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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 »

Autodesk Acquires Immersive Collaboration Platform, The Wild

May 5th, 2022 by Susan Smith

President of AECCafe Sanjay Gangal spoke recently with Montreal-based Nick Fonta, General Manager, XR division at Autodesk about Autodesk’s XR immersive experience and the company’s acquisition of The Wild, an immersive remote collaboration platform for architecture, design, and enterprise teams.

Sanjay: Thank you so much for joining us, Nick. So, tell us about Autodesk XR Solutions.

Nick: For sure. Autodesk has an interesting journey or history when it comes to XR. We started in the 1990s with our first project around XR, and it was a full 3D immersive experience with AutoCAD data that people could navigate into, a little bit like a first-person shooter. You could interact with basic interactions with the AutoCAD scene at the time. That was a project in prototype. And since then, we’ve been doing a lot of things, we have a research group who continued testing the limits of those technologies, but more recently, we’ve had a few things maybe worth noting. The first thing being about seven years ago, we moved into the real-time engine business, if you will, with our own engine, which was called Stingray. And we also built a first product in our trying to understand what that meant phase for Autodesk, and the product was called Revit Live. And both Stingray and Revit Live were our first real experiments to try to understand how real-time technologies, VR, and AR can can add value and solve real problems for our customers in the AEC and manufacturing spaces.

We tried a lot of things there, and then finally, a lot more recently, we have products today that support mostly VR, a little bit of AR as well in a portfolio. We have VRED, which targets mainly the automotive industry. VRED is a very high end, high resolution, high level of fidelity when it comes to imageries and rendering. It comes with the collaborative VR experience, so you can bring multiple designers to review, do the design reviews typically on cars, but it’s also used in other manufacturing industries. So that’s one, as a product, it’s been around for about five years, maybe a bit more, and is still around. It’s very successful, we’re seeing a lot of adoption and growth there, and we also have a capability called Create VR that allows designers to sketch and ideate in VR from scratch in a 3D space for a very creative way of transferring your ideas as a designer into the 3D world. Recently we released a capability out of Fusion products, one of our Hero products in manufacturing that allows any Fusion model to be experienced in AR, experienced on iOS with a publish to a USDZ. This is what we have today. This is where this all journey started, maybe a couple of months ago, and I’m sure we’re going to talk more about that now.

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The Leica AP20 AutoPole Addresses Customer Challenges with Total Stations

April 15th, 2022 by Susan Smith

Sanjay Gangal, CEO and president of AECCafe recently conducted an interview with Hans-Martin Zogg, Business Director of Total Stations at Leica Geosystems, which is part of Hexagon. Zogg spoke about the new Leica AP20 AutoPole which is product solution designed to increase the productivity of Leica Total Station users, and boost speed, accuracy and safety on the jobsite.

Sanjay: Tell us about the Leica AP20 AutoPole.

Han-Martin: The Leica AP20 AutoPole is an absolutely unique solution, which we have just announced. The AP20 is an enhancement to the productivity of our Total Station users, and is easy to use. When we develop product solutions at Leica Geosystems, we always want to address actual customer challenges. And with the AP20, we actually address three main customer challenges, which occur when customers are using Total Stations in the Total Station workflow. The first challenge is, when you measure the Total Stations, actually you need to hold the prism pole always vertical. So this slows up the measurement process.

This is something found with every level, is that need to level up the level bubble that brings the bubble into the center so that the pole is exactly vertical and then the user can measure its speed. But it’s also limiting the measurement area, because you always set up the pole or a point which you want to measure and if you have an obstruct level you cannot measure the point. Thus the verticality of the pole is a big challenge today. The second challenge which we are going to address with our AP20 AutoPole is actually the automatic pole height reading, respectively when you measure the pole height, you always need to enter it manually into the field software. And that’s very error prone and can cause cumbersome and time consuming pole processing. If you can actually fix it in the pole processing, you might be even lucky. Quite often, you need to go again into the field and redo your measurements.

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Visions, Future-Proofing and Moving On

March 24th, 2022 by Susan Smith

It is an interesting time to be working in the AEC industry, and I feel grateful for having experienced the past 25+ years immersed in it from an editorial perspective.

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AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 4

March 11th, 2022 by Susan Smith

This is our final week of AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022, which brings us to some exciting merging with other technologies such as GIS technology in the digital twin arena. Construction has been slow to adopt in past years, but the advent of augmented reality is changing that paradigm. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are part and parcel of the digital twin, so we will hear more from them in 2022. And what about construction project management software? Can it become easier to use, without undue training costs, and render a quicker return on investment? Take a look at what these professionals are predicting for 2022….

Read the rest of AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 4

Trimble Announces FieldLink MR, New Mixed Reality Solution for Construction

February 25th, 2022 by Susan Smith

Nathan Patton, Product Manager, Trimble spoke with AECCafe Voice about the FieldLink MR, a new mixed reality solution for construction layout that runs on the Trimble XR10 with HoloLens 2.

Trimble Introduces Mixed Reality for Construction Layout with FieldLink MR

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AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 3

February 10th, 2022 by Susan Smith

For 2022, it looks like construction trends are improving, with expectations high for increased infrastructure spending. Trimble is looking forward to increased collaboration capabilities, BIM models and digital twins amassing enormous quantities of data to provide a more streamlined construction experience, and what it takes to attract the next generation of workers.

Pete Large, Senior Vice President, Civil Infrastructure Sector at Trimble

And of course, sustainability and environmental concerns for the construction industry are an urgent focus for all aspects of the industry moving forward.

Read the rest of AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 3

AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 2

January 28th, 2022 by Susan Smith

Predictions for the coming year are shaped by history and the current moment, and where we see the future unfolding. Both Adam Klatzin, vice president, Business Development for the iTwin Platform at Bentley Systems and Allison Scott, director of Construction Thought Leadership, Autodesk Construction Solutions, write about what realities have shaped catalysts for current and future development.

Read the rest of AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 2

AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 1

January 14th, 2022 by Susan Smith

At the heart of content creation are the machines that we run programs on.

On the cutting edge as usual, NVIDIA presented at CES a couple of weeks ago in Las Vegas, bringing with them a plethora of new developments. Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of NVIDIA’s GeForce business, announced more than 160 thin-and-light laptops using RTX 30 Series GPUs in a smorgasbord of mobile designs.

Jeff Fisher, senior vice president of NVIDIA’s GeForce business

Read the rest of AECCafe Voice Industry Predictions for 2022 – Part 1

AECCafe Technology Wrap-Up of 2021

December 16th, 2021 by Susan Smith

Much of 2021’s important news had to do with response to climate change, coupled with the Covid-19 response for businesses. Technologies have been in place for many years to respond, but the time is now, and actually the time is yesterday, to respond to these critical social and environmental issues. Digital twin technology and artificial intelligence are front and center in addressing these challenges. Reducing the world’s carbon footprint is a major priority for most organizations and technologies are being lined up to address this priority.

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Bentley Year In Infrastructure 2021 Online Aims for “Future-Proofing”

December 3rd, 2021 by Susan Smith

This year’s online Bentley Year In Infrastructure Conference has a somewhat different format, with the emphasis being on the awards distributed from the get-go, rather than at the end of the event. Replicating the experience of finalists’ presentations and speaking to the finalists in person were part of a tradition at YII. Not to mention an awards dinner that we all used to look forward to in person pre-pandemic, in such exotic locations as Singapore, London or Amsterdam.

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