When members of our team started Vela Systems in 2005, there were very few applications useful to field workers in construction. Now, we might have the opposite problem; contractors I talk to often complain about “app fatigue.” With such a range of software and hardware available, it’s exhausting for teams to weed out which tools are best for what they actually need -- never mind trying to stay on the cutting edge.
One of my most memorable conversations, while doing customer research before starting Smartvid.io, was with the COO of a large general contractor. As we discussed ideas for changing photo and video management, he said “Funny you should mention videos - we just got out of a $4M claim by finding a video that showed what was behind the wall.” I asked him how he tracked it down and he answered “That’s easy: Vinnie remembered. Vinnie always remembers.”
VINNIE has flagged potential missing safety vests or hard hats. Image courtesy of ENR.
With OHSA reporting that 1 in 10 workers are injured on-site every year, safety is a major priority in the construction industry. We’re thrilled to have partnered with Engineering News-Record (ENR) for the first-ever Artificial Intelligence for Construction Safety Demonstration to explore the potential AI has to help risk monitoring.
VINNIE has flagged potential for missing safety vests. Image courtesy of ENR.
Anyone watching the tech world can’t miss its ever-increasing focus on AI (artificial intelligence) and ML (machine learning). From well-known examples like Google’s self driving cars or Amazon Alexa’s voice recognition, to lesser known applications like the Nature Conservancy’s efforts to count fish, machine learning seems to be everywhere.
From our customer's use of our platform we're seeing how tagging—especially automatic image and voice tagging—is a more efficient approach to managing your photo and video content. It’s faster, easier, and much more powerful than manually searching for images by name or looking for specific content in each image. Smartvid.io’s automatic SmartTagging system gives users the simplicity of doing a “search” for any tag in images or the audio tracks of their videos. These can be specific terms, keywords and markers like locations (e.g., "Main Lobby") or objects (e.g., "Crane", "Person"). Just like Facebook's photos engine can automatically tag your friends, our engine can automatically tag objects and people in your project photos.
What are customers doing with this power and flexibility? In this short blog I'm sharing some of the questions teams are getting answered by searching on image and voice tags in our platform.
Accessing your (photo/video) information where and when you need it
August was another busy month. I presented at Bluebeam eXtreme in San Diego and was interviewed by the excellent ConTechTrio for their podcast on new construction technologies- and that was just one of my weeks!
Since I began working as Director of Customer Success at Smartvid.io, I've done a lot of work helping customers create value from their industrial photos and video. With increasing need for technology in the construction industry, we at Smartvid.io know how crucial it is to instill that value of future thinking in our employees -- Suffolk Construction feels the same way. Priding itself on its level of advanced thinking and innovation, they have paved the way for saving time and money in the field, and they want their newest employees to do the same.
“The future is already here — it's just not very evenly distributed.” - William Gibson, Author
The William Gibson quote above came to mind as I was compiling my thoughts on FutureTech in San Francisco from earlier this month. From case studies on virtual reality to exoskeletons and machine learning, attendees got an end-user-narrated tour of where the future is already in the present. I’ll present some of those examples below.
You might have noticed that we haven’t blogged in a while. Why? Because we’ve been aggressively hiring. The reports are true. It’s brutally difficult and time consuming finding great tech talent, especially in and around Greater Boston. But I’m happy to say that our search efforts were worth it.