But, as Smolens notes, “Transport efficiency still needs to allow more picture and video throughput from mobile devices. This will require a 5G or 6G migration at some point to really become as seamless as I think it should be for the ‘nontechnical masses’ to adopt the tools completely.”
Time will ultimately tell for all of this, but some exciting things are happening around video at the jobsite. Imagine the new possibilities.