History, Revolution, Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Architecture Featuring @DuoDickinson via @EntreArchitect [Updated]Posted: August 9, 2018
The way you design your service experiences also makes an important impact on prospects and customers. Smart companies anticipate customer needs and are a few steps ahead of what comes next in the customer awareness through buying cycle. In this digital age, service and communication become the new commodity and it’s critical to design experiences to that model. Experience-based service begins with a process of communicating with customers and letting them initiate communications in return.
Getting personal with customers also enhances the customer experience. People like to buy from companies who they feel understand them and can anticipate their needs. Simple things like email birthday greetings or product suggestions based on past purchases tell customers that you remember them, value them and appreciate their business.
Intentional design is a powerful tool that provides a systematic method to explore a variety of customer interactions and touchpoints that move, engage and respond. Most of all, customer experiences have to be authentic and all touchpoint possibilities explored before recommending appropriate user design scenarios.
Service providers are continually reshaping their offering in response to changing customer needs and demands. As customer expectations change, businesses need to rethink the experiences they deliver. Meeting new demands does not only require delivery of the right propositions – it also requires developing broader capabilities around the needs of people, across the entire ecosystem.
Adapting to the Fast-Moving Customer World
Most organizations are not designed to meet the changes that occur in their customer’s lives. Stable organizational structures, designed around the needs of the organisation, struggle to provide the flexibility needed to meet the demands of customers. These rigid structures constantly create barriers to customer interactions. They also impact customer loyalty as well as the businesses’ ability to offer more relevant products and services.
Evolving Organizational Design Around Customer Needs
From business architecture to agile methods, organizations constantly try different approaches to move the organization forward and get closer to their customers. Yes, few organizations manage to truly connect with their customer and meet their needs. There is often a gap between what customers really need, and what the organization must be capable of doing. Bringing the customer perspective into traditional change disciplines bridges this gap and enables the organization to evolve its design around its customers.
Seeing the Organization Through Your Customer’s Eyes
The complex systems, processes and connections within many organizations make it challenging to understand how different teams and departments impact customers. Looking at your organization from the outside in, rather than from the inside out, provides insight into how customers see different departments working (together). Customers using a service are generally the ones who are exposed to the entire organization, and its vast amount of divisions, departments and groups. Seeing the organization through your customer’s eyes helps to build a true picture of the organization and its impact on the customer experience.
Design the Business Around Customers’ Experience
Shifting the focus from inside out to outside in helps build an understanding of the experiences customers demand through all their interactions with the organization. Using this knowledge, the right capabilities can be planned and delivered. Designing your business around the needs of people and shifting the organization to a customer first mind-set enables you to differentiate and grow sustainably.
Customer Experience Architecture Translated Into Organizational Capabilities
The customer experience architecture connects all aspects of the customers’ experience with the business and the organization. It maps the fluidity of customers’ needs and expectations, highlights major opportunities to have business impact and translates these into clear organizational capabilities. Understanding capabilities from a customers’ perspective helps determine which aspect delivers the core capabilities – people, process, system – and how this should be developed.
Co-Creating Your Business With Customers
Adopting a customer experience architecture driven approach puts the focus on understanding customer journeys, channel integrations and fulfilment. Adopting this approach, as opposed to the traditional organizational capability perspective, ensures the architecture of the business grows and evolves in line with customer demands. In addition, a more flexible and cohesive structure enables the business to co-create its design – as well as its experiences with its customers.
Delivering Frictionless Experiences
A customer driven architecture provides the ability to design organizational capabilities from the customer perspective. By mapping how customers use and experience a service, it becomes clear how different departments and groups within the organization impact that experience. Collaboration of a variety of skills from different disciplines leads to a cohesive design, which delivers the experiences customers demand, across all key interactions and channels.
Connecting Customers’ to the Business Capabilities
Keeping up with the constantly evolving needs of customers has become increasingly complex. To stay ahead organisations must start designing their structures and capabilities from the outside in, ensuring the business is evolves around the needs of customers. A customer experience architecture not only designs from the outside, it also brings you closer to your customers and their needs which ultimately allows for co-creating excellent experiences.
