News that AI-powered safety, quality, and productivity platform,Newmetrix has just closed a $5 million round led by Sony Innovation Fund and AI Capital Group, adds further evidence to three trends we have been watching and discussing for the past few years at BuiltWorlds. These trends have profound implications for the next leg of technology development and commercialization within the construction industry, and they point, without question, to a period of much more profound transformation than the industry has experienced in the past decade. If the past decade was about moving to the cloud and mobile devices as we digitize workflows that pretty much mirror how the industry has historically approached business, the next wave of bigger investment in more sophisticated technology speaks to more fundamental and transformative changes to how the business is approached. Here are the trends we see underscored in this latest round into Newmetrix:
Trend Number One: Artificial Intelligence Is Becoming the Norm
When Newmetrix debuted Vinnie's ability to recognize images of people not wearing hard hats or not being tied off at ourSummit back in 2017, people were sent scrambling to find the definition of Machine Learning, as attendees questioned the value of spending hours loading videos from job sites into an app only to be told someone wasn’t wearing a hard hat. Still, Josh Kanner implored the audience to understand that “we don’t view our mission as simply creating a means to locate imagery, but using speech and automatic recognition to improve safety and productivity.” While a few other players like Alice Technologies, Evercam, and Pype were some examples of startups leveraging AI from earlier in the decade, a quick scan of the BuiltWorlds Company Directory reveals no fewer than two dozen companies founded in the past five years indicating they leverage artificial intelligence.