Highlights from Waypoint 2021, OpenSpace’s First Annual User Summit

On November 2, OpenSpace was joined by over 250 construction professionals from across the industry and across the world for our first annual virtual user conference, titled Waypoint 2021. This interactive event provided an opportunity for the OpenSpace team to announce new products and features, share best practices from customers, and engage in conversation with members of the community. 

If you weren’t able to attend Waypoint, here’s a recap of all the highlights from the conference:

New product announcements

The opening session provided the perfect opportunity to share the latest news on our products and tools designed exclusively for the AEC industry. OpenSpace CEO Jeevan Kalanithi opened the summit by welcoming attendees and encouraging members of our growing community to use the event as an opportunity to learn from each other. 

Next, Jessica Stewart, Product Manager at OpenSpace, kicked off the day’s product announcements, starting with the official launch of 3D Scans, which is now the industry’s fastest way to get a measurable three-dimensional scan within two inches of accuracy. If you are an OpenSpace customer, all you need is a LiDAR-enabled tablet or smartphone to scan your jobsite — and processing only takes a few minutes. 

Next came some exciting news about ClearSight Progress Tracking, an OpenSpace product that uses AI to convert 360° images into objective estimates of progress. What makes these progress estimates so powerful is that they are mapped directly to floor plans and displayed in the OpenSpace dashboard in order to give teams greater visibility into how the project is built. These progress estimates are available for a number of trades, including walls and ceiling, mechanical, electrical, and concrete.

Jess Lam, OpenSpace Director of Product, gave attendees an overview of ClearSight, showing how the product can enable teams to track the status and progress of all project conditions, including materials like drywall, on each level, with a high degree of accuracy. Jess Lam also announced additional trackers are coming soon, starting with finishes. ClearSight is already the fastest, most scalable automated tracking solution on the market, and it will continue to improve in 2022 with new trackers and new optimizations.

To round out the session, Nikiya Crisostomo, Community Manager, presented the brand new OpenSpace Community, an online resource built by and for construction professionals. Nikiya explained the tools and resources available through the community, like Q&A forums, issue-specific groups, and direct access to OpenSpace experts. 

The team was also joined by Richard Acton-Maher, Senior Product Manager. Together, the Product Team shared quite a few additional new and improved tools that will help OpenSpace customers in 2022 and beyond, including: 

  • A PlanGrid integration, allowing customers to push field notes from OpenSpace directly into tasks and RFIs, serving users as a centralized destination for all their project management content.
  • Field Note markups, which enable you to call attention to specific issues found in your photo, sketch the correct orientation, or indicate where something should be installed. 
  • New admin reporting solutions, providing customers the real-time ability to know who on their team is using OpenSpace and how.

Customers share how they get the most use out of OpenSpace on projects

In the spirit of collaboration and knowledge sharing, Waypoint’s second session highlighted how OpenSpace’s power users maximize value from our products. The panel included representatives from Swinerton, Turner Construction, and Suffolk Construction, in a discussion moderated by Gabe Munes, Solutions Engineer at OpenSpace.

The panelists each shared their experiences incorporating OpenSpace into their daily work, speaking candidly about how they use OpenSpace at almost every stage of building a project. Some key points from the discussion included: 

  • Spurred by the impact of COVID-19, Swinerton revamped how they monitor job progress, using OpenSpace 360° site capture to improve efficiency, time savings, and completeness of job documentation with superior ease of use. 
  • An in-depth view of how Turner Construction deployed ClearSight in a recent healthcare project in Ohio. Turner replaced their previous, manual process with AI-powered tools that also facilitated communication with financial and other project stakeholders, helping to build more efficiently and get important decisions made faster. 
  • How Suffolk Construction grew their use of OpenSpace from a single trial on one project to a full-scale nationwide solution. Suffolk achieved this success by integrating OpenSpace into the company’s innovation ecosystem using a pilot process led by internal innovation champions. 

A forum for the future of the industry 

The final session, moderated by Robert Shear, VP of Marketing and Strategy at OpenSpace, focused on the future of construction and the increasingly prominent role that technology plays. In the session, executives from STO Building Group, Kitchell, Tishman Speyer, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Aligned Data Centers discussed how the AEC industry is undergoing a generational evolution powered by a “golden age” of construction technology. 

The panelists talked about how advanced analytics, industrialized construction, digitalization, and other emerging technologies render some business approaches obsolete. According to the panelists, leaders’ legacies now rest on their ability to pilot cultural transformations around technology within their organizations—a step-change toward improving worker health and safety, enhancing diversity and inclusion, and responding to external forces, such as demands for unprecedented transparency and sustainability from clients.

Panelist Carl McFarland of Kitchell summed up the conversation with an insight into the long-term view: “If the conversations you’re having during strategic planning aren’t difficult, that means you haven’t embraced the transformation that’s coming. Ask yourself, how do you rethink your business and people and objectives to align with what is inevitable: a renaissance age of transformation.”

Exclusive networking and promotions

For Waypoint 2021, we wanted to bring the best aspects of in-person events to a live virtual environment, true to our belief in the power of remote collaboration. That’s why the summit began with individual virtual networking sessions, bringing together peers for a series of rotating informational chat sessions. 

Our team also gave away prizes and exclusive promotions throughout the day, including access to the beta version of 3D Scans and a raffle for a free Ricoh Theta Z1 camera. Of course, we wanted the Waypoint experience to be a fun respite for our hard-working community members too, so we concluded the day with a virtual happy hour and ended the night with some karaoke.

We were thrilled to see and hear from some of the industry’s leading voices at the summit and look forward to continuing these important conversations at Waypoint 2022. In the meantime, session materials and additional information can be found here