Bridgit combines armband, smart glasses and mobile construction applications to speed up site-based data capture and workflow.
I haven’t previously covered Ontario, Canada-based construction software startup Bridgit (though I have exchanged a few tweets with them). Co-founded in 2012 by a construction engineer, Lauren Hasagawa, and an e-commerce entrepreneur, Mallorie Brodie, the company has much in common with several other recent startups (eg: Basestone, Cadbeam, Plangrid, FieldLens and GenieBelt), being focused on creating mobile-first Software-as-a-Service applications for construction users. Its first application, Close-Out (available on iOS, Android and Blackberry), supports ‘deficiency management’ processes (aka: punchlists, snagging, defects, quality control).
This week, Bridgit announced the launch of beta testing programme, Groundbreaker, harnessing the latest in wearable technologies (see this TechCrunch article). The scheme is aimed at bringing together technology evangelists and early adopters from across the construction industry and giving them access to the newest technologies and integrations such as wearable gesture control devices and smart glasses.
Bridgit’s flagship product, Close-Out, has been integrated with Thalmic Labs’s Myo armband. This armband recognises hand and finger gestures, offering a more efficient and effective use of applications on Google Glass. According to Bridgit, by integrating the Myo armband with the Close-Out smartglass application on-site, users can eliminate smartphone manipulation and voice commands that slow down access to information and multiple-step processes to input or retrieve data. Mallorie Brodie says:
“The construction industry has already seen some basic examples of smartglass, such as Google Glass, being used as an input device for existing applications. However, up until now, the standard for smartglass input has been the built in audio commands. As we continue to place our primary focus on ease of use, audio input just doesn’t cut it in terms of usability. The Myo armband provides us with the ability to optimize smartglass in a way that makes sense for our users.”
Construction technology leaders interested in participating in the Groundbreaker programme are encouraged to apply online at gobridgit.com/groundbreaker. Space is limited and admission to the programme will be granted on a rolling basis.
Update (21 October 2014) – Bridgit has been recognised as one of the Canadian Innovation Exchange’s top 20 list for 2014 – ie: one of Canada’s best innovations of the year.
Incidentally, keeping my eye on what else is happening in the north American construction software market, I was pleased to be able to drop into FieldLens‘s New York office during a recent trip to the US. Unfortunately, I missed meeting CEO Doug Chambers, but I had a long chat with marketing guy Daryl Lang about the company, its competitors, its funding (see post) and product differentiation.