Bend Venture Conference finalist Paul Tice has been on the forefront of 2D and 3D imaging in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry for over 20 years. In the early 2000s, he began working with clients to create 3D renderings of historic sites around the globe before they were destroyed by time or war. Most computers at the time lacked the hardware to operate the file sizes needed for these images and Paul found himself sharing pdfs and screenshots of the digital renderings with clients.
Describing his project workflow before cloud streaming, Paul said, “We used to have a [light detection and ranging] lidar unit that sat on a tripod and we would walk it around the space and take a scan in hundreds of different locations then stitch all those individual point clouds together like a 3D jigsaw puzzle in the software, and that would make the full 3D representation of the building. It would take at least two days to capture all the images and a month to eight weeks to process all the data.”
Through his first company, ToPa 3D, Paul and his team have provided reality capture services to document buildings for superintendents, engineers, facility managers, and historic preservation groups. Projects consist of high-resolution photos, drone maps and construction drawings that require streaming massive amounts of data to share with clients and team members.
FiOR Innovations’ platform was born out of this need to stream data and present rich 2D and 3D images for contactors in the field. Their image capture technology allows individuals to walk through a space with a camera or fly a project site with a drone, leveraging FiOR Innovations’ cloud streaming, computer vision, machine learning, and AI algorithms to automatically correct for error and create highly accurate interactive virtual tours or maps of a project in real time.
“Error perpetuates itself. If a floor layout in a building is slightly inaccurate and then the walls go in, by the time it gets to certain types of contractors, things may not fit and contractors will have to take liberties to meet the building needs. Documenting the building for future management and construction professionals helps minimize future costs and protect contractors from accidentally cutting into wiring or other hazards,” Paul explained.
Compared to its competitors, FiOR Innovations offers customers shorter processing times and the ability to upload larger data files, such as those required for a full building 3D rendering. All this at a price point that is accessible for smaller contractors that can’t afford the large software platforms.
The AEC industry is rapidly evolving, with an increasing demand for more efficient, accurate and accessible data management systems. Adoption of construction management software programs has advanced collaboration across the industry and project managers can rely on photo documentation to stay informed of progress and have up-to-date information about a construction site. FiOR Innovations has built APIs with established platforms such as Procore Technologies and Autodesk to allow clients to integrate image files within their project management software system. These files can also be downloaded and available in a simple-to-use and free offline viewer for areas without internet connectivity, a common issue in the industry.
FiOR’s novel cloud streaming technology is poised to revolutionize the way contractors and professionals in the AEC industry access and utilize 2D and 3D as-built data, opening up potential for new employment opportunities and investment in the local economy. The company is a testament to the potential for high-tech industries to thrive in Central Oregon, bringing with them a wave of job creation that spans from specialized technical roles to administrative and support positions.
By fostering growth and innovation, entrepreneurs like Paul Tice are not just revolutionizing their respective industries, they are also playing a pivotal role in enhancing the economic landscape of the region, making Central Oregon an increasingly attractive hub for technological and industrial talent.
“FiOR Innovations recently joined EDCO as a Titanium Member and is a testament to the pioneering spirit that serves as a catalyst for economic growth in Central Oregon. Their involvement in the Bend Venture Conference underscores the immense potential of our region to nurture and elevate local entrepreneurs. FiOR’s commitment is a significant step in our collective journey towards a vibrant, innovative future for our community,” said EDCO CEO Jon Stark.
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