We can attribute 3D printing technology to an American engineer and the co-founder of 3D systems, Chuck (Charles) Hull. He invented the first printing process that was capable of creating an actual, physical 3D object from a digital data file. He called this process Stereolithography. In an interview, Hull admits how surprised he was of the capabilities and potential of his discovery. And however amazed people were of 3D printing in its infancy, few could have imagined where it was heading.
Early stage models: Concept models are quick and easy to produce. The moment you have your model you can begin discussions with clients and prospects. This saves time and money, reduces the risk of costly errors, and speeds up the entire design-to-agreement process.
Urban planning: Architects now have the ability to 3D print a model of an entire town or city. This is something that’s achievable within hours with the right equipment and print materials.
Model variations: Sometimes it’s useful to print a few variations of the same or similar models. This is an affordable way to help architects get to their final designs faster and with much less fuss.
To summarize, here are the three key benefits of 3D printing for architects:
- Detailed 3D printed models help clients to better visualize final projects
- Reduced time (hours and days) spent creating models
- Over time, Architects can build a library of reusable 3D designs
Technologies like augmented reality in construction are emerging to digitalize the construction industry, making it significantly more effective.
What if we could have instant access to all the information about a construction site, down to smallest details about every person, tool, and bolt? What if we could always be sure about the final measurements of a beam or that soil volumes in the cuts are close to those of the fills? What if we could always track how fast the supply of materials runs out, and re-order supplies automatically?
All this is achievable with a digital twin — a concept of having a real-time digital representation of a physical object.
The following are some real-time digital twins applications on construction sites.
Automated Progress Monitoring
Progress monitoring verifies that the completed work is consistent with plans and specifications. A physical site observation is needed in order to verify the reported percentage of work done and determine the stage of the project.
By reconstructing an as-built state of a building or structure we can compare it with an as-planned execution in BIM and take corresponding actions to correct any deviations. This is usually done by reconstructing geometry of a building and registering it to the model coordinate systems, which is later compared to an as-planned model on a shape and object level.
Often data for progress monitoring is collected through the field personnel and can be hugely subjective. For example, the reported percentage of work done can be faster in the beginning and much slower close to the end of the project. People are often initially more optimistic about their progress and the time needed to finish the job.
Hence, having automated means of data collection and comparison means that the resulting model to as-designed BIM models is less liable to human error. Digital twins solve the common construction process problems.
As-Built vs As-Designed Models
With a real-time digital twins, it is possible to track changes in an as-built model — daily and hourly. Early detection of any discrepancies can lead to a detailed analysis of historical modeling data, which adds an additional layer of information for any further decision-making processes.
The project manager can then reconstruct the steps that led to the error and make changes in the future work schedule in order to prevent any similar mistakes from occurring. They can also detect under-performers and try to fix the cause of the problem earlier in the project or plan the necessary changes to the budget and timescale of the whole project.
Resource Planning and Logistics
According to the Construction Industry Institute, about 25% of productive time is wasted on unnecessary movement and handling of materials.
Digital twin technology provides automatic resource allocation monitoring and waste tracking, allowing for a predictive and lean approach to resource management. With digital twin technology companies would avoid over-allocation and dynamically predict resource requirements on construction sites, thus avoiding the need to move resources over long distances and improving time management.
The construction industry is one of the most dangerous sectors in the world. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States, more than four thousand construction workers died on-site between 2008 and 2012.
The real-time site reconstruction feature digital twins allows the industry’s companies to track people and hazardous places on a site, so as to prevent inappropriate behavior, usage of unsafe materials, and activity in hazardous zones. A company can develop a system of early notification, letting a construction manager know when a field worker is located in dangerous proximity to working equipment and sending a notification about nearby danger to a worker’s wearable device.
Microsoft recently shared a great vision of how AI combined with video cameras and mobile devices can be used to build an extensive safety net for the workplace.
Image-processing algorithms make it possible to check the condition of concrete through a video or photographic image. It is also possible to check for cracks on columns or any material displacement at a construction site. This would trigger additional inspections and thus help to detect possible problems early on.
