BIM: Gaming Down Barriers

I had the opportunity to experience the gamers device, the Oculus Rift, at a recent Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club event on BIM, courtesy of Vin Sumners from Clicks and Links, taking a virtual tour through the Manchester Town Hall linked to the BIM model for that project.

Interesting to see then that Second Life friend, Jon Brouchoud at Arch Virtual is pushing commercial boundaries of BIM and Oculus Rift in his article BIM Goes Virtual: Oculus Rift and virtual reality are taking architectural visualization to the next level 

“The first thing people do when they put on the Rift is to reach out trying to touch the walls or furniture they see in the virtual model, even it doesn’t really exist,” said Jon Brouchoud, “It’s an almost involuntary reaction, which I think that says a lot about how immersed they are. They really do feel as if they’re occupying a completely different place.”

Rift-side-by-1024x306

(Jon presented live from the USA / Second Life at the first Be2Camp event way back in 2008, there is a link to Jon’s Be2camp presentation on slideshare here)

At the time I tried the Oculus Rift I commented that we can add much more data, augmented reality, into the virtual experience, for example when touching walls, if we could see for example the sustainability data of components, health data, manufacturing data, time to replacement and cost data.

But more importantly such gaming devices can make construction and BIM exciting for all generations, fostering greater collaboration across disciplines in both a virtual and real environment – Gaming Down Barriers.

Gaming Down Barriers is the title of a Innovation Voucher funded report produced by Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson for Clicks and Links which should be publicly available in the near future. The report makes the argument that BIM through gaming could break down collaborative working barriers as did the original Building Down Barriers programme.

be2camp north shapes up

www-constInterested in the Built Environment?  Not sure about Web 2.0, social media, blogs, Twitter and the like?

Then Be2camp North is the event for you.

Following on from the world’s first Web 2.0 construction event, in London in October 2008, Be2camp North in Liverpool on 15 May brings together people interested in how Web 2.0 can help industry professionals create a more sustainable built environment. From using social media for marketing to GIS, BIM and virtual worlds, Be2camp will stimulate and challenge how you use the web. Find out more at http://www.be2camp.comJust looking at the potential scope and range of topics for the up coming be2camp north event in Liverpool on the 15th May.

be2camp

The topics and themes for the day are shaping up as follows?  Where else will you be able to get the following for ‘free’ ?

Register Here

Topics:

Ada Lovelace Day – Women and technology (Suw Charman-Anderson – via Skype)

Geographical information

  • Geographical information and urban design (Rollo Home)
  • Earth Exchange, map mashups for construction (Alex Albon)
  • Geo-caching – talk and game (Martin Brown and others)

Second Life + other Virtual Worlds

  • Wikitecture – a Second life view from USA (Keystone Bouchard)
  • Pivote – Second Life emergency training (Dave @ Daden)
  • Maybe a Second Life contribution from Leeds? (Angrybeth)
  • SL Pennine Lancs (elevate) visualisation (Jeff Smithson)
  • Sustainability Now 2009: lessons from the latest virtual exhibition (Phil Clark / UBM?).

Ubiquitous computing

  • Arduino session (Amon Katz)
  • The internet of things – Adrian McEwen

BIM

Other topics

  • Web 2.0 and construction PR and marketing (Paul Wilkinson)
  • Social media guide for AEC people: out of beta (Pam Broviak)
  • Online communities: the Constructing Excellence collaborative working champions (Martin Brown / Paul Wilkinson)
  • Bazaart: Street art and urban design (Daniel Gilbert)
  • Possible Passiv Haus link with San Fransisco
  • CWC recession survival guide launch?
  • Kalexo: new levels of interaction in construction collaboration (TBC – possibly input from California)

What would you like to see?  Please use the be2camp discussion forums feature to:

  • volunteer to speak on an existing topic/idea
  • suggest additional or alternative speakers
  • suggest additional or alternative topics
  • nominate speakers where nobody is currently listed
  • volunteer a presentation, a story or anecdote of your own

Background:

The Be2camp concept started as a Twitter conversation between Martin Brown and Paul Wilkinson, following Martin’s attendance at Barcamp-type events, suggesting we do ‘something’ for the (UK) built environment. This discussion was picked by Jodie Miners in Australia, through Twitter, and through conversations within Second Life with Pam Broviakfrom Illinois, USA. The timing of Be2camp 2008 was fixed to coincide with Jodie’s visit to the UK, while Pam helped coordinate Be2camp’s Second Life activities. So now you know who to contact, praise or blame!

on web awareness

Paul at ExtranetEvolution AEC conferences, content and ‘unconferences’and Jodie at I have no opinion world architecture festival have commented recently on the low awareness and application of web technologies in the AEC and conference world.  As one would expect following previous posts here, and as a founder to be2camp, I would share the same views, reinforced with recent observations.

I was amazed at the low awareness of web applications recently as I presented a session entitled from Facebook to BIMStorms. I knew I wasn’t going to complete the journey planned through the presentation when only 20% of the 70 people there used Facebook, and when asked if they used Facebook for anything other than social the response was nil, a couple on CAD, but then blanks on twitter, linkedin, BIM, etc. I couldn’t mention Second Life …  And these were 70 of our next generation managers – being engaged in HNC or HND courses at the moment.

Hopefully it has led to working with colleges on raising awareness.

