Last month, software firm Autodesk invested $7 million in the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup Smartvid, according to the Engineering Record.
Smartvid CEO Josh Kanner founded the firm in 2015, recruiting a team of machine-learning experts and software engineers to develop an application capable of automatically pinpointing and tagging workplace hazards, monitoring quality and tracking project progress via still photos and video.
The organization rolled out its primary product soon after its founding. The system, bolstered by an artificial intelligence engine named Vinnie, can analyze images collected via smartphones, drones or conventional camera equipment. With every scan, Vinnie’s neural networks grow stronger and his knowledge base bigger. Users can tap into this wealth of data via simple text or voice queries, according to the North Bay Business Journal.
Smartvid landed its first high-profile client, the Boston-based building firm Suffolk Construction, in 2015, the Boston Business Journal reported.
“We are generating more and more high-quality video and photography content from our project sites through the use of mobile devices, drones and GoPro cameras,” Corren Collura, chief information officer for the construction company, told the Boston Business Journal. “By leveraging Smartvid, we can handle the massive amounts of data we are generating, but most importantly we can save significant time in the field, collaborate in new ways with our partners, and provide a superior experience for our clients.”
According to Construction Dive, Smartvid gained another established customer in November of last year: Skanska USA. The equipment maker established the partnership via its Innovation Grant Program, an in-house technology incubator.
Moving innovation forward
Autodesk’s recent investment makes sense in the context of these developments, as Smartvid is on track to make a significant impact in the construction industry. Additionally, the industrial software company has dealt with Smartvid CEO Josh Kranner in the past. In 2012, Kranner sold Autodesk the field management solution that would later become BIM360 Field.
Of course, Smartvid is significantly more advanced than that system. And now, the application will grow even stronger, as it will have access to millions of images stored in the BIM360 Field servers.
“It’s a very strategic partnership,” Sarah Hodges, director for the construction business division at Autodesk, told the Engineering Record. “It’s not just for the now. It’s really about the more long-term strategic gains we can provide to our customers.”