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July 09, 2012
New Tablets Join the Race
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on AECcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Susan Smith - Managing Editor


by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
Each AEC Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the AEC industry, AEC product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by AECCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


Welcome to AECWeekly!

AECWeekly is a news magazine featuring important industry news profiles, a summary of recently published AEC product and company news, customer wins, and coming events. Brought to you by AECCafe.

AECWeekly examines select top news each week, picks out worthwhile reading from around the web, and special interest items you might not find elsewhere. This issue will feature Industry News,Top News of the Week, Alliances/Agreements/Acquisitions, Announcements,New Products, Around the Weband Upcoming Events.

AECWeekly welcomes letters and feedback from readers, so let us know what you think.

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Best wishes,
Susan Smith, Managing Editor

Industry News
New Tablets Join the Race
By Susan Smith

Over the past two-three years, the Apple iPad has become the ubiquitous business tool for mobile warriors of all kinds, and has definitely changed the face of the AEC market with its ease of use and connectivity to the office from afar.

There are a few fundamental things that the iPad doesn’t do that mobile professionals would like, however, and those holes in functionality are just waiting to be filled. One of those holes is the lack of a functional keyboard for word processing on the go – most pros I know carry a netbook computer to augment their iPad use, or vice versa – so there goes the weight factor when considering what technology to bring. You’re also now adding to the number of devices you have to take with you on a business trip, thus adding pounds. And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to stick that tablet in your purse or manbag?

Navigation is also an issue, but Microsoft and Google – companies not historically in the PC market -- are right up there vying to help professionals and consumers alike consume and navigate content and media as efficiently as possible.

 

Microsoft Surface

 

Microsoft Surface

In the past month, Microsoft unveiled the Surface, a PC tablet that runs on the not-yet-released version of Windows operating system called Windows 8. This is a first for Microsoft – never before has it designed and sold a commercial PC.  The fundamental big wow feature of this tablet is a flip-down cover that flips down to become a full keyboard. It also has a magnesium rigid case, a pen that clicks into the tablet and a kickstand that rests at a 22-degree angle that allows for more comfortable video conferencing.

The Surface has an ultra thin design, but still maintains current standard tablet specs such as a 10.6 inch high definition touchscreen, front and rear facing cameras – all inside the 9.3 millimeter, 1.5 pound frame. To me, with its stand up screen and keyboard, it’s looking more like a netbook, but thinner and lighter.

Windows RT, the first version of Windows 8 as it is to be called, will be available sometime in the fall in 32- and 64-gigabyte versions and will be competitively priced with popular tablets. A full Windows 8 version of the Surface will be available three months later in 64- and 128-gigabyte versions. For that version, the cost will be comparable to that of ultrabooks.

 

Google Nexus 7

 

Google Nexus 7

Is there a need for a smaller tablet? Google seems to think so – they have just come out with the Nexus 7, a 7-inch Android tablet that is a reasonable choice if you are not sure you want to buy a full-fledged 10-inch tablet. It is good for social media, email, surfing the web and playing games.

The other factor is that the 7-inch fits in a woman’s purse or a manbag, whereas the 10 +-inch iPad does not and it is lightweight.

It’s debatable how useful this will be for those in the AEC industry, yet it might be technology to watch because of its price point and future possibilities. The Nexus 7 sells for $200 with 8 gigabytes of storage, which is the same price as the Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet with the same capacity of storage. There is also a 16GB version for $250.

The tablet has a 1280x800 IPS touchscreen that has a very good display, with great color balance. The Nexus 7 has very high performance when loading magazines, books, video or applications, thanks to the Nvidia 2.1GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor.

Apple iPad Mini?

Is this really going to be a product? There have been rumors since the launch of the Nexus 7 that Apple will come out with an iPad mini at 7- to 8-inches in size. Although Steve Jobs himself said that there was no market for such a device some years back, and no one would watch a video on a small screen, he still launched video and e-book capability in the iPad (at that time considered too small a device) for such a mythical audience – to a screaming success. And beyond his wildest dreams, most likely, teens and young people watch videos on their iPhone screens, so go figure. This is an audience not yet concerned about the narrowing of their peripheral vision from such close up screen study.

There are reports from techno-pundits that this size tablet is the up and coming rage, perhaps driven by the need for smaller devices that don’t take up as much space and don’t weigh as much.

Summing Up

With Apple, there are more apps developed than for any mobile device created by Microsoft and Google, so that company has a massive head start in the tablet market. The company also has incredible user loyalty, in spite of its shortcomings. Whether more sleek technologies can overtake this head start remains to be seen.

It is also rumored that Apple will be coming up, in true fashion, with a surprise to rival all these other sleek offerings. This kind of surprise is characteristic and expected by Apple aficionados, and may be worth waiting for.

