Jun 1, 2020

Smartphone apps for construction: The must-have solutions

Construction software
Dan Weatherley
3 min
We take a look at some of the most innovative solutions on offer on smartphone app stores. Read below to learn more about the must-have smartphone apps...

We take a look at some of the most innovative solutions on offer on smartphone app stores. Read below to learn more about the must-have smartphone apps for construction work, from BIM applications to concrete tracking.


This innovative CAD (computer-aided design) application is considered to be the first application of its kind for technical drawing capabilities. The application has the ability to draw houses, bridges and other detailed structures, just like you can with PC CAD programs. The application states that the possibilities with using the application are “endless”. The application also offers many different saving options which are compatible with both the FingerCAD application and many Windows and Mac solutions.


This application makes ordering concrete easier than ever before. The application is used by many ready-mix concrete contractors and thanks to its reliable services and range of features, it has proved itself as a great tool to use and benefits a large number of employees in the construction industry such as field engineers, concrete superintendents, project managers, estimators and many more!


Described by its users as “easy to use, “built for the site” and “lightning fast”, PlanGrid is a great way to keep track of the latest revision of drawings. The AutoDesk-owned application offers a range of features including the ability to save drawings to the cloud and share them quickly and easily with team members. In addition to all of this, it can also alert you when you’re viewing an outdated drawing.


OSHA Heat Safety Tool

Considered as a must-have health and safety tool, this solution offers the ability to send employers guidance about the health and safety equipment that’s required to protect workers from heat-related illness. It offers information on the amount of water employees should drink, the number of rest breaks and more. These numbers are calculated by receiving the latest temperature and humidity information in the local area.

Fast Concrete Pad Calculator

Doing what it says on the tin, this app has the ability to calculate quantities needed of concrete and rebar for a given project. In addition to this, the calculator is able able to calculate the total costs for waste materials, concrete and rebar costs. Overall, the application is designed to give you all the information you need when ordering concrete - quickly and efficiently.

BIM 360

Designed by AutoDesk, the BIM 360 application has a large range of features for users who require efficient building information modelling. The application enables users to access all project documents, plans and models in addition to executing construction quality, safety and project control workflows - all from their smartphone or tablet. In addition to all of this, the application allows users to mark sheets with pins to identify issues, using lightning-fast zoom and pan for 2D drawings and 3D models and view 3D model attributes with ease.


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Jun 14, 2021

XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality

Dominic Ellis
3 min
XYZ Reality to use funding led by Octopus Ventures to springboard into USA and automatically report issues through Assisted Reality

XYZ Reality has announced a £20m investment round led by Octopus Ventures.

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."

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