Bentley “Innovation” Team and the “Internet of Infrastructure”
Bentley Systems exposed their "skunk works" division at the Year in Infrastructure 2013 conference in London. The "Bentley Innovation" team of Stephon Cote, Zheng Yi Wu and Alaine Lapierre comprise some of the brain trust at the company looking at emerging technologies that may offer productivity enhancements beyond what is already possible from 3D models or other forms of visualization. Cote discussed the companies applications of both augmented and virtual reality. The video below was shown at last year's event (and you can read more of my comments from the 2012 AR demo) but is worth showing again because of how AR can offer truly unique perspectives of objects either not seen or proposed.
Wu discussed the use of sensor technology on bridge structures to monitor stress. Feedback from sensors would be used for continued analysis of the bridge's lifecycle and overall "health." Most interesting were his comments on "smart sensing" that takes into consideration sensor placement for effective analysis. He also discussed how infrastructure might be connected with sensors bringing to mind the "internet of things" or more directly, the "internet of infrastructure." Just imagine roads and bridges, street furniture and buildings interacting and "sensing" surrounding conditions (weather, traffic, etc.) to provide not only improved safety but better environmental stewardship.
The group also discussed "directive environments" in the context of point cloud data analysis. According to Bentley's "Innovation" web portal:
Point clouds can be transformed into directive environments that purposefully communicate and describe work to be done in a construction or facility operations scenario. A directive environment says, “Pease look here, and do this,” and acts as an instruction guide to primary work tasks in AEC. This helps users envision and gain better understanding of the work they are doing, and work that will be done.
I had never heard this term and thought it a useful technique for integrating point cloud data into design work flows. See video below:
See more coverage of Bentley's Year in Infrastructure Conference.