OpenSpace is an AI framework that uses hardhat mounted cameras to record what's happening on a job site over time.
As construction workers navigate the site, cameras capture images and OpenSpace software automatically stitches it together, creating a navigable virtual world that spans the duration of the project.
"Office workers have had the ability to create, edit, share, and revisit their work for a long time, but that has never truly existed in the construction industry," explains Jeevan Kalanithi, co-founder of OpenSpace. "That's because creating, storing, searching, localizing, and indexing visual data from the real world has never really been possible until now."
Project managers, clients, and inspectors on a site using the company's framework can digitally stroll through a job and easily move backward in time to track progress throughout a build.
OpenSpace, which has secured about $3.5 million in funding from Lux Capital, Foundation Capital, the National Science Foundation, and others, is one of the players in a broader trend occurring in the $10 trillion global construction industry, which has been operating with largely the same technology for the better part of a century.
That underlying technology seems to be changing, and fast.
Legacy players like Caterpillar are now embracing automation technology for heavy equipment that hasn't seen a major redesign in decades. Innovative companies like Utah-based Sarcos are introducing tools like intuitive robotic exoskeletons that enable workers to more dexterously manipulate heavy loads.
Artificial Intelligence has been another area of rapid growth.
In January, I reported on a company called Doxel, which uses drone-mounted 3D vision and artificial intelligence to measure productivity on job sites and alert managers when progress falls behind schedule.