BIM 360 Blog

When Construction and Technology Converge – Part 2

11th May 2014
Posted by Shawn Butler

I was checking my iPad to see if my 7 year old daughter left any apps open and what I found really interested me. Along with the educational games that she is allowed to load and play, I found Autodesk® FORCEEFFECT® MOTION, TinkerBox HD, and a few pictures of her stuffed puppy in her brother’s highchair in Autodesk 123D Catch open.

1My first thought was she was looking for something but then I remembered the pictures of “Lisa the Puppy” in 123D Catch. I asked my daughter what she was doing with the pictures and she said, “Doing work like you daddy, I want to put my puppy into my Revit doll house.” Yes, she can draw in Revit!

AVG Technologies research shows that children, age of 9 and under are able to use an app on a smartphone/tablet has increased 38% over the last 3 years. The article went on to say, major moments in a child’s life, such as the first time they ride a bike, appear to be increasingly superseded by digital coming-of-age capabilities like operating a smartphone or opening a web browser. My daughter went on to tell me that she likes her Surface that she uses at school because it is more like her computer at home; “I mean daddy, I like your iPad in the car but my Surface at school does more and my teacher says because we save our school work in the cloud we can work on it from home too.”

2By the ages of 3-5, more children are able play a computer game (66%) or navigate a smartphone (47%) than tie their shoes (14 %) or swim unaided (23%) AVG Technologies research.

I opened up Autodesk BIM 360™ on my iPad, gave it to my daughter and asked her what she thought of this app. She tapped a recent model, started to slide her fingers over the screen, and I was wondering what she was trying to do; then she tapped the “?” and the fun began.


In the middle of all the fun she asked me, “Daddy where is the model at? Can I show this to my friends at school on Monday?” After a lot of explaining she accepted the, “no, you cannot”, because I could not give her a 4user name and a password. Then she said something that made me think further, “Daddy, what good is it if you can’t share it with everyone?” That lead me to think how is the construction industry preparing itself for this new generation that consumes data, trusts the cloud, and wants to share?

 Static workflows that rely on printing and mailing will not work with the next “digital generation”. They are coming with their tablets in hand and are ready to jump in. One contractor stated, “Making the move to mobile was a big leap for my company and this was one of the biggest technological changes we made in the last 10 years”, ConstrucTech. The construction industry must understand; the younger generation that is coming will be coming in to the workforce expecting to connect their devices. Companies have to start the change now. The contractor also went on to say, “The transition has benefitted our firm in ways I could have never imagined.”

That brings me back to Autodesk BIM 360™. When you equip this generation, that is mobile ready, with tools like BIM 360 , which transforms the way construction data is collected, connected, visualized, and managed, you empower the generation that trusts cloud-based software, to manage data, collaborate, and improve the construction process from preconstruction to commissioning.

The research shows that knowing how to use digital devices is almost a birthright to this generation. The research goes on further to say 65% of college students consume their news from mobile devices, 77% use it when they first get up, and 72 % before they go to sleep, and 82% us it for school related tasks, College Students and Mobile Devices.

Mobile is their life style, taking pictures, posting status, and group messaging is what they do and with powerful software and apps like Autodesk BIM 360™ we can nurture these life learned skills to improve the construction process. The construction industry and the software creators have to realize that the app must be user friendly, intuitive, help must be a fingertip away. 

Even though she had no idea what she was doing, she was able to open a model, find the help, create a markup, measure something and move around the model.

She asked me can I send this to my friends or post it where they can see it. So I had to explain the business side of the software and tell her we could not do that just for fun. With that she took the screen shots and shared them out to her tablet so she could show the world.

5The construction industry must realize whether the project is a one-story building or multi-build campus, being designed locally or internationally, mobile collaborative project management is a must because it increases efficiencies and ease of collaboration while lowering expenses. We also know that they must do mobile collaborative project management because the next generation of contractors are demanding it and using these solutions is that easy.                                                                               


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1 comment on “When Construction and Technology Converge – Part 2”

  1. Carolhagen says:

    The convergence of gaming is also preparing our children for future AEC Industry professionals. Take Minecraft, a perfect gaming environment that can serve as a prep class for BIM.

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