The subject of the HAWCE event held on the 11th of November was BIG data and Smart Cities, which welcomed over 30 attendees to the Three Pears in Warndon.

Richard Scott Director of Market Development for Fieldview (formerly Priority1) started the proceedings by outlining the journey the business had made through the palm OS and PDA's for one Client to their current position operating cross platform on tablets.

Richard demonstrated how easily the tablet could be used on site for snagging issue and clean up notices, saving 80% of the time taken with the traditional paper form approach. This was all easily captured in customised reports and KPIs allowing the contractor to manage the whole process online. Richard then went on to demonstrate how the tablet and the Viewpoint BIM viewer could be used to record asset data on site and upload it into the Cobie spreadsheet for the project. This aroused a lot of interest demonstrated by the variety of questions raised and answered at the end of Richards presentation.

Richard was then followed by Mick Hurst MD of Areca design based in Evesham. Mick had kindly stepped in at very short notice to replace Jason Whittall who had been scheduled to present, but Jason was called to cover a Client meeting in Southampton at short notice.

Mick started his presentation with a short video outlining the work of the Future Cities Catapult and how more and more of us would be living in the urban environment of a City in the future. As a result Cities were going to have to become 'smarter" to both cope with and interact with this growing population.

As if to illustrate this very problem, Mick presented an application he had recently developed for the City Of London. As the number of visitors to the capital increase, this app takes the strain off the public convenience by guiding users to the nearest free toilets including those in restaurants, bars and coffee shops that have signed up to make their facilities available to the public free of charge. By using GPS and Augmented Reality the user is guided to the closest toilets based on their current location. Mick then followed on with his local app for an interactive guide to Evesham Abbey triggered by photo recognition and delivered by a virtual Brother Oswald who tells the visitor all about different trigger points on the Abbey tour. Mick then concluded by demonstrating numerous buildings, people and vehicles that suddenly popped up out of flat pieces of paper into 3D objects or videos, to the amazement of the audience.

The evening certainly gave the attendees something to think about, who left musing how they could apply the technologies they had just witnessed in their own line of business.