Is blockchain about to become mainstream in the construction industry?
Blockchain, for instance, has already transformed supply cha...
The construction industry is often cited as one that is slow to embrace new technologies.
Blockchain, for instance, has already transformed supply chains the world over thanks to its ability to provide crucial transparency across logistical operations.
It has also facilitated the rise of cryptocurrencies, something which has received enormous amounts of attention over the past year or so.
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But can blockchain help to transform parts of the construction industry?
According to US firm Brickschain, it can greatly improve the way data is managed throughout the lifecycle of projects, especially when it comes to handover and facilities management thereafter.
Using blockchain, Brickschain says its new products (Brickschain Handover and Brickschain Chronicle) will revolutionise how the industry closes out and maintains facilities.
CEO and Co-Founder Bassem Hamdy said: “This is the first step in building a comprehensive registry of all buildings and their components, globally.
“Pre-blockchain project owners and teams were reliant on a series of excel spreadsheets and old school media to handover a project. Brickschain creates a new data fluent reality.”
Having launched three weeks ago, Brickschain has already signed pilot agreements with four large industry leaders in the US, including general contractors, engineering firms and large asset owners.
CFO and Co-Founder Ron Goldshmidt added: “Our integrations through the blockchain enable connectivity between multiple key stakeholders in the construction supply chain.
“Without this technology, the built worlds will continue to lose 95% of its data on handover. By capturing these lost data resources, we gain efficiencies in asset performance and ROI for our clients just not feasible before.”
With large US industrial players already signing up, the industry is showing early signs of moving towards blockchain adoption.
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."