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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

AECCafe Technology Gift Guide 2017

 
November 29th, 2017 by Susan Smith

Gift Guides abound this time of year, but gifts are only as good as their on-the-job usefulness. What would make your job easier, provide more accuracy and save time and money?

From hardware to services to gadgetry, the AECCafe Technology Gift Guide includes items and services you may want to buy for yourself, plus a couple of gadgets loved ones may be able to buy for you, plus some you may just envision in your wildest dreams!

BLK360

BLK360 3D Scanner

While this product was on last year’s Technology Wish List, I believe it is still a winner for 2017. Leica introduced its BLK360 3D scanner at Autodesk University 2016, which was met with great awe when attendees saw how small it is. It is 6.5 inches tall and four inches in diameter, weighing 2.2 lbs., and has one single button on its housing, giving the impression of a Star Trek device.

But the minimalist design has a purpose: the BLK360 3D scanner is designed to be controlled via iPad, thereby eliminating the need for hardware inside the scanner and relying on an external device.

The iPad functionality comes to Leica from Autodesk, with their ReCap 360 Pro Mobile edition that provides a controller for operating the BLK360. ReCap 360 registers scans wirelessly that have been captured by the BLK360 in real time. Autodesk cloud services make it possible for users to share or transfer data into Autodesk design software for generating 3D models, meshing, and other analysis tasks.

While the small size may suggest the BLK360 has limited range and capacity, oddly enough it is capable of capturing 360,000 points per second, making it a very high quality 3D scanner. The range of the BLK360 is 60 meters, accuracy 4 mm, with several scanning methods: infrared sensors for thermal imaging, laser and visible light imaging, are just a few. In just three minutes, the scanner can capture a 360 degree scan, and also is outfitted for HDR and LED flash support.

The price: $15,990 USD, which will include a subscription to Autodesk’s ReCap 360 software package.

Pix4Dbim Cloud

Here is the feature list for Pix4Dbim Cloud, which automatically processes your construction site data into 2D orthophotos and 3D models. It includes cloud processing, that allows hardware free workflows; detailed editing on desktop, with measurement, volume, contour and inspection capabilities; cloud + timeline + BIM comparison – results are displayed in 2D and 3D on Pix4Dbim timeline where they can be viewed, measured or annotated, and shared.

Annual subscription: $3,500 USD with other options such as monthly available.

URC Smartphone Solution for 3D Scanning

Structure Reports from URC Ventures takes the sensor data from Apple’s new ARKit and merges it with URC Ventures’ 3D reconstruction technology. This marriage is expected to make it possible for companies to develop apps to model buildings in 3D with just an iPhone.

According to URC Ventures’ CEO David Boardman, Structure Reports combines the rich sensor data available from Apple’s ARKit with the 3d reconstruction capabilities of the industry leading mobile phone 3d reconstruction pipeline from URC Ventures.  StructurePro enables software companies to build applications that can be used by construction workers, building inspectors, or insurance claims adjusters to successfully model buildings from iPhone imagery.

To explore licensing URC Ventures image processing pipeline or partnering on the development of solutions please contact Tony Jacobson, VP of Product, (425) 285-4303, tony.jacobson@urcventures.com.

Padzilla Interactive Case is an 150-inch case that attaches to your iPad or iPad, created by Crunchy Logistics.  The case is multi-touch capable and also comes in a 70-inch version. With a fully functioning home button, volume controls, multiple touch points, and camera, your Padzilla will look, feel, and work exactly like a giant iPhone or giant iPad. Because Padzilla is a fully functioning Giant iPad, Giant iPhone, or Giant Android, you have access to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and can download any app that is available. If you’re building your own app, simply load it onto Padzilla’s iPhone or iPad device through iTunes or TestFlight and you’re ready to go.

Padzilla can become an interactive table, be mounted in your lobby, stand at your trade show with a traveling mount, or mounted on a wall. Weighing in at approximately $35,000 USD, it might be the most expensive techno device on the market this holiday season.

IFIXIT Pro Tech Toolkit

IFIXIT makes a number of toolkits for those who are interested in repairing electronics, from laptops, to cellphones and other devices. These modular toolkits will help you build a toolbox that fits your needs. The most expensive toolkit offered is the Pro Tech Toolkit at $59.95, with individual tools like the Jimmy available for $7.99 USD.

I have my eye on some other cool products and services that are currently under embargo and/or set for release in 2018. Stay tuned in the New Year for new releases!

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Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, AECCafe, apps, architecture, Autodesk, BIM, building information modeling, civil information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, data archiving, engineering, field, file sharing, holiday announcement, interactive display, lidar, mobile, point clouds, reality capture, rendering, virtual reality, visualization

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