Go, Go Gadget …
New Techie Products You Don’t Want to Miss
The Jetsons may have been wrong about the flying cars, but
there are still plenty of new and exciting things available today that
will make the workplace and jobsite more fluid and, well, futuristic.
Here’s a look at a few new gadgets—some so new they’re only available
on preorder—that are designed to help you work more efficiently, more
effectively and more like your future self.
Sky™ wifi Smartpen Quick!
An architect just called for an impromptu meeting and you need to ensure
the accuracy of every word, drawing and detail. Grab that Sky pen and
go. This new tool allows you to record everything you hear, say, write
and draw. You can also wirelessly sync notes and audio to your personal
Evernote® account where you can replay, organize, search and share your
interactive notes any time and anywhere.
($169.95 to $249.95)
Visioneer RoadWarrior Scanner
We’ve probably all said we’re going to become more organized; now this
new gadget can help take you one step closer to that goal. This mobile
scanner weighs just 10.6 ounces and produces 24-bit color scans to help
organize all receipts, business cards, documents and photos up to 600
dpi in all major file formats including searchable PDF.
You’re at a jobsite and just received updated documents, plans or drawings
on your iPad. Need to print them right away? Now you can with the new
xPrint server. This handy device enables wireless printing for iOS devices
such as iPads® and iPhones® using their native print menu. It eliminates
the need to print through apps, install software or email yourself documents
($99.95 to $199.95)
Uvex AcoustiMaxx Stereo Bluetooth Eyewear
Protective eyewear is a must in most every shop environment and jobsite.
Now workers can get both premium eye protection as well as hands-free
communication. This new line of eyewear lets workers focus on the task
at hand, keeping them safe and productive on the job. Designed for use
in industrial work environments, Uvex AcoustiMaxx Stereo Bluetooth eyewear
delivers both impact protection as well as crystal clear, acoustically-isolated,
in-ear voice communication through its dual microphone technology.
Adesso NuScan1000U USB Hand Held Contact
CCD Barcode Scanner
This tool can help glass shops and retailers when it comes to scanning
and keeping track of sales. This scanner, which plugs between the keyboard
and PC, or a USB, sends data to your active application just as if you
typed it from your keyboard. It’s ideal for retail, point of sale, or
any repetitive application where time and accuracy are important factors
in making your business succeed. Cha-ching!
This is one camera-printer combo you’ve got to see to believe. Snap a
pic of your latest project with the Printbrush 4X6, then sweep it across
any surface to print the image. The pocket-size camera/printer features
PrintDreams RMPT Full technology, and can print in color directly onto
virtually any surface. Ready to give it a try? It will be awhile just
yet as the Printbrush 4X6 has not yet been commercially launched.
The Leap Motion Controller
Imagine this: a controller that senses your individual hand and finger
movements so you can interact directly with your computer. The Leap Motion
controller is set to do just that when it becomes commercially available
How does it work? Simply connect the device and instantly
get 8 cubic feet of 3D interaction space. The Leap Motion controller will
support operating system interactions with Windows 7 and 8, and Mac OS
X 10.7 and 10.8. The company is also working with a number of developers
on applications, including plug-ins for 3D design software producer Autodesk.
Pre-orders will begin shipping May 13, and the product will launch exclusively
in the U.S. at Best Buy stores on May 19.
We’ve all been there: you need to charge your cell phone and there is
no electricity outlet to be found. Now, a soon-to-be-available device
from MYFC could be just what you need. The company developed the Powertrekk,
a portable fuel cell charger to power smartphones, cameras, GPS devices,
MP3 players and portable gaming units (for use during personal time, of
course). The PowerTrekk is a 2-in-1 solution that is both a portable battery
pack and fuel cell. The portable battery pack can be operated on its own
as a ready source of power or storage buffer for the fuel cell. The fuel
cell enables instant charging from a deflated battery state without ever
needing a wall charge
Constant smudging is a one of the pitfalls of the ever-so-popular touch
screen phones, readers and other mobile products. Now a newly developed
silicone ring stylus is available for use with small electronic touch
screens. Called the txtRing;), this handy little gadget fits on your thumb
or index finger so you can keep your touch screens smudge free.
Yes, Virginia, There’s an App for That
Modern Technology is Literally Putting Resources in the Palm of Your Hand
If you’re of a certain age, your mental image of an architect or builder
might be influenced by a particular episode of The Brady Bunch, or at
least the image of Robert Reed (Mr. Brady) with rolls of blueprints under
his arm. Times have changed. Not only are blueprints created in a way
beyond what Mike Brady could have imagined, but now can be transported
in one little device in your pocket.
In a world where smart phones dominate, you’re only as
savvy as the apps you use. So join us as we take a look at some of the
different apps available to the building industry and decide for yourself
what works best for you.