On the other hand, Windows RT and 8 versions of the Microsoft Surface show incredible promise to those in the AEC market who have the need for a high-performance tablet. It looks like the all-in-one tablet is nearly here and travelers may be able to leave their netbooks at home.

Microsoft and Google both have incredible stores of content.With the new Google Play, press materials promise “Now your favorite music, books, magazines, movies, TV shows, apps, and games are all in one place that's accessible from the Web and any Android device.”

Developers will be able to create apps using Microsoft Surface SDK, compile them for Windows then run them on Windows. There are some slick multi-touch controls in Surface 2.0 SDK to use for killer apps. Developers can download the Surface SDK and check out what is free there in the shipping samples.

The next few months will be interesting, as excitement for what the competitors have to offer grows and puts more pressure on the developers at Apple.


Top News of the Week

GRAPHISOFTannounced that ArchiCAD 16's global rollout process has begun. In addition, the company unveiled its BIMComponents.com GDL objects portal, a cloud-based database that allows users to create, search, upload, and download custom BIM components of their choice. 

The release of ArchiCAD 16 delivers key functionality to end users including the brand new MORPH™ tool, an optimal solution for creating custom BIM components, custom structures, and custom elements of the built environment, as well as custom-designed building interiors.  Built-in Energy Evaluation allows architects working with ArchiCAD 16 to perform reliable dynamic energy evaluations of their BIM model within ArchiCAD, using BIM geometry analysis and accurate, hour-by-hour online weather data of the building's location. BIMComponents.com, a cloud-based, ArchiCAD-integrated community database, allows users to create, search, upload, and download custom BIM components of their choice directly within their native BIM application.

Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc.announced that Vectorworks Cloud Services now offers users 5 GB of storage capacity. This increase, up from 1 GB, will allow users of Vectorworks software the convenience of accessing five times more files and projects from any web-enabled device.

On the heels of being awarded Best of Show Mobile App for Architects at The American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2012 National Convention by Architosh, CadFaster announced the availability of its CadFaster|Collaborate plug-in software for Autodesk Revit 2013 in the Autodesk Exchange Apps Store. For previous versions of Autodesk Revit, CadFaster|Collaborate is available on the CadFaster website.

CadFaster|Collaborate is a cloud-based collaboration tool that lets users effortlessly distribute 3D CAD models and Building Information Modeling (BIM) designs for instant review and mark-up with anyone, anywhere, in real-time. Available for a free 14-day trial, CadFaster|Collaborateoffers unique features such as a walk-through mode with inside point of views of interiors and design details.

Acquisitions

Trimble announced  that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire WinEstimator, Inc. (WinEst), a provider of construction cost estimating and cost-modeling software. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2012, subject to customary closing conditions. WinEst will be integrated into the operations of Meridian Systems, a wholly-owned subsidiary within Trimble's Engineering and Construction segment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Announcements

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Building Information Modeling Financial Impacts in 2012: Survey Brief" report to their offering.

Building Information Modeling Financial Impacts in 2012: Survey Brief' is a new report by World Market Intelligence that analyzes how companies in the construction industry perceive Business Information Modeling (BIM). This report analyzes the operational impacts of BIM applications and the expected impact of BIM applications on projects.

Synopsis:

- The report is based on primary surveys conducted by World Market Intelligence accessing its B2B panels comprised of senior business decision makers. The opinions and forward looking statements of 182 industry executives are captured in our in-depth survey, of which 27% represent directors, C-level executives and departmental heads.

- The geographical scope of the research is global - drawing on the activity and expectations of leading industry players across the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and Middle East.

- The report analyzes the impact of BIM applications on project lifecycles, its key operational benefits, and specific impacts on project stakeholders.

Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "The Operational Impact of Building Information Modeling in the Global Construction Industry in 2012: Survey Intelligence" report to their offering.

The Operational Impact of Building Information Modeling in the Global Construction Industry in 2012: Survey Intelligence' is a new report by World Market Intelligence that analyzes how companies in the construction industry perceive Business Information Modeling (BIM). It analyzes BIM in the global construction industry including assessment of BIM, key drivers of BIM, chief barriers to BIM, markets for growth of BIM and operational impact of building information modeling.

Newforma announced an impressive speaker lineup at its second annual user conference, Nugget 2012, to be held September 17-19 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. Practitioners from AEC/O firms of every size including Affiliated Engineers, Inc., BOND, GSBS Architects, Grunley Construction, HTNB, Haskell, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, LMN Architects, LPA, John Moriarty & Associates, PageSoutherlandPage, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, Inc., Perkins+Will, SHW Group, and Skender Construction, will present best practices for PIM and participate in panel discussions at the event.

