3D Repo has begun working on a solution that will significantly improve remote working in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry by replacing screen sharing with distant 3D navigation and could see ~million-times reduction in internet bandwidth and latency demands.

The innovative idea by 3D Repo, pioneers of cloud-based platform for building information modelling (BIM), comes after the recent lockdown uncovered new problems for remote working and BIM coordination.

Work on the project started 1 June, after recently winning funding from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in a competition that aims to fast-track the development of innovations borne out of the coronavirus crisis whilst supporting cutting-edge UK start-ups. The competition is also part of a larger £40 million government investment to drive forward new technological advances.

Choppy audio and video while teleconferencing during lockdown has agitated many professionals who have found themselves working from home during the pandemic. Adding 3D rendering into the mix makes screen sharing in AEC virtually impossible.

Head of Construction at Innovate UK, Simon Hart, said: “3D Repo has quickly responded to new implications brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic. Their innovative solution has the capacity to significantly improve the remote working experience for AEC professionals while at the same time speeding up the internet for everyone else.”

The new solution by 3D Repo will rely on remote 3D rendering and navigation sharing. Each user will be able to instantly become a presenter in 3D space with avatars denoting, in real-time, who is working on what at any given location. Instead of screen sharing, a domain-specific remote rendering solution based on the award-winning 3D Repo Digital Construction Platform in the cloud: https://3drepo.com will be used, with navigation updates exchanged in real-time.

Dr Jozef Dobos, Founder and CEO of 3D Repo said: “Heavy 3D models combined with screen sharing become unusable due to bandwidth and latency limitations specific to AEC. Thus, we came up with a unique technical solution that overcomes these limitations via remote 3D rendering and advanced caching to support real-time collaboration while removing the need for screen sharing altogether.”

The solution by 3D Repo is being made open source for the benefit of the entire construction industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 3D Repo is currently looking for Beta testers to join the project and help with development scope and testing. People interested in joining the project are being encouraged to contact support@3drepo.com.

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