ConTechTrio Podcast Episode 25 – Construction Tech News, Interview w/ James Mercado, Product Manager at SKYSITE

Last Friday, the #ConTechTrio aired episode 25 of the podcast in which James Benham (@jamesmbenham), Rob McKinney (@conappguru) and Josh Bone (@bim2thebone) discussed the latest construction tech news. Headliners last week included the 2016 Construction Technology Survey, GE and Microsoft’s new partnership, auto construction machinery for projects on Mars and the moon, a new “superintendent” drone, solar roadways, OSHA’s new civil penalties and much more! Special guest James Mercado, Product Manager at SKYSITE, also joined to discuss document control processes within construction.

The show kicked off with JBKnowledge news. The fifth annual 2016 Construction Technology Survey is closing July 22, 2016! Take the 10 minute survey on how your construction company employs technology and receive a complimentary copy of the 2016 Construction Tech Report. In other exciting JBKnowledge news, the SmartBidNet User Conference returned to downtown Austin,TX! The ConTechTrio recorded live interviews with current clients and partners at the 2016 conference, be sure to go check them out, they’re available on the JBK Spreaker page.

The JBKnowledge Twitter poll question from last week’s episode, “Does your company have a technology Research & Development budget?” – resulted in 67% No and 33% Yes. A new poll question was also highlighted on the show, that’s related to this week’s episode – “Does your company train employees on a document control process” The poll can be found on the JBK Twitter page and participants need only answer the single question with “Yes” or “No.”

In partnership news, GE and Microsoft announced Monday they’re planning to partner on a variety of efforts to help industrial businesses digitally transform by leveraging IoT data with Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform. Also in partnership news, Kajima plans to team up with Aerospace Exploration Agency (Jaxa) to create automated construction machinery to develop construction projects on Mars and the moon. NBBJ released a free Human UI plugin for Grasshopper 3D, which helps you create custom user-friendly interfaces for non-programmers to modify designs and visualize analysis in Rhino 3D.

Superintendents are now implementing a new type of drone dubbed The Flying Superintendent that closely and frequently observes jobsites from above, tracking progress and enabling real-time checks against scheduled deadlines. Interested in implementing virtual reality? Check out this virtual reality guide for beginners, published by AEC Magazine. In regards to other helpful construction resources, released an article on the building materials of the future, which incorporated items such as geopolymer concrete, microfibers and more.

Missouri is testing out solar roadways along historic route 66, made up of 70 pound hexagonal panels with solar energy storage built within. FMI released a case study that investigated the root causes for bringing down construction industry giants over time, and it’s not due to a bad economy. In the world of construction safety, OSHA announced its interim rule that raises existing maximum civil penalties by 78% to comply with a federally mandated rate increase. The National Safety Council has started to urge pedestrians to exercise caution while playing the Pokémon Go augmented reality game, expecting distracted walking injuries to increase due to the game. The Construction Productivity Forum (CPF) declared that the UK is in the lead for construction technology, based on their investment, innovation, skills, enterprise and competition. Wearables were also discussed on the podcast, eMarketer estimated that by 2018, 81.7 million users will own a wearable fitness device, posing the question – can healthcare providers rely and own this data? The geek out product of the week featured on the podcast was NEC’s ArmKeypad that displays a virtual interface onto the user’s arm, with input acknowledged through vibrations from finger tapping.  

In the second half of the podcast, James Mercado, Product Manager at SKYSITE, also joined the #ConTechTrio to discuss document control processes in construction. James started off his career in accounting and didn’t enter the construction industry until he was offered a document control manager position at DPR. After recognizing redundancies and potential for improving the document process, he sought a position with SKYSITE to better the process and the industry as a whole. James discussed the importance of document control and the consequences if not communicated correctly.  He later went on to review SKYSITE’s competitive advantages and what sets the company apart from other similar apps. The ConTechTrio and James wrapped up the interview by highlighting what’s to come for SKYSITE, the main announcement being their integration of SKYSITE ProductLink and SKYSITE InfoLink under one brand.

Tune into the #ConTechTrio podcast again this Friday for Episode 26, featuring Taylor Cupp from Mortenson Construction. Until then, you can catch up on past episodes of our construction technology podcast and even check out some bonus episodes via the links below!

Listen to the ConTechTrio Podcast on iTunes

Listen to the ConTechTrio Podcast on Spreaker

Download the NEW ConTechTrio Podcast App

Listen to the ConTechTrio Podcast on SoundCloud

Listen to the ConTechTrio Podcast on YouTube

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