ARCHIBUS Inc.was positioned in the Leaders quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Integrated Workplace Management Systems”1 report by Gartner, Inc.

As part of the ongoing commitment to the 2030 Challenge, AIA Seattle (a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects) and the national non-profit Architecture 2030 are pleased to announce a new partnership designed to sustain and strengthen the impact of the AIA+2030 Professional Series on a national level.

The AIA+2030 Professional Series is a comprehensive, ground-breaking curriculum that includes ten, 4-hour sessions in the design and technology applications needed to produce highly-resilient, super-efficient buildings that meet the 2030 Challenge energy and emission reduction targets. The program gives design professionals the knowledge and leverage to create next-generation efficient buildings—providing firms with the skills that will set them apart in the marketplace, just as consumer and client demand for energy savings is swelling to record proportions.

Beginning in July 2012, to better serve the national AIA+2030 Professional Series, Architecture 2030, will assume the management and support for the series. AIA Seattle will continue to have its own locally-produced program.

New Products

CAD Technology, Vectorworks distributor in Brazil, recently held an Open BIM tour in major cities across the South American country.

Open BIM with Vectorworksintroduced participants to the concepts of Open BIM and how they are addressed in a real project from concept through construction documents, encompassing the disciplines of architecture, structural engineering, and energy analysis, as well as electrical, plumbing, ventilation, air conditioning, and construction 4D simulation. The inspiration for the Open BIM concept presentation was the Arboleda, a residential building constructed in the Dominican Republic using BIM and designed with Vectorworks software.

Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES) announced an exclusive offer - full access to its VE-Navigator for LEED for free. As a USGBC LEED Automation Partner, IES is creating an opportunity for customers to gain hands-on experience with its LEED tool prior to the launch of LEED v4.

Users of Vectorworks Landmark software will be pleased to know that a plug-in for Benchmark Estimating Software is now available. Founded in Australia in 1996, Benchmark Estimating Software is used globally by leading landscape firms to create accurate and professional estimates.

The plug-in offers a new menu item to the Vectorworks workspace that enables the user to attach a takeoff record to any object drawn in the Vectorworks program. Once the takeoff is complete, the user exports the Benchmark data to a file that can be imported into Benchmark. Within Benchmark, the user creates a new project and runs the Import from Vectorworks command to import the file created. Benchmark automatically generates the relevant sections for the specification and auto-allocates the items to the project and produces the estimate. The library contains further details on the items that will be required to build the elements of the design. Of course, the estimate can be edited, and margins adjusted to reduce the risk of the project.

RevUp Render  announced a new cloud rendering service supporting V-Ray 2.0 rendering software from the Chaos Group. With the RevUp Render cloud computing platform, 3D graphics professionals can utilize the power of massive render farms and high-end production workstations via the cloud—allowing studios and artists to easily scale processing power up or down as needed.

Bluebeam Software announced the launch of its new Revu iPad app. With a tap and a swipe, the app facilitates digital workflow productivity by enabling users to access, navigate and annotate PDF files on the go. With Revu iPad, comments and annotations display clearly and accurately so nothing is missed, reducing the ping pong effect of ambiguous communications. A leading developer of PDF-based workflow solutions for the Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) industry, Revu iPad officially expands Bluebeam’s award-winning platform solution, Revu for Windows, for use in other industries. Versatile from its inception, Revu for Windows is already successfully used in accounting, aerospace, and education to streamline daily tasks and improve productivity. Revu for iPad establishes creative use of PDF technology for digital workflows not previously possible or imagined.

Around the Web

AECCafe Today

Events

 
Use the Power of Autodesk Cloud. Anytime. Anywhere
Date: July 10, 2012
Place: USA


Presented by Francis Sebastian, LEED, AP, Microsol Resources, AEC BIM Specialist and Introduction by David Conly, AEC Account Executive


Good news for Subscription customers: With Subscription you are eligible to use powerful Autodesk 360 cloud services along with 25 GB cloud storage. Autodesk 360, the cloud computing platform from Autodesk, helps you dramatically improve the way you design, visualize, optimize, and share your work.

When: 11:00am - 12:00pm
SidePlate Seminar Phoenix, AZ
Date: July 11, 2012
Place: Renaissance Phoenix Downtown
Phoenix, AZ, AZ USA

 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012,  8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Renaissance Phoenix Downtown 

Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

Build Business: Take Action
Date: July 11 - 13, 2012
Place: Hyatt Regency San Francisco
San Francisco, CA USA

Build Business, the SMPS National Conference, brings together today’s leading A/E/C professionals, decision-makers responsible for bringing in business and building the firm’s bottom line. This intensive  3-day conference is packed with approximately 30 powerful learning sessions, dynamic  keynote speakers, and an array of  networking opportunities where you will make and renew priceless business contacts.
e-SPECS for ArchiCAD Live Webinar
Date: July 11, 2012
Place: USA

eSPECS will be hosting a webinar on ArchiCAD! The integration between e-SPECS and ArchiCAD was announced on May 14, 2012, renewing both companies’ commitment to offering the best software solutions in their respective fields. Architects will benefit from the link between the technologies as it enhances and facilitates construction management projects. This webinar will continue to make our relationship grow strong and help you with any questions you may have about ArchiCAD!

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
SidePlate Seminar Salt Lake City, UT
Date: July 12, 2012
Place: Hyatt Place Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City, UT USA

Thursday, July 12, 2012 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Hyatt Place Salt Lake City 

Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

SidePlate Seminar San Antonio, TX
Date: July 18, 2012
Place: San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter
San Antonio, TX USA

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

San Antonio Marriott Rivercenter 

Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

Bentley's Modeling in Precede
Date: July 18, 2012
Place: USA

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Location: Adobe Connect Pro

Description: Discover the jacket model generation capabilities and how your organization will benefit from it, including: offshore jacket and deck generation, automatic load generation including gravity, pressure and skid mounted equipment loads and code check parameters.
>> Click Here to REGISTER :
SidePlate Seminar Houston, TX
Date: July 19, 2012
Place: Houston Marriott at the Texas Medical Center
houston, TX USA

Thursday, July 19, 2012 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Houston Marriott at the Texas Medical Center 

Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

Use the Power of Autodesk Cloud. Anytime. Anywhere.
Date: July 20, 2012
Place: USA
          Free online webminar - register to participate.


When: 11:00am - 12:00pm, Tuesday July 10, 2012 Where: This is a free online seminar but you need to register to participate. Credit: Attend and Earn 1.0 AIA LUs. To qualify you must be present for the entire webinar. Presented by Francis Sebastian, LEED, AP, Microsol Resources, AEC BIM Specialist and Introduction by David Conly, AEC Account Executive Good news for Subscription customers: With Subscription you are eligible to use powerful Autodesk 360 cloud services along with 25 GB cloud storage. Autodesk 360, the cloud computing platform from Autodesk, helps you dramatically improve the way you design, visualize, optimize, and share your work.

In our webcast, you will learn: - how to securely access, mark up and edit your designs anytime, anywhere. - how to improve collaboration with your team and extend design processes to stakeholders who don’t have the design software. - how to use the virtually unlimited cloud computing power of Autodesk 360 for tasks like rendering or design optimization without tying up your desktop PC
SidePlate Seminar Denver, CO
Date: July 31, 2012
Place: Denver Marriott City Center
Denver, CO USA

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Denver Marriott City Center 

Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

Bentley: SidePlate Seminar
Date: August 1, 2012
Place: Courtyard Omaha Downtown
Omaha, NE USA

Event Title: SidePlate Seminar, Omaha, NE
Date & Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2012, 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Location: Courtyard Omaha Downtown

Description: Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.

REGISTER HERE: http://sideplate.com/seminars.php 
Bentley's SidePlate Seminar, Kansas City, MO
Date: August 2, 2012
Place: Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Kansas City , KS USA
Event Title: Bentley's SidePlate Seminar, Kansas City, MO

Date & Time: Thursday, August 2, 2012 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Location: Kansas City Marriott Downtown



Description: Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.



REGISTER HERE: 
http://sideplate.com/seminars.php

Bentley: MCMC Annual Conference
Date: August 7 - 8, 2012
Place: Overland Park Convention Center
Overland Park, KS USA
MCMC Annual Conference

Overland Park Convention Center

Overland Park, Kansas, USA

Bentley's SidePlate Seminar Louisville, KY
Date: August 8, 2012
Place: Louisville Marriott Downtown
Louisville , KY USA
Event Title: Bentley's SidePlate Seminar Louisville, KY

Date & Time: Wednesday, August 8, 2012, 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Location: Louisville Marriott Downtown

Description: Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.



REGISTER HERE: 
http://sideplate.com/seminars.php
Bentley's SidePlate Seminar Atlanta, GA
Date: August 9, 2012
Place: Atlanta Marriott Downtown
Atlanta, GA USA
Event Title: Bentley's SidePlate Seminar Atlanta, GA

Date & Time: Thursday, August 9, 2012, 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Location: Atlanta Marriott Downtown



Description: Bentley is excited to partner with SidePlate Systems, Inc. to deliver a series of technical seminars for engineers across the United States. Along with relevant information for practicing engineers, these complimentary, 4-hour events will also include a presentation from The American Institute of Steel Construction on the state of the construction industry.



REGISTER HERE: 
http://sideplate.com/seminars.php



You can find the full AECCafe event calendar here.

To read more news, click here.


-- Susan Smith, AECCafe.com Managing Editor.