The technology subforum of the BIMForum has developed an interoperability survey in an attempt to get users to begin to articulate their needs.
Although there are many long term initiatives around interoperability, the technology subforum is focused on interoperability today - right in line with the BIMForum's mission of 'make BIM work now'.
Please take the survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JX8Z2FR
Bentley does a lot of amazing R&D, but we were especially excited about what they are doing with QR codes. I think they are sending out some videos, but in the meantime my horrible cell phone pictures and brief text will have to suffice.
QR codes are driving model navigation. The laptop's camera is synchronized to the model, so that as the laptop moves in space (rotates, moves back or forward) it registers to the QR codes and navigates through the model.
Here QR codes on a 2D plan help overlay a model in the camera view on the handheld device.
One thing that I didn't get a great picture of was the integration of all of this into an iPad, using its internal GPS. The model was navigating merely by moving forward, backward, etc. That technology combined with location-based navigation will be very powerful in the field.
One presentation specifically caught our eye - the presenter from Zahner, a BIM-enabled wall panelizer specializing in metal surfaces. The project they spoke about was the Art Gallery of Alberta, where they modeled the wall panels for fabrication and used robotic total station to position the panels. Although that process is becoming more common place, I'm still amazed to see subcontractors doing on projects like that (although come to think of it, I don't know how someone would do it otherwise!). I also found this article on the construction process.
As I was researching Zahner, I found a BIM article on their website. While it could use a little imagery, I love their perspective and the way they talk about the process - probably because it's exactly how we talk about it internally:
"Like a growing leak in the dike of ingrained conventions, the integration of digital technology is dissolving the barriers that slow down the building process. Companies that do not embrace this technology will be overwhelmed by the shift that is occurring."
"Litigious concerns for who is responsible for checking or validation are less and less an impediment."
"You can see it in the eyes of those that work in the process. Being part of creativity is fun and satisfying."
Our team read it and posted some thoughts on Tocci's blog, coolcalmconstructed.com.