Another day, another course, a different set of organisations – 6 small contractors, discussion on use of IT on sites to enable access to knowledge, communication etc.  Not one would allow laptops or computers on site, quoting a lack of trust of their staff to use responsibly and a security / theft issue.

A reminder that its 80% people management and 20% ICT ???  But maybe the 20% is taking the blindfold off?

Oh and has anyone tried to book a venue for an unconference with open wifi or good connectivity and  power for people to use laptops?  I find this frustratingly difficult as I seek a venue for a half day event next month. Conference organisers are way behind this need. And who feels awkward in using a laptop to make notes or blog, or to use the phone to tweet at a conventional conference?

For many conventional conference attendees, the idea of streaming presentations online will be a novel concept; laptops and mobile phones should remain switched off during sessions; and ‘social networking’ means wine and canapes – not blogs and tweets

And as I write this I see twitter messages from Mel and Paul on identifying who within the built environment sector are really embracing web2.0 technologies, as Mel says who is walking their talk? My reposnse would be:those who engaging with initaiatives such as be2camp, like the Constructing Excellence Collaborative Working Champions who are stepping forward to explore web2.0 in a days workshop in January led by Paul and myself. like the use of Twiiter by Constructing Excellence.  Yes early days but ….

be2camp count down – collaboration with web2.0

With three days to go. this post looks at one of the streams at be2camp. collaborating with web2.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

From mid morning through to the close of the main session, the following topics will, may, be covered:

As with all unconference barcamps this will evolve and develop and allows for new topics and presentations to be set up on the day – what would you like to see or share to inspire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com

be2camp count down

With only four days until be2camp meets in London, this blog over the next few days will feature updates of what you can expect, and profile some of the events, speakers, and our sponsors.

More information and details of registration (its free to register) can be found at http://www.be2camp.com

OK, the initial ‘keynotes’ are shaping up like this, so far…

09:30 Registration and networking

10:00 Welcome, introductions, housekeeping, sponsors, be2camp story,

People, planet, productivity

Death to Email! (Suw Charman-Anderson)

Free our data (Charles Arthur, The Guardian)

Free our mapping response – data  (Live from Angus Scown, Australia)

11.00  Coffee then 3 streams of concurrent sessions

13:45 – AEC Design in Second Life, Aloft Hotels (Live from Second Life Jon Brouchoud)

14.00 then 3 streams of concurrent sessions, including live link ups from Second Life

17:30 Pecha Kucha

Remember be2camp is based upon the barcamp, unconference form of event, so things will evolve and change on the day – what would you like to see or share to inprire others?

Keep in touch via twitter on @be2camp or the be2camp website

be2camp founders and un-organisers are: martin brown, paul wilkinson, jodie miners, pam broviak

Contact be2camp via be2camp@gmail.com

Next blog will cover …. Stream One ….Collaborating through Web2.0

on sustainability now

Last Tuesday I attended the Building Sustainability Now conference event, from my study, popping out from the event and discussions only to deal with phone calls and other work issues. I also made a good number of new contacts, either through email address exchange or social connections such as Linkedin. Oh and I didn’t use the car on that day.

Phil Clark has posted lessons learnt from the event, which as Paul Wilkinson points out must be seen as a success judging by the numbers registered and attended.  Phil has asked for ‘delegates’ feedback so here are my two pennies:

I loved the chat room in the lounge but would agree that there needed to be themed areas, as sometimes the debate was hard to follow.  The excellent moderator services of carbon coach Dave Hampton kept the discussion alive, particularly on the climate change debate with Brad, which must go as a classic on on-line forum debates.

However, being used to other forms of online events, I found the interface too static and became tiring too quickly.  For example compare with Second Life events where there is action, avatars moving, places to virtually visit, camp fires to sit around and discuss issues, the opportunity to talk in open chat or on a one to one or in a group, to pass information and links to others etc make it a more ‘live’ experience.

The question has been asked-  is the industry ready for Web 2.0 ?.  I would answer yes, but needs a little nudge and encouragement to join in. The increase in information that is communicated through web2 is increasing all the time, and the cost of attending real events (fees, travel and time away from office) will improve the take up I am sure.  And again I must plug the up and coming October Be2Camp event, which will have introduction sessions to web2.0 as well as exploring the leading edge of web2 and possibly web3 communications.

As to costs, I had a choice of event to attend last Tuesday – Sustainability Now – free and I could participate in my own time in my own office, or a Business in Virtual Worlds event – cost £599, travel to London, and a fixed agenda of speakers. Its a no brainer.

Outside of the event, I found it fascinating the twitter conversations that were taking place, on themes and discussions from within the event, illustrating the use of Web2. For example I was able to send a twitter message to Rob Annable, (who was online at the event, but not in the lounge when the discussion was praising his eco-terrace project), suggesting he pop back into the lounge.  Reinforcing my view Twitter stands to be the next email and texting killer application.

I did have technical problems in viewing the presentations – Real Player playing up this end – but question why recorded events where played at set times – maybe these should be available on demand

I like the exhibitors place but found a number of questions emailed to the stands still remain unanswered.

As to more international input, there has to be a programme that caters for international time zones to attract.  Nothing worst that turning up at an event real or virtual to find everyone has gone home.  In fact this may be one of the work-life balance issues that virtual events need to address.  I sometimes find myself on line in Second Life debates at 2 in the morning – because they are held in the sunny Californian afternoon time zone.

But saying all that it was an excellent event Phil, well done – and I hope that it will be repeated.