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Artifical intelligence, data analytics, IoT top 2018 trends

Identified Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based specialist in drone-enabled gathering of data from construction materials production and job sites, projects a watershed year for technology adoption among contractors, suppliers and customers. Leading the firm’s Top Construction Technology Trends of 2018:

Artificial intelligence ubiquity. The ability for computers to learn and detect patterns is powerful. Machine learning is impacting construction project planning, fleet management, and structural damage assessment. What’s new in 2018 is how ubiquitous such learning will become, thanks especially to developers from institutions like Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, who are making artificial intelligence as easy to use as an iPhone.

Internet of Things horizontal integration. Few construction businesses are using sensor-connected hardware. This year will see construction interests place sensors throughout the vertical and horizontal construction space—from boots and hats to tablets and trucks— then aim to connect collected data to every other piece of data. Horizontal integration of IoT stands to make the construction job site as efficient as it has made the factory floor.

Data analytics for Big Data. Analytics is poised to help construction companies do business in a much more efficient way. Data capture has been around for a long time, but understanding all sensor-relayed information is key. Analytics and decision making is easier than ever before thanks to service providers equipped to help construction interests draw conclusions from data. Microsoft Business Intelligence is a good example of wide data analytics availability; any company can use it to turn existing data sets into visualizations, stories, and reports.

Virtual reality + existing platforms. VR will go from a novelty to necessity in construction, a physical business that becomes more challenging if the planning, bidding and building team is not familiar with the site. This year will see VR incorporated into established software platforms, rather than existing in its own silo.