Only 20 years ago, small business construction companies were determining how to provide employees with email addresses and instruct them on how to use such technology. Small business construction companies used hefty beige boxes with DOS operating systems for database purposes only. It wasn’t until the last decade that engineers, contractors, and architects were able to toss out their pens, notepads, and bulky machinery in favor of automated equipment and digital plan rooms.
Compared to ten years ago, today’s technology is mind blowing, leaving many in the field wondering what the future of construction technology will look like. Let’s take a look at a few technologies sure to dominate the construction landscape in the near future.
The future role mobile technology will play in construction firms is an obvious topic of discussion. Numerous construction software providers are creating mobile versions of today’s popular construction software to run on iOS and Android operating devices.
Recently, Aconex, a project collaboration solution provider, released Aconex Mobile for the iPad and the iPhone. With this technology, construction professionals can capture videos, photos, and audio while on site, review drawings and images, access and manage project documents, edit project information, and sync it with the platform. It is only a matter of time until other engineering and construction software providers begin releasing mobile versions of their technology as well, leaving many to speculate on mobile’s increasing role in construction projects around the globe.
You have probably been to an IMAX movie or witnessed a printed 3D image before by wearing 3D glasses, but have you wondered about a future with holographic 3D images? BIM, CAD, and a few other systems have been using digital 3D imagery for some time now, but printed 3D images are as pricey as they are valuable.
The ability to accurately display a building, development, or city outside of a computer screen on a portable and durable flat piece of plastic has the potential of improving investor solicitations, project proposals, and much more. Not to mention, workers, contractors, and architects will be able to use these images to collaborate and visualize projects without the need for bulky scalable models or having to worry about viewing software files.
Robotic Equipment or Machine Guidance
Robotic equipment, otherwise known as automated machine guidance, is the latest and greatest technology for companies in search of lower production times and costs. The technology can link heavy machinery with GPS systems, meaning they can read latitude, longitude, height, depth, width, and other critical data. This information can be automatically reported to the operator and project managers. In the future, the machines will also be able to report when maintenance is needed, when a project cannot be completed as planned, when they need repaired, and much more.
Now, imagine if this technology could be taken up a notch to where the machine operator is taken out of the picture. Robotic machines are already being used by some companies to perform less complex construction jobs, such as concrete finishing and painting. In the future, it’s conceivable that these machines will be used to prepare construction sites, carry in steel beams, pour concrete, and much more.