Few who have built, remodeled, or repaired a home or building will be surprised to learn that 80 percent of construction projects run late and over budget and that billions of dollars are spent on rework each year. A main challenge is that there are so many different players on a site—designers, engineers, builders, subcontractors, and sometimes insurance companies—and they all have their own ways of tracking information, progress, and costs.
Carolina Dreifuss and Alex Pryor founded Sync Technologies in September 2020 to address these problems and more. They use innovative technologies to serve their customers all across Australia, acquiring and analyzing data using what they call a visual-first approach that enables everyone to work together with the same information and data sets and to communicate more effectively.
“We help normalize and synchronize information, not only spatial data and measurements but also 3D visuals,” says Dreifuss, SyncTech’s CEO. “If architecture, engineering, and construction professionals can see it, they can build it, and they can make the right decisions and communicate with each other much more effectively than they could before.”
Capturing Construction Sites in Immersive 3D
SyncTech has been using Matterport, Inc.™ Pro2 3D cameras since its founding to capture spatial data and visual information, turning a site into a fully immersive and navigable 3D digital twin rendered in 4k resolution that includes accurate measurements. Anyone with an Internet connection can virtually “walk” through the site and zoom in on whatever they want to inspect more closely.
“It’s hard to properly see a construction site remotely using just photographs, a Zoom call, or FaceTime, but a digital twin is the next best thing to being there,” Dreifuss says. “Not only can you see the space, you can get a feel for it. With solutions like Matterport, we can produce a digital twin in just 48 hours. Our customers used to take up to ten days just to get everyone on a site, but now some of their employees don’t have to visit at all.”
Accurate measurements and 3D visuals are just the beginning. Additional information is embedded using Mattertags, clickable links that can include anything from written instructions to video. “With Mattertags, there’s no room for interpretation,” Dreifuss says. “Everybody understands exactly what needs to be done and who needs to do what.”
Easy Integration with Preexisting Workflows
SyncTech integrates its digital twin as a service (DTaaS) system with each stage of a construction project, from preliminary design to completion. It’s a single source of truth that every player can depend on that includes all project information and data acquired using scanners like Matterport cameras, sensors, IoT devices, drones, and more. Every project is unique, and each of its customers uses its own technologies, from Autodesk Revit to Procore, but SyncTech and the digital twins are compatible with them all.
“Digital twins can easily be integrated with whatever internal systems our customers are using,” Dreifuss says. “Many of our customers like to use the Matterport point cloud files for more efficient modeling in Autodesk Revit.”
SyncTech also uses Matterport digital twins to generate accurate floor plans from the MatterPak Bundle. They’re part of SyncTech’s package, and they too can be integrated with whatever systems customers are using and fit into their preexisting workflows.
“Almost everybody needs a floor plan, and receiving them along with the digital twin is a fantastic time-saver,” Dreifuss says. “Saving our customers time is an important metric for us. One of our customers did an internal study and found that they can get through 30 percent more work using SyncTech rather than using traditional methods in the same amount of time.”
Saving Time and Energy
Using Matterport for digital twins saves SyncTech’s customers substantial amounts of time and energy in other ways too. Measuring, photographing, and sketching a site used to take weeks. Now, by using Matterport, SyncTech customers get everything they need within 48 hours, and most of the work can be done remotely without sending a dozen or so people to the same worksite just to understand it.
“Out of the more than 500 projects completed last year, we’ve saved our customers around 2,800 working days, a massive reduction,” says Dreifuss. “At the beginning of a project alone, our customers report that the average time saved is 5.5 days, and for big projects, the total can be five or six weeks.”
The timesaving benefits last throughout the duration of the project, not just during the early stages. “Our customers can virtually visit a site any time they want to, even if they’re in another city or country,” Dreifuss says. “And they can use the digital twin when communicating with engineers, designers, builders, subcontractors, and the insurance providers. It couldn’t be easier, and there are fewer misunderstandings now that everyone sees exactly the same thing.”
Expediting Insurance Claims
Insurance companies are important customers for SyncTech. Field capture of digital twins to document property losses with a high degree of detail, including measurements, has become part of standard operations. User-friendly access to the digital twins from PCs and mobile devices improves information sharing between field personnel and staff at the insurance providers’ office locations.
The city of Melbourne suffered an earthquake in September 2021, and afterward one of SyncTech’s insurance customers worked remotely with engineering specialists in New Zealand. The loss adjuster used SyncTech’s digital twins, captured with Matterport cameras, to provide the specialist with everything needed to get the insurance claim processed right away. Some of SyncTech’s customers even scan their own properties right after they purchase or finish construction, so they can provide “before” and “after” digital twins to their insurance agents.
No Going Back
SyncTech experienced over 900 percent growth from Q3 to Q4 in 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic and the shift to remote work may have accelerated its growth, but Dreifuss expects it to continue indefinitely.
“After working with digital twins, nobody wants to go back to the old ways that were so time-consuming, manual, and error-prone,” she says. “Everyone wasted a lot of time, had inaccurate measurements, and misinterpreted a lot of data. We find ourselves having to explain to some customers what a digital twin is, but once they experience it, they never want to go back.”
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ABOUT SYNC TECHNOLOGIES
Sync Technologies uses new and existing technologies to accelerate construction projects, improve communication and decision-making, and prevent costly rework.
Architecture, Engineering, Construction, Insurance
Use technology to increase efficiency and communication at construction sites
Matterport Pro2 3D camera
Sync Technologies uses Matterport digital twins to capture 3D imagery and spatial data at construction sites, enabling designers, planners, engineers, builders, and insurance carriers to work together more efficiently using the same data sets and visual information.
- Saved 2,800 working days
- Achieved over 900 percent growth
- Enabled more effective communication and decision-making
- Reduced costly rework