Friday, 29 June 2012

The Pace of Technology

Over the past few weeks we have seen some really interesting potential advancements in technology. There seems to be a race at present between organisations such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook to come up with the next big thing. They are all chasing Apple to try and discover the next big thing.

It is ironic that for most of his life Steve Jobs spent his time chasing Microsoft.

The Microsoft new tablet for me doesn’t really do anything particularly new and I suspect will struggle to challenge existing hardware and software platforms.

I do think however that the new Google Nexus is really interesting as it sits somewhere between the iPad and handheld devices. The Nexus has the potential to fill a new space in the hardware market.

Where I think the real advance is, is with Google Glass.

We have been tracking the potential of this for several months now and I think it has huge mass market potential but also has potential in the world of the built environment.

People will start to consider commercial opportunities with Google Glass over the months ahead and I think the success of how these are embraced will define the future of Google Glass.

Google Glass linked with Building Information Modelling and Virtual Environments has huge potential.

We are all working hard at the moment to develop Building Information Modelling through the design and construct phase. Once we have cracked this we will be left with high quality data from a virtual environment which has been turned into a real environment.

The ‘Holy Grail’ is to be able to transfer this data into the live operation environment and demonstrate value.

Linking this data and digital environment through Google Glass will undoubtedly provide value for building, owners and operators.

Within our own industry there is a race to find the best use of the data being generated from the design and construction process.

There are already a number of mature providers in the market place who have developed facilities management software which are either provided on-line or on PC.

We have been researching various software platforms and companies over the past few months. It is interesting to see the difference between mature organisations such as IBM with Maximo platform through to new start ups who are looking to find a niche in the marketplace.

At present everyone is working very hard at finding solutions or adjusting their existing platforms.

Fundamentally the starting point must be what do building users and operators want and then work backwards from there to find a solution from the data and information which we have.

Without doubt the next few years will be interesting and it will be great to see some of the developments which are being worked on at present come to fruition.