Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on some of the construction technology on display at the October 2015 BIMForum in Orlando, Fla. The second piece is about NoteVault, the third about Viewpoint.
“Communication is paramount” on a construction project, says Doug Chambers, CEO of Fieldlens, and he notes that it’s impossible to get any work done if requests for information are still done on fax machines, or if drawings are snail mailed or punch lists wait to be transcribed.
As a mechanical engineer in the field, Chambers became disillusioned, frustrated with the feeling of juggling 100 balls during a project, seeing the same mistakes made and observing the same irritation on the faces of subcontractors, architects and engineers on the job.
So, he waged war and set about making it more efficient and “easier for the guys in the field to do the job and find the information they need.” The result?
The genesis of Fieldlens, a mobile application for iOS and Android that “encourages collaboration and communication.” It works from the bottom up, operates a bit like a Twitter feed and creates an audit trail, Chambers explains.
It lets users capture, communicate, track, and report information about a job. By entering notes in the app, taking pictures and videos, organizing them with categories, and attaching them to a conversation, users can make real-time task assignments, notes of deficiencies, safety issues and observations of progress rather than relying on a lackluster memory at the end of a long, bone-jarring day.
It’s all done on your mobile phone. Certain project parts can be assigned to particular people, groups and companies, giving them access to those items, and whenever something is recorded, those people are notified. They can use filters to see just some items or what’s been finished or needs attention. They can create daily reports, special reports, punch lists and more.
In addition, the app can connect with Revit and Navisworks and now features FieldLens Drawings with LiveLayer that enables integration with Bluebeam software so users can view drawings layered with real-time jobsite communication. And, any developer can get the API to integrate their product into Fieldlens.
Chambers admits that it’s not a “be all – end all solution,” but Fieldlens “puts what’s important for those on the project right in front of them. It filters for what they’re doing right now.”