The 5 tech trends impacting construction

Updated Dec 3, 2012

During his opening keynote at Dimensions 2012 in Las Vegas this morning, Trimble President and CEO Steve Berglund outlined five surging trends in technology that are having a big effect on the construction industry and are moving us closer to the “Connected Construction Site.”

1. Sensors: Sensor integration is an additive area of development and creates the potential for big data solutions.

2. Processing power: Processing power is moving at an extreme clip, largely thanks to video games and the rapid development of mobile processors like those in your iPhone or tablet. “Computing power has exploded,” Berglund said, noting that the increasing capabilities of processors make for greater amounts of software intelligence. He said the “Processing Power Revolution” has progressively impacted the geospatial work process and that “The technology is enabling radically new solutions to be developed in the current time.”

3. Data storage: Larger and larger amounts of data are capable of being stored and are becoming more and more affordable over time.

4. Connectivity: Thanks to the cloud and extremely fast mobile connection speeds like 4G LTE cellular networks, the ability to move data from one point to another has never been easier. Berglund said Cloud computing in last 10 years has made data dumps “trivial”. He said connection speed has progressed at a very rapid rate and “is now at its limit … unless you’re a Star Trek fan.”

5. Visualization and Interaction: “Traditional graphs and tables are no longer adequate to accomodate rich information flows,” Berglund said, noting that 3D Models are where a lot of innovation is emerging. “Making data usable is what Dimensions are all about … There need to be new roles defined when it comes to Data Management.”