See an example of how 2D images using 3D scene reconstruction can be used for concrete crack assessments.
Optimization of Equipment Usage
Equipment utilization is an important metric that construction firms always want to maximize. Unused machines should be released earlier to the pool so others can use them on other sites where they are needed. With advanced imaging and automatic tracking, it is possible to know how many times each piece of machinery has been used, at what part of the construction site, and on what type of the job.
Monitoring and Tracking of Workers
Some countries impose tough regulations on how to monitor people presence on a construction site. This includes having a digital record of all personnel and their location within the site, so that this information could be used by rescue teams in case of emergency. This monitoring is another digital twins application. Still, it is better to integrate digital twin-based monitoring with an automatic entry and exit registration system, to have a multi-modal data fused into a single analytics system.
Getting Data for Digital Twins
Some ways to gather data to be used for digital twins includes the following:
- Smartphone Cameras
- Time-Lapse Cameras
- Autonomous UAV and Robots
- Video Surveillance Cameras
- Head-mounted Cameras and Body Cameras
Image data processing algorithms for digital twins can be created with the following methods:
- 3D Reconstruction: Conventional Photogrammetry
- 3D Reconstruction: Structure from Motion
- Object Detection and Recognition
- Object Tracking
From an Investor’s Viewpoint
On projects to date, this approach has proven to save time, reduce waste and increase efficiencies.
From a Standardization Proponent’s Viewpoint
Open, sharable information unlocks more efficient, transparent and collaborative ways of working throughout the entire life-cycle of buildings and infrastructure.
From a Solution Provider’s Viewpoint
While the digital twin is needed initially for planning and construction, it’s also intended to provide the basis for building operations moving forward.
The vision of “construction 4.0” refers to the 4th industrial revolution and is a fundamental challenge for the construction industry. In terms of automated production and level of digitalization, the construction industry is still significantly behind other industries. Nevertheless, the mega-trends like Big Data or the Internet of Things offer great opportunities for the future development of the construction sector. Prerequisite for the successful Construction 4.0 is the creation of a digital twin of a building. Building Information Modeling (BIM) with a consistent and structured data management is the key to generate such a digital building whose dynamic performance can be studied by building simulation tools for a variety of different boundary conditions.
Along the total life cycle from design to construction, operation and maintenance towards remodeling or demolition, the digital twin follows all modifications of the real building and dynamically readjusts itself in case of recorded performance differences.
Thus, for the whole life span of the real building, performance predictions generated with the virtual twin represent an accurate basis for well-informed decisions. This helps to develop cost-effective operation modes, e.g. by introducing new cyber-controlled HVAC systems. The digital twin may also analyze the building’s dynamic response to changes in occupation or energy supply; it also indicates the need for building maintenance or upgrades.
The digital twin follows all modifications of the real building and dynamically readjusts itself in case of recorded performance differences.
A digital twin refers to the digital representation of a real-world entity or system. Digital twins in the context of IoT projects is particularly promising over the next three to five years and is leading the interest in digital twins today. Well-designed digital twins of assets have the potential to significantly improve enterprise decision making. These digital twins are linked to their real-world counterparts and are used to understand the state of the thing or system, respond to changes, improve operations and add value. Organizations will implement digital twins simply at first, then evolve them over time, improving their ability to collect and visualize the right data, apply the right analytics and rules, and respond effectively to business objectives.
“Over time, digital representations of virtually every aspect of our world will be connected dynamically with their real-world counterpart and with one another and infused with AI-based capabilities to enable advanced simulation, operation and analysis,” said Mr. Cearley. “City planners, digital marketers, healthcare professionals and industrial planners will all benefit from this long-term shift to the integrated digital twin world.” (Source: https://www.gartner.com)
A digital twin is essentially a link between a real world object and its digital representation that is continuously using data from the sensors. All data comes from sensors located on a physical object; this data is used to establish the representation of a virtual object.
For construction, using digital twins means always having access to as-built and as-designed models, which are constantly synced in real-time. This allows companies to continuously monitor progress against the schedule laid out in a 4D BIM model.