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Who is Vinnie? The backstory on the Newmetrix (formerly Smartvid.io) engine’s nickname

One of my most memorable conversations, while doing customer research before starting Newmetrix, was with the COO of a large general contractor. As we discussed ideas for changing photo and video management, he said “Funny you should mention videos - we just got out of a $4M claim by finding a video that showed what was behind the wall.”  I asked him how he tracked it down and he answered “That’s easy: Vinnie remembered. Vinnie always remembers.”

Vinnie detects missing safety gloves

Vinnie has flagged potential missing safety gloves or glasses. Image courtesy of ENR.

As it turns out, Vinnie was a diligent superintendent who just happened to have the critical video on his laptop, unearthed after the COO emailed everyone on the project looking for it.  This story started a long, running joke that stuck: our AI engines are now collectively nicknamed Vinnie, for The Very Intelligent Neural Network for Insight & Evaluation. Vinnie is the brain behind our internal systems that make it easy to organize, find and share content from both ongoing and archived projects.

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When media is added to Newmetrix, our system places automatic SmartTags on pictures and video frames based on visual and audio content. This tagging system offers amazing flexibility for retrieval – the ability to search for criteria using thousands of tag combinations to pull up different “slices” of your media database, based on your team’s current needs. And it’s all possible thanks to Vinnie.

Vinnie has flagged potential for missing safety vests. Image courtesy of ENR.Vinnie has flagged potential for missing safety vests. Image courtesy of ENR.

You should never have to send a mass email to your project team to search for content that may be tucked away or lost.  Or worse, spend hours poring over files to find what you need.  Everyone needs a Vinnie, and our goal is to make him as automatic as possible. So, we’ve built our own Vinnie that never forgets. Whether it’s for safety issues, inspection, milestone tracking, marketing content, training and more, Vinnie always remembers. (He might even save you millions.)


Written by Josh Kanner

Josh Kanner has been involved in enterprise-focused software startups since 2000 with a focus in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) industry since 2005.

Most recently he was co-founder of Vela Systems, a pioneer in the use of web and tablet workflows for construction and capital projects. There he led the company’s product, marketing, and business development functions. Vela Systems grew from bootstrapped beginnings to include over 50% of the ENR Top Contractors as customers and deployments all over the globe. The company was successfully acquired by Autodesk in 2012 and has been rebranded as BIM 360 Field.

Prior to founding Vela Systems, Josh was responsible for product management and strategy at Emptoris (now part of IBM), a web-based strategic sourcing software company with customers including Motorola, GlaxoSmithKline, Bank of America, and American Express.

Kanner graduated from Brown University and earned an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He still gets excited to put on a hard hat and walk a job.

View more posts by Josh Kanner.

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