DroneDeploy teams with Boston Dynamics to deliver inside-outside view of job site


DroneDeploy, a cloud software company that uses drone footage to help industries like agriculture, oil and gas and construction get a bird’s-eye view of a site to build a 3D picture, announced a new initiative today that combines drone photos with cameras on the ground or even ground robots from a company like Boston Dynamics for what it is calling a 360 Walkthrough.

Up until today’s announcement, DroneDeploy could use drone footage from any drone to get a picture of what a site looked like outside, uploading those photos and stitching them together into a 3D model that is accurate within an inch, according to DroneDeploy CEO Mike Winn.

Winn says that while there is great value in getting this type of view of the outside of a job site, customers were hungry for a total picture that included inside and out, and the platform which is simply processing photos transmitted from drones could be adapted fairly easily to accommodate photos coming from cameras on other devices.

“Our customers are also looking to get data from the interiors, and they’re looking for one digital twin, one digital reconstruction of their entire site to understand what’s going on to share across their company with the safety team and with executives that this is the status of the job site today,” Winn explained.

He adds that this is even more important during COVID when access to job sites has been limited, making it even more important to understand the state of the site on a regular basis.

“They want fewer people on those job sites, only the essential workers doing the work. So for anyone who needs information about the site, if they can get that information from a desktop or the 3D model or a kind of street view of the

EarthCam Premieres Live Camera Integrations for VDC Teams at ENR FutureTech


EarthCam image overlays aligned with BIM environment (Courtesy: Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Princeton University)
EarthCam image overlays aligned with BIM environment (Courtesy: Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Princeton University)
EarthCam image overlays aligned with BIM environment (Courtesy: Hunter Roberts Construction Group, Princeton University)

Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Oct. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — EarthCam, the leading provider of construction camera technology and services, introduced today at ENR FutureTech new live camera integration capabilities to aid remote collaboration and upgrade building information modelling (BIM) practices for the construction industry.

With EarthCam’s new Control Center 8 (version 8.65) integration, either live or recorded video streams from construction cameras with can be seamlessly incorporated with model overlays. Teams can now collaborate and view live camera stream overlays synched with their models. If the live camera view is moved or zoomed in on architectural details, the alignment is immediately updated, and vice-versa. This live camera integration is now an option for all EarthCam’s clients.

Many forward thinking Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) teams are already using EarthCam’s camera systems to synch high quality imagery with their BIM environments. Turner Construction, Hunter Roberts and many other companies are already using EarthCam’s unique and powerful toolset to organize actionable data and make critical decisions.

“I would say I use it on most jobs,” explained Andy Kim, Director of Virtual Design & Construction at Hunter Roberts Construction Group, “For me EarthCam is a no brainer. We have been satisfied and happy with what EarthCam is doing especially with this BIM model integration. I definitely want this on more projects.”

“We’ve been working with the most innovative VDC teams to develop these new features”, said Bill Sharp, Senior VP, Product Development & Strategy for EarthCam. “In response to input from teams in the field, users are telling us that they need up-to-the-minute live data. They’re telling us that this new ability to

Immersion Announces Partnership with ANA Avatar XPRIZE to Support Competing Teams in Developing Physical Avatar Systems


Haptics play a central role in the competition’s challenge; Immersion to provide technology solutions and advise competing teams on the use of haptics

Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ: IMMR), the leading developer and provider of technologies for haptics, today announced its support for the ANA Avatar XPRIZE – a competition challenging teams to develop a physical Avatar System that will transport an operator’s senses, actions, and presence to a remote location in real-time.

The competition aims to realize technology that can bypass the barriers of distance and time to enable people to physically experience a remote location or provide on-the-ground assistance. As of this writing, 77 Qualified Teams are competing to develop an Avatar System with which an operator can see, hear, and interact within a remote environment in a manner that feels as if they are truly there.

“Avatars will help reimagine the human experience, giving us authentic, sensory-driven connections that will bridge our world,” said David Locke, ANA Avatar XPRIZE Director. “In order to be successful, avatars will need to have the full capabilities of human senses, in particular, touch, sight, and sound, to be able to interact with the environment as if the person is physically present. Through this partnership, Immersion can help our competing teams solve for the challenge of touching and feeling remote objects and environments.”

“The sense of touch lets you feel objects, but it also allows you to interact with them, and to sense and react to new information in the environment,” said Dave Birnbaum, Distinguished Staff, Office of the CTO at Immersion. “For a person to fully function in a location separate from their physical form, you need haptic technology. We’re pleased to be able to provide our feedback to competing teams as they develop and refine haptic avatar systems. This competition is an

The One Question From Leaders That Can Derail Innovation Teams


A few years ago I was working with an innovation team at a global financial firm based in Europe. I was helping  the team to prepare for their pitch to the innovation board. In the weeks leading up to the board meeting, the team had worked intently on preparing materials for the members of the board to read beforehand. These materials were sent to the leaders one week in advance. 

In the pre-read materials,  the team outlined their value proposition, business model, risky assumptions tested so far, key learnings, outstanding assumptions to test and their planned next steps. Their hope was that the leaders would read the materials before the meeting and come prepared with the right questions. 

As an advisor, I was responsible for training both the innovation team and the leaders who were members of the  innovation board. We had gone through lean innovation training with the leaders and I was confident that the meeting would go without a glitch. But I was wrong! 

Have You Ever Considered?   

On the day of the meeting, the team did a brief presentation just to ensure that there was alignment on the progress they had made. After their presentation, it quickly became clear that at least half of the leaders on the board had not read the materials that were sent to them before the meeting. The questions they were asking the team were all over the place and showed a lack of understanding of what the team was working on.  

And then came the killer question. One leader piped up out of nowhere, “Have you ever considered your strategy for mobile phones?”. The team was a bit surprised and taken aback by this question. So they responded that they had not thought about this and would make sure to

Skype upstaged by Microsoft Teams


Satya Nadella in New Delhi, India.

Ramesh Pathania | Mint | Getty Images

When Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said last month that it would add a video-calling feature to direct messages, it said it would start allowing users to kick off calls through Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Verizon-owned Blue Jeans.

Skype, Microsoft’s third-biggest acquisition after LinkedIn and Nokia, was left out.

The effort stemmed from a project engineers developed for a Covid-response hackathon LinkedIn held earlier this year. LinkedIn employees use Blue Jeans internally, and they also chose to incorporate “the other most popular services, Zoom and, in our own backyard, Teams,” Chris Szeto, senior director of product, told CNBC. LinkedIn employees worked with the team behind Microsoft Teams to build the integration, Szeto said.

The absence of Skype in the implementation exemplifies the video-calling service’s diminishing presence in a year when competitors became more prominent than ever, as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to connect online. Skype is still around — it’s just been upstaged.

Skype did get a boost from the virus. In March Microsoft said that Skype had 40 million daily active users, up 70 percent from the previous month. But even at Microsoft, it’s not the star. In April the company said Teams had amassed 75 million daily active users.

More recently, Skype has lagged behind its competitors. The Skype iPhone app failed to crack the top 200 apps ranked on Apple’s App Store in August and September, according to data from app-analytics company AppAnnie, while Zoom for iPhone never left the top 20 and Google Meet was generally in the top 100.

Microsoft has brought out many Teams updates this year, including some, such as breakout rooms and support for up to 1,000 meeting participants, designed to help stave off newcomer Zoom, whose usage spiked during the