New Plan App Options (SmartUse Review)

On Monday this week I started a series on new plan apps that are available for construction projects. In the past year several teams have been working on creating the new “IT” plan app of choice. This is proving to be a tall order to accomplish, as there are a few established standard bearers. This will be my first in depth review of several new options available to construction teams.

The SmartUse platform allows users to share project plans through a cloud space and collaborate on them in real time. I have “beta” tested the SmartUse platform for 6 months. I have found it to be a powerful yet easy to use platform. There are three interesting components to the SmartUse platform: the desktop software, the display table, the tablet app.

The desktop software automatically hyper-links plans and connects users to the project documents. Users can view PDF plan files, compare plan versions, and complete mark up’s within the app. SmartUse is integrated with Box, Egnyte, Sharefile and Sharepoint for file uploading. The desktop platform works best in a Windows 8 environment, but also works in Windows 7 and Mac OSX.

The AO display table is a very advanced 55” display / computer / interface device that allows users to view, compare plans, mark up and share project plans with the SmartSse software, as well as view a BIM model, and manage workflows. The AO table is touch enabled, Internet ready and runs on the Windows 8.1 platform. To learn more about this amazing device take a look at this link.

I was lucky enough to have access to this amazing device for a couple of weeks. My project team was able to load several projects onto this AO Table to try out different workflows. We were able to do on screen plan comparisons to see new additions, view BIM Models through the online Assemble platform, and even run Bluebeam!

The tablet app is available on the Windows App Store and IOS App Store. The App provides users with an easy navigation experience to move between plan sheets, detail callouts and submittal documents. Users can start workflow items such as  “redline” mark ups of plans, generate RFI”s, and create a punch list. The app also offers innovative features such as adding video or voice notes to a plans. This is the first plan app that I have used on a tablet that allows a user to compare plans. This is accomplished in the “workspce” section of the app.

Recent updates to the IOS App include:

  • Offline mode: Users can now work with internet connectivity.
  • Layers: Users can now view other team members layer automatically.
  • Add pictures and audio notes to plans.

Upcoming items:

  • Text annotation mark up tool.
  • Citrix Sharefile integration for file sourcing.

 

Accounts:

  1. A single user license is $49.99 per month.
  2. A single viewer license is free.


Newforma recently announced their acquisition of this innovative platform. You can learn more by following this link.

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