SapphireViewer by MiTek –This app, available from MiTek,
a supplier of engineered products and services for the building components
industry, allows users to share with their customers 3-D models and collaborate
with them. Users can download the viewer and selectively invite customers
to download viewer, too. The Sapphire program is designed to let users
share files with customers, helping them design, estimate, and build accurately
from a single, 3-D model.
Cost: Free, for Sapphire customers.
SmartBidNet – This construction bid management
software can be used for managing invitations to bid, subcontracts and
project documents, online, anytime. It requires SmartBidNet bid management
software, but allows users to keep track of subcontractor and vendor interactions
from their phones. The app includes both bid (e.g. status, amount, due
date) and project information (e.g. square footage, location, building
Cost: The app is $0.99, but it can only be used by SmartBidNet customers.
Platforms: iPhone (OS 3.0 or later), iPad and iPod Touch. An Android version
is currently being Beta tested.
iQuick Contract Maker – This app has pre-written
information that allows the user to quickly create a legal contract, and
is customizable for contract agreements. All phases of the contract have
also been included. Just pick and choose what section you want to include,
such as construction or home repair, among others.
Platforms: iPhone (OS 3.1 or later), iPad and iPod touch.
cadTouch R4 – This app allows users to create new drawings
from scratch and then save them as DWG or send drawings for PDF printing.
You can view, edit and query information from your existing files. No
Internet connection is required and users can create new drawings from
their device with desktop-class tools. The app uses iTunes file-sharing
(drag and drop files from your computer) and can send/open email with
Platforms: iPhone and iPad; cadTouch R5 for Android is coming soon.
Finger CAD – This CAD application is for technical
drawing with fingers assisted by a computer. With FingerCAD (and FingerCAD
WS – the wide screen version), you can draw houses, floor plans, mechanical
components, geometrical figures--anything that can be designed with a
common PC CAD. The app is ideal for engineers in construction, architects,
designers and students, among others.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or iPad mini
REVITKeys – REVITKeys is a list of 154 keyboard
combinations for AutoDesk Revit Architecture 2011. Arranged in 14 categories,
this tool makes it easy to find the keyboard shortcut you are looking
for or learn new ones. It’s handy for Revit users “on the go.”
Platforms: iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later
iRhino 3D – Perfect for showing your designs
and ideas in 3-D. Pan, zoom and rotate with a tap or drag of your finger.
Load Rhino models from websites, Google Docs, DropBox, email attachments
or from iTunes. Users can also save views as images for markup and emailing.
Platforms: iPad, iPhone, iPod touch
Drawvis Free – This application was created
for viewing technical drawings in AutoCAD DXF textual format. Users can
also attach notes of various types to their drawings.
Platforms: iPhones and iPad
iBlueprint – iBlueprint allows users to create
and export a custom floor plan of any structure.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
PadCAD - This drafting app was created for
small projects such as home additions and small remodeling projects. PadCAD
was designed to be easy to use, and with speed and mobility in mind. It
is not a full blown CAD application.
Platforms: iPad, Android, Kindle
Handyman Calculator by Kalyani Mobileapps — This complete
construction calculator with simple inputs allows users to customize and
create a list of favorite calculators and save calculated results in a
LEED AND ENVIRONMENTAL APPS
EcoFlash BD+C Lite – Helps users study for the LEED AP 2009
Building Design and Construction exam.
Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch
Special Features: Extended version EcoFlash BD+C Flashcards cost
LEED Building Design and Construction (BD&C) Flashcards
– While several companies offer LEED BD&C flashcards, Green Building Education
Services is one that provides an application which includes 200 flash
cards and a 100 question practice exam. Questions were designed using
multiple resources that are covered in the BD&C exam. gWhiz is another,
and it challenges users’ recall of key information and definitions and
improvement of problem-solving speed over 469 cards. Netframes also offers
a set of flashcards meant to help building and design professionals study
for the LEED AP exam.
Cost: $19.99 (both)
Platforms: iPhone (both)
Green Pro by RMS Group – The Green Pro utility
application assists architects, engineers, owners and contractors in understanding
and working with the USGBC LEED guidelines for New Construction and Major
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Noble Canary — The OSHA Audit App is a mobile auditing application.
Users can document general industry workplace compliance, record safety
violations with notes and photographs, and fully evaluate health and safety
programs. When the audit is complete, a full report is automatically generated.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad and Android n
Didn’t see your favorite app on the list? Let us know which
apps we missed, which work best for you and which pulled the wool over
your—or our—eyes. Visit USGlass on Facebook at www.facebook/USGlassMagazine
or email email@example.com and tell us what you think.
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