Reality Analysis: Defining a Category

As CEO of Avvir, I spend a considerable amount of time thinking and speaking about Avvir’s positioning.  What kind of company are we, what problems do we solve, and how do we communicate the answers to those questions to our customers, partners and the general public? In my mind’s eye, the answer to the first two questions has always been clear. Yet it’s obvious to me from the many opportunities I’ve had to explain what we do, that that mental picture is not always getting across to others. 

Avvir enables clients to sync data from the field with their BIM, and automatically generates insights based on a comparison of those two data sets. When I explain this mission, the responses I get indicate that people immediately categorize us as either a project management tool, some kind of BIM software, or  a “reality capture” company. But none of those descriptors really captures Avvir’s purpose or the value we bring to our customers. We need a new term to describe Avvir’s mission and the space we operate in. And I’d like to propose one. Avvir is a Reality Analysis company.

What is Reality Analysis?

Most people in construction today are familiar with the term “reality capture”. This term includes 360° photos, video walks, and LIDAR scans. But reality capture is really just the first step in a critical 4-step workflow that continues with data contextualization, analysis and insight generation, and finally action. 

Reality Capture Workflow: The workflow consists of 4 steps. First data is captured in the field. To make the data useful it must be contextualized with other reality data as well as against some existing data scheme like a 2D map. Then the data must be analyzed and gleaned for insights. Finally, action can be taken based on those insights. 

We are the leading reality analysis platform in construction.

For example, a project engineer might take a video walk of a site with a Ricoh Theta 360° camera. She’s just completed reality capture, but she isn’t done. She’ll then upload that video to a program like Structionsite that lets her contextualize the frames in space, digitally placing them on a map of the site. Ideally, she’d then examine the photo stills and use them to do something meaningful, like track a trade partner’s progress – reality analysis. Finally, she’d enter that information into a system like Procore where the project manager can then use it to determine how much to pay the trade partner that month.

The Reality Capture Spaces: Some of the companies that belong to each of the corresponding spaces in the reality capture workflow.  

The Situation Today

Unfortunately, today, the value being extracted from reality capture data is typically much more limited. Usually, those photos will just sit there. A PM might consult them in the case of litigation down the road or show them to an owner to hand-wavingly communicate that progress has been made. But she’ll rarely recover real insights or use them to take proactive measures onsite. For some, the problem is that reality capture generates so much data that inspecting it is simply too big a lift. For others, it’s simply that they didn’t know what they could do with the data in the first place.

Avvir’s reality analysis fills that gap. Our product analyzes that data automatically and delivers critical information to the right stakeholder when and where they need it so that real transformative value can actually be derived from data collected in the field. 

I’ve never consciously coined a phrase before but I do hope this one catches on. Because from here on out, when someone asks what Avvir does or what space we’re in I’d like to be understood when I answer, “we are the leading reality analysis platform in construction”.