Real Time Mobile Social Video Added to Autodesk

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Industry News
Real Time Mobile Social Video Added to Autodesk

By Susan Smith

Presentation takes another leap with Autodesk’s acquisition of the mobile social video service, Socialcam, for $60 million. The company allows users to take a video using an iPhone or Android then share it instantly to Facebook or another social media site.

Mike DeLacey of Microdesk, a channel partner for Autodesk that also partners with Oracle and Google, said that Socialcam has filtering and tagging of video, and makes it very easy for a video clip to go viral.

“A lot of the buzz is around why would Autodesk buy them?” said De Lacey. “Microdesk focuses pretty exclusively on the AEC market and even as such I can see a lot of reasons why this is an interesting acquisition for Autodesk. It shows Autodesk is looking for innovative ways to change the space they live with – design space. Autodesk is in the business of helping people design things and communicating design intent.”

The purchase of Socialcam shows that Autodesk recognizes the world is changing and has some very innovative ideas. Autodesk is well ensconced in the entertainment industry and content creation. It would seem a natural transition to go from that industry to extend this technology to provide social filters, which Socialcam is already beginning to do.

Socialcam introduces the Autodesk name to millions of users in a casual way. Consumers and non-CAD professionals who take video clips and share them will now be introduced to Autodesk via Socialcam. This means Autodesk can increase their audience from a finite design community to the entire world.

According to DeLacey, Autodesk with BIM has legitimately transformed the process of designing and building buildings and infrastructure. When thinking of traditional methods of doing site inspection, safety inspection, or structural integrity inspection on a bridge, the ability to use smartphones in this process is key. Now you can go and film the condition of assets, and that information is instantly posted, instantly tagged to a cloud based server and organization server inside the firewall that provides them all that inspection information almost instantly.  The video can be tagged from a geolocation perspective or with metadata about what it is you’re filming. It can be a part of a BIM model,  whether it be the façade of a building or the concrete of a bridge.  The user can instantly relate video of the condition of a steel member of a bridge to a model of that member of a bridge and use that information to inform design or repairs, displaying a very different world of design and construction.

With Socialcam, Autodesk applications will have an immediate ability to link the video and its information. Many processes are being done inside Revit and Navisworks to link the information into those models, whether it be permits, minutes of meetings or RFIs – so as you’re moving from construction to operations and maintenance -- all that information is connected. It seems like a natural progression to have a video done by Socialcam integrated into the model where the user selects the member of the bridge and shows there is a link there to that bridge member. That becomes very valuable from many standpoints. The ability for the video to participate in the design and construction process, first by informing design, where the users can look at site or building, whose façade needs to be rehabilitated and then through the construction process, being able to video construction in process, use it for regulatory compliance, site safety, and/or analyzing construction process to improve next steps.

The real time nature of this video capability and the ability to tag and add information to the video clip separates it from the YouTube experience. It stores it on an Android and the user can email it or connect to his computer to download the video and post it somewhere, as opposed to Socialcam where the user will record the video. The real time video allows the user to automatically post it to Facebook where it shares it with the world.

Every field member in a BIM model has a name associated with it. These IDs automatically create links back to that geometry. The filmed inspection data, including steel beams or concrete columns could be tied back to the model in real time.

Visualization is big in AEC now. Contractors are becoming adept with creating movies of the proposed construction process and what the building will look like upon the completion of construction. Even pre-bid, before the developer has even selected a contractor, contractors are going in there and showing them videos of how they will build their building and what it will look like in the end. According to DeLacey, the ability to film the surrounding area and incorporate your proposed construction process of what the building will look like into a live video, will be a real plus.

There is also the possibility that Socialcam could be used to have almost Twitter like updates as to what’s going on from a construction perspective in a given area.


Autodesk, Inc., has partnered with Lightstorm Entertainment and Weta Digital to develop the next generation of virtual production technology for the motion picture industry.

Autodesk has partnered with James Cameron's production company Lightstorm Entertainment and Peter Jackson's visual effects company Weta Digital to develop the next generation of virtual production technology for the motion picture industry. (Photo: Business Wire)

Lightstorm Entertainment is James Cameron’s production company, responsible for the 2009 box office sensation “Avatar.” Weta Digital, one of the world’s premier visual effects companies, has a history of pushing the boundaries of visual effects and computer graphics with their work on films like “Avatar,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “The Adventures of Tintin” and many more.

CABR Technology (CABRTech) Co., Ltd., the leading building design and construction software company in China, and Bentley Systems, Incorporated, dedicated to providing comprehensive software solutions for sustaining infrastructure, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU establishes a long-term partnership between the two companies to advance building information modeling (BIM) software interoperability in China. As a first step towards this goal, CABRTech will facilitate data exchange between its PKPM structural design products and Bentley software. This initiative will provide increased information mobility among the users of PKPM software and all Bentley Integrated Structural Modeling (ISM)-enabled products, including AECOsim Building Designer – streamlining BIM workflows and resulting in increased productivity and enhanced project quality.

FM:Systems announced continued global expansion, signing on partner Geomap Facilities, specializing in delivering geographic information systems (GIS), Web mapping, geospatial solutions, building information modeling (BIM) and CAFM implementations to customers across France, Luxembourg and Belgium.

Top News of the Week

Luxion, a leading provider of advanced rendering and lighting technology and makers of KeyShot®, the first realtime ray tracing and global illumination program are pleased to introduce KeyShotVRTM an all new, patent-pending technology from Luxion that allows interactive viewing of photographic, high-quality rendered content via the web.


Next month, a select group of construction industry experts and leaders in digital project communication will convene in the Pacific Northwest for the second annual Bluebeam® International Rally Conference. This special, high-octane experience hosted by Bluebeam Software is set for September 7-8 at the Salish Lodge & Spa near Seattle.

The Bluebeam IRC is a one-of-a-kind user event. Not only will attendees learn how industry leaders are leveraging Bluebeam Revu and its integrated collaboration technology, Bluebeam Studio, to rev up project collaboration, they will also have the opportunity to participate in a heart-pounding rally car driving competition.

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