May 19, 2020

American, Taiwanese and Japanese firms race to capitalize on the coming virtual reality revolution

Virtual reality
Tomás H. Lucero
3 min
American, Taiwanese and Japanese firms race to capitalize on the coming virtual reality revolution

The revolution that virtual reality (VR) is set to bring is knocking on our doors. Between now and the end of 2016, three new VR headsets should be on the market. First, there will be, Taiwanese-owned, HTC’s Vive, which has been announced for release by the end of 2015. Following the Vive will be Facebook subsidiary’s Oculus VR’s Rift, announced for release in quarter one of 2016. Finally, the Japanese PlayStation’s Morpheus is slated for release between January and June of 2016. Supporters of VR claim—and considering the sea changes in mobile, there’s no reason to doubt them—that the technology will revolutionize gaming, film, entertainment, communication and more.

By the time the Morpheus headset is released, it will have been about 36 years that VR technology has been pushing to make a place for itself in the mainstream. The first efforts to popularize VR were in the 1980’s and 90’s but its limitations and high cost of production limited demand. Then the company Oculus VR demonstrated its first prototype of the Rift at the E3 conference in June 2012. In 2013, Oculus raised $2.4M, to finish developing its headset, through a crowdfunding campaign. Finally, having proven its potential, it was acquired by Facebook in 2014 for $2bn. Under Facebook’s umbrella, Oculus should not have any more funding struggles going forward. In the meantime, however, HTC and PlayStation have emerged as competitors. HTC will actually beat Oculus at releasing the first ever VR headset and the release of the Rift has a good chance of coinciding with the release of Morpheus. Whether Facebook, HTC or PlayStation—or, coming from behind, Microsoft—emerges as the dominant force in VR, the technology is going to shake things up and consumers will reap the rewards.

In VR, the name of the game is “immersion.” In order for VR to become a truly new and unique technology, it must replace the user’s feeling of “watching” a movie, for example, with the feeling of “being in” the movie. Modern VR headsets are supposed to provide an all-angles visual experience, meaning that when the user turns her head around, she doesn’t see behind her, or just blackness, but—in the example of the movie—would see the logical view of what was being seen in front. Whether VR can deliver on this promise is yet to be seen.

Quoted by the BBC, Director of Games for IHS Technology, Piers Harding-Rolls said: “We’ve got these higher-end devices coming to market, but what we haven’t seen yet is fully-realized content…We’ve seen technical demos or the occasional short level. But the E3 video games expo will be an opportunity for all the stakeholders involved to show off content.”

E3 will take place in Los Angeles in June.

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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.


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