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Bridgit brings technology to worksite forefront

Kelly Lapointe
Bridgit brings technology to worksite forefront

Hand gestures will take on a whole new meaning on construction sites as Bridgit’s Closeout deficiency management application pairs up with smartglass and a muscle controlled armband.

By using Closeout with Myo armband from Thalmic Labs and smartglass, users can eliminate the need to remove their gloves and pull out their smartphones while communicating construction deficiencies from the field.

"Closeout has always focused on being a mobile-first approach. Our users are always on the go, they’re not often sitting down at a computer. We determined that this was an even easier way for our users to get information from the field into their phone, computer. It really just makes it an easier input method for them," said Bridgit co-founder Mallorie Brodie.

Bridgit’s Closeout launched in the spring as a cloud-based communications platform that aims to tackle the issue of deficiency management on construction sites. Through a smartphone application, photos of deficiencies can be taken and sent directly to the responsible subcontractor. The technology allows for real-time notifications and subcontractors are integrated via email.

This new innovation that allows for pairing with Myo and smartglass allows that mobile technology to be taken one step further.

"The Myo armband is a new kind of input device: one that merges our natural gestures with technology. We believe this will enable companies like Bridgit to continue their on-the-ground R&D with construction professionals to unlock new and exciting possibilities," said Thalmic Labs.

The construction industry has  already seen some basic examples of Google Glass being used as an input device for existing applications.

"However, up until now, the standard for Google Glass input has been the built in audio commands. As we continue to place our primary focus on ease of use, audio input just didn’t cut it in terms of usability. The Myo provides us with the ability to optimize Google Glass in a way that makes sense for our users," said Brodie.

There are stereotypes that the construction industry is slow to adopt new technologies, but Bridgit says users were able to learn the Closeout application on their phones within five minutes and that there is a demand within the industry to adopt innovative technologies.

"We think because we’ve allowed our application to be so simple, adding different hardware input devices really isn’t a big barrier because the application is very straightforward. If anything, it makes it even easier to use the application," said Brodie.

Since Bridgit launched Closeout in March, it has been gaining more momentum within the construction industry.

"A lot of the subcontractors that have used Closeout have moved on to different projects and recommended it to their general contractors because they just love a very clear and defined way that they’re receiving information about new work items," she said.

Myo Developer Kits began shipping in July and the Myo armband is shipping this fall.

"The feedback from early customers and developers has been fantastic. The possibilities are seemingly endless to completely redefine how we, as humans, interact with the digital world around us," said Thalmic Labs.

"We’re particularly excited about the potential to apply Myo in settings such as presentations, multimedia control, gaming, and of course, smartglasses."

Bridgit is currently conducting closed beta testing and is still accepting applications for general contractors who want to test out initial version of the application.

Google Glass is also conducting its own beta testing.

Each component is sold separately.

For Bridgit the main focus is currently continuing to build new features for Closeout and then eventually build a suite of mobile first products that address various work flows within the construction industry.

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