The remodeling and construction industries have been stuck in the same, repetitive cycles for a long time. These cycles can make remodeling stressful and burdensome, however, some new technologies have emerged that are able to improve the experience. Take a peak at the technology that is transforming our industry.
There are now scanners that capture 3D dimensions of properties. Expensive laser scanners have been used by surveyors in commercial projects for quite some time, but newer vendors like Matterport have reduced camera costs by up to 90% and built service offerings around them to reduce the complexity. These cameras enable three great innovations:
There are many tools to create 3D renderings of what a remodel will look like, and in the past few years, video gaming technology (like Unreal Engine and Unity) have enabled visually stunning interactive walkthroughs before any work even begins. It’s a lot easier fixing a 3D model than it is to change the design once a project is nearly finished. At Bamboo, our design Pros have created a variety of visual outputs for customers (see more in our portfolio gallery), and we find that most customers change their minds about some elements of the design during the project. Being able to start with the 3D scan data speeds up the 3D visual creation as well – like a “connect the dots” template of the existing space.
OK, you may view them as a given rather than a new innovation, however, smartphones are something that is also consistently growing and improving. Everyday, there are new mobile apps designed for construction – BuilderTrend, PlanGrid, Rhumbix and Fieldwire are a few that we know of. Uber and Lyft needed a pool of drivers with smartphones for their business model to work, and Bamboo is the same. At Bamboo, we use our mobile apps to engage with our customers and Pros, automating tasks and improving transparency.
Up to now this has been more for commercial construction, but we are willing to bet it will enter residential in the next 5-10 years. Drones are getting used to monitor progress on construction sites, so people at head office can see where the project is at. The drones can be programmed to fly the same path every day, weather permitting. Hangar, based in Austin, has been building out a sharing platform and community for drones in construction, including a “drone hailing service” – like Uber, but for drones. As the prices keep dropping and drones get better at avoiding running into things, we think they will end up on higher end residential construction and remodeling projects.
This technology is typically used for building new homes rather than for remodels or custom houses, but you can now get your house built by a robot. The Hadrian X from FBR looks like a crane, but it will lay cement and bricks faster than a person, and work 24/7. We haven’t used them, but we for sure think they look cool.
OK – it’s a buzz term – and for those of you who don't know what it means it's "extremely large data sets that may be analyzed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions". Big data is also finding its way into construction. A practical example of this is Permit Zone, that has used big data and crawling local city government permitting websites to help streamline the permitting process.
We all know that measuring is painful and can be time consuming. Developments in smartphones are bringing virtual measuring technology to everyone. Check out the MeasureKit App on the Apple App Store, or PLNAR based in Austin, TX.
With Internet of Things (IoT) devices (small devices that allow things like your phone to gather data from say a thermometer in your house, or the heart rate sensor in your smart watch) getting smaller and smaller, network-based sensors are making their way into construction too. There are now sensors for monitoring the drying and curing of concrete in real-time (Concrete Sensors), and continuous monitoring sensors and management software (Pillar Technologies).
Straight out of movies like Avatar and Edge of Tomorrow, these are wearable mechanical suits that make construction more efficient when lifting heavy equipment or supplies. There are around 40 companies who are already manufacturing such wearable suits, such as SuitX and EksoBionics. These can be helpful for construction workers who have to be standing all day or for things like heavy lifting. We are excited to see how these suits will develop in the near future.
There are so many innovations and inventions in this space, like self healing concretes for cracks, kinetic paving that harvests energy from footsteps to generate electricity, and 3D printed structures with the ability to reshape or reassemble. Heck, even NASA is running competitions for 3D printed habitats that could end up helping us to colonize Mars.
At Bamboo, we nerd out over new technologies, especially when they help our customers get a better experience. We have taken pride in harnessing the technologies around us to try and renovate the thought processes of contraction workers all around the world. We have taken so many things into consideration to make your construction process as seamless as possible. Take a look at how we bring a lot of these technologies together to make your process so much better
“Working with Bamboo App on our remodel project has been a breathe of fresh air. The use of technology to facilitate the project moving forward while also giving the homeowner oversight into the scope of work, timeline and budget is a true revelation for the industry.