By Steve Rizer
Expect phablets -- mobile devices that blend various features of smartphones and tablet computers -- to play a more prominent role in helping construction professionals manage their projects. This is one of several trends in construction technology that Bridgit Inc. believes will emerge next year.
“Construction professionals have been struggling for the past few years over whether they should deploy tablets, such as the iPad, onsite because of the large screen size or invest in company smartphones, which allow for better collaboration,” according to Bridgit’s new “Where We’re Headed: Construction Technology Trends for 2015” report. “The struggle is possibly coming to an end with the introduction of phablet devices that provide the best of both worlds: a screen size large enough to view drawings and other detailed reports on, plus all the features of a smartphone. This device convergence will help make the choice easier for decision makers designing mobile policies, and onsite teams no longer will need to struggle between multiple devices.”
However, cloud-based software that only is available on tablet devices could be threatened by the move toward larger smartphones, Bridgit warned. The firm urged construction professionals contemplating an investment in phablets to ask their smartphone vendors, “Is your solution a smartphone app, a tablet app, or a web-based app?”
Bridgit also expects the following other trends for 2015:
- Augmented reality and wearables will make building information modeling and virtual design and construction more accessible.
- Near-field communications will gain popularity onsite.
- “We are moving toward truly paperless jobsites, where drawings, punch lists, and change orders are shared from the jobsite to the office using a suite of integrated cloud-based applications.”
To access the 13-page report, visit http://hubs.ly/y0nc-B0.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article additionally contains the transcript of an interview that ConstructionPro Week conducted with a Bridgit spokesperson.