Trimble expands its mixed reality, mobile and cloud collaboration capabilities.
Among the subjects I discussed with Bentley executives at the recent 2016 Year In Infrastructure conference in London was an announcement regarding an alliance with GIS technology provider TopCon – and whether this changed Bentley’s relationship with fellow US technology giant, Trimble, announced in 2014 (post).
Bentley’s Aidan Mercer and Bob Mankowski told me the Trimble deal had not been an exclusive one, and that they still enjoyed a cordial relationship with Trimble (during the rest of a GIS-focused interview, we talked about ‘location intelligence,’ and they also underlined Bentley’s commitment to open geospatial standards – geo-coordination was a dimension earlier highlighted by Bentley CEO Greg Bentley).
Trimble SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft HoloLens
Trimble has also been holding a user conference, its bi-annual Trimble Dimension event held in Las Vegas last week, and there were some similarities with events at Bentley YII2016. While Bentley was talking about deepening its relationship with Microsoft and demonstrating Microsoft HoloLens, Trimble has launched Trimble SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft HoloLens. SketchUp, acquired by Trimble in April 2012, can now be used in combination with Microsoft’s mixed-reality platform to visualise design and construction processes, say Trimble (news release). It first started discussing this technology in May 2015.
Trimble Dimension also saw the launch of a new edition of the company’s project controls solution, ProjectSight. This product was launched in December 2014 as a low-cost, iOS-only mobile application – targeting users that did not need more sophisticated tools such as Trimble’s Prolog tools or Trimble Connect (launched in October 2014, following the acquisition of GTeam). According to Trimble’s news release, the application has been re-architected to address growing challenges facing construction teams to save time and reduce rework due to lack of interoperability between point solutions. Segment manager Marcel Broekmaat said:
“The unfortunate fallout from the recent explosion of mobile apps for construction has been the creation of data silos. Today, many contractors are reporting that disparate workflows and communication gaps between teams are creating huge inefficiencies and costly rework; and project managers no longer feel like they have control over projects. With ProjectSight, we are breaking down those data silos by providing a centralized workflow that is easy for all field teams to access, update and share critical project data.”
Accessible via the web or an iPad app, Trimble ProjectSight provides design-centric workflows to keep teams in sync; access to centralised data provides teams with up-to-date information to and from the field. Trimble says key features include:
- Advanced markup for both 2D and 3D design files – making it easy to update, reference and access while in the field.
- A new collaboration method similar to text messaging – Team Conversation keeps a digital record of these interactions to maintain an audit trail of decisions made throughout the project.
- BIM workflow enhancements – Integration with the Trimble Connect collaboration platform (itself also upgraded with new scalable data processing capabilities in the cloud to reduce time to delivery of actionable information) to let authorised users access and share detailed BIM files without the requirement of specialized model viewing applications.
- Offline capabilities