Equipment World

December 2017

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Page 66 of 75 | December 2017 67 I magine a time in the near future when your handheld concrete drill contains the entire layout of a job in its CPU and guides you to where to drill the holes. You never have to measure, use a chalk line or set the depth of the drill. That's part of the vision sketched out by Prakash Iyer, vice president of software architecture and strat- egy at Trimble Navigation. Iyer outlined his ideas as the keynote speaker at the Association of Equipment Management Professionals Equipment Shift Conference in October in San Antonio, Texas. These technologies are already here, Iyer says, and big changes are underway as these diverse applica- tions are blended together and supported by the almost limitless capacity of cloud computing. Iyer mentioned four prominent technologies soon to change construction: artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, computer vision and augmented reality. Machine intelligence "I don't like the term 'artificial intelligence,'" said Iyer. "I prefer 'machine intelligence.' There is nothing artifi- cial about it." AI or machine intelligence has been around for decades, he says, but it wasn't until the advent of cloud computing that the data collected by "learning" machines could be processed fast enough to deliver actionable results. "By 2020, a smart phone will have more comput- ing power than today's super computers, and that will enable a lot of AI," he says. The Inter- net of Things, or IoT, is also getting a boost from cloud computing. "Soon there will be 1 trillion con- nected devices in the world constituting the IoT," Iyer says. "That's 140 de- vices for every human being on earth." Computer vision is a technology most people are al- ready familiar with, in that many new model cars have lane departure warnings and front object detection systems built in. "Your car is now a thinking machine, constantly looking at the surroundings," Iyer says. "The new Tesla has eight surround cameras, eight ultrasonic sensors and forward radar systems giving it complete vision." Big mining trucks are already using the same sensor and detection technologies that Tesla uses, Iyer says. 'New construction ecosystems' Iyer defines augmented reality as a fusion of the physi- cal world and the digitally designed world. He cites the collaboration of Trimble with HoloLens and Microsoft, which created a set of goggles that gives the viewer a 3D image of a digitally designed building, civil engineering project or mine. Viewers can walk around inside the digi- tal buildings, see through walls and discover design flaws or conflicts that might not be apparent in 2D drawings. "All this technology, combined with cloud computing will create new construction ecosystems," Iyer says. "It brings designers, contractors and operators into a seam- lessly integrated work process. "Every stakeholder can share, review, coordinate any- where, anytime." technology | by Tom Jackson | 4 technologies poised to transform the construction industry Prakash Iyer, vice president of software architecture and strategy at Trimble Navigation, outlines his vision for the construction industry's near future, at the AEMP conference in San Antonio. A team views a building model with Trimble SketchUp Viewer for Microsoft's HoloLens.

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