One of Silicon Valley's leading entrepreneur investors - Marc Andreessen - recently predicted that "audio is going to be titanically important" and stated that:
"Speech as a user interface is rapidly on the rise"
For those who don't know of Marc Andreessen, he's a big deal in Silicon Valley, to say the least.
As an illustration of his point, on Christmas Day there were so many Amazon Echo's setup it caused a 2 hour outage in Europe. That is monumental considering Amazon Web Services (AWS) owns the cloud computing market, so there must have been a massive number of units registering.
Whilst we don't know exactly how many Alexa devices are out there, we know Amazon sold tens of millions of Echo Devices in 2018, and just released some interesting stats highlighting how prevalent voice is becoming. They say that Alexa is used millions of times everyday which is impressive, but my favourite stat is that Alexa told 100 million jokes last year.
Marc Andreessen used the raging success of Apple's AirPods to highlight the importance of Audio, commenting that each one of those bluetooth headsets is "a voice in the ear", meaning not only is voice on the rise at home, but it's becoming mobile too.
So what does all this mean for Construction 2019?
Amazon has a vision for Alexa: "Make life a little easier through the power and simplicity of voice" which is something we could certainly use in Construction. Imagine a companion like Alexa, living in your pocket or headphones, that through the power and simplicity of voice makes life in construction easier.
What if you could just ask that companion "What do I need to get done today?" or "Show me my overdue Punch Items?" or "Who was onsite yesterday?" and it could answer you instantly, just through the power and simplicity of voice.
What if that companion could do even more than answer questions, what if it could actually do work for you. Imagine just telling it to "Delay the 10am Cemex delivery for 30 minutes" because the Formwork isn't ready yet, or just telling it "Add a note for today, there's been a delay due to Steelwork misalignment on level 4" and those instructions were actioned immediately and reliably.
Wouldn't that make life in construction easier? I'd go so far as to say it would make construction better, with less mistakes, less delays, and less reworks, and with better records there'd be less disputes. I'd even say it has the power to make projects more profitable, a lot more profitable considering Plangrid's recent survey that shows each year Construction wastes over $200B On Avoidable Mistakes, Rework
So what we need is a Voice Assistant that can understand the peculiarities of construction language and work with leading construction management systems such as Procore. Perhaps an 'AI Project Assistant" such as Nyfty.ai (or as we like to call it "Alexa for Procore").
It's fair to say I agree with March Andreessen, Audio will be 'titanically' important in 2019, particularly for Construction.
Nyfty.ai is available in the App Store / Play Store right now. Our 'Answers' plan is completely free, and for those who sign up to our 'Early Access Program' we'll also make our Premium plans free whilst we're building them.
You can join our early access program here: https://www.nyfty.ai/procore-early-access
You can also use the same link to register your interest on other integrations, such as Autodesk 360, PlanGrid etc.