Shimizu Announces Enterprise Partnership with OpenSpace
OpenSpace will provide 360° photo documentation and progress tracking to assist with remote management of Shimizu jobsites
SAN FRANSISCO, Feb. 1, 2021 — Shimizu Corporation has signed a partnership agreement with OpenSpace to use their 360° photo documentation and analytics platform in combination with its own construction data and expertise to enhance remote management of its construction sites.
OpenSpace, a venture-backed company based in San Francisco, uses computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) to create next-generation construction management tools. In order to capture 360° images, a field worker walks the job site with a helmet-mounted camera. The OpenSpace platform captures an image every half-second and then utilizes its high-speed data processing and proprietary algorithms to give builders a digital replica of the site that can be viewed remotely by team members all over the world.
Shimizu began a trial of the OpenSpace platform in March, 2020, and found it to be highly effective. When the Covid-19 pandemic imposed new challenges on construction, Shimizu allowed many overseas employees to temporarily return to Japan. During this time, they used OpenSpace to monitor job sites and track events in the field remotely. The platform proved to be exceptionally useful in improving communication and collaboration of teams globally.
OpenSpace not only delivers an up-to-date and comprehensive view of each job site, it also allows teams to see the difference from the plan by comparing it to the BIM model and it even allows teams to “see through walls” by viewing the site at earlier stages of construction. Shimizu is also helping OpenSpace with product testing and ideation, offering advice on new features based on their immense construction-industry expertise and initial findings from testing the software.
The newly-signed agreement between Shimizu and OpenSpace includes not only the 360° photo documentation which has already been tested by Shimizu, but also the new OpenSpace Track analytics suite of tools from OpenSpace. The analytics tools will give Shimizu even greater visibility into each job site, allowing them to track materials and track progress rates over time. This will allow for more efficient collaboration and decision-making.
OpenSpace could also be involved in “Shimizu Smart Site,” the innovative building construction system which deploys robotics for productivity gains in construction. In the future, Shimizu may explore using robots to capture 360° images, something that has already been proven to be possible with the OpenSpace platform.
Shimizu has been executing open innovation activities in Silicon Valley since 2017 and launched the Shimizu Silicon Valley Innovation Centre (SVIC) in April 2019 for the purpose of scouting new technologies and business development opportunities. The new partnership between Shimizu and OpenSpace is a typical example of open innovation which relies on the fusion of advanced technology and construction know-how. Shimizu will actively continue to promote productivity improvements in the construction industry through adoption of the best technology and practices.
Founded in 2017, OpenSpace is a San Francisco-based tech company that is on a mission to bring new levels of transparency to construction. Our solutions combine simple 360° cameras, computer vision, and AI to make it incredibly easy to capture a complete visual record of the job site, share it via the cloud and track progress. To date, our customers have used our platform to capture three billion square feet of active construction projects across thousands of sites in dozens of countries.
Shimizu Corporation was founded in 1804. The company began when Kisuke Shimizu I, who was a carpenter in Etchu or what is now Toyama Prefecture, launched the business in the Kanda Kajicho district of Edo (now Tokyo). From the moment the company was founded, Kisuke Shimizu I aspired to wholeheartedly devote himself to the company’s work and create quality reliable structures. Today, Shimizu continually delves deeply into knowledge and technology to meet the needs of its clients and, by extension, society.