Hexagon adds OxBlue visual AI to AEC offerings

Dec 18, 2020 | Hot Topics

Hexagon just announced that it is acquiring OxBlue, a maker of high-definition, time-lapse photography, and live video streaming services, that are used in construction to capture and document progress. OxBlue, says Hexagon, takes this one step further, by adding in “artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms … [to enable] real-time decision-making – from prompt assessments of quality, progress, and overall performance to risk detection and mitigation – allowing project executives and managers to confidently meet or exceed planned expectations”.

We’ve all seen the time-lapse photos/movies of construction projects, where a year zooms by in seconds. This takes that idea and adds image analytics to determine if material has been delivered, where it has been placed, how much has been consumed, etc.– the idea being that the images alone are valuable, but the data they convey is even more useful. And, of course, in the litigious world that is many an AEC/construction project, images provide proof.

Ola Rollén, Hexagon CEO said, “OxBlue represents another step in our vision to provide market-leading, data-centric solutions that introduce smarter ways to build. OxBlue’s scalable business model of remote installations coupled with its reputation for outstanding customer support, leading technology, and strong AEC sales channel make it a great fit for Hexagon. Integration with our 3D surveillance technology, BLK247, and our construction software solution, HxGN SMART Build, will provide invaluable data and insights on construction job site activities. Additionally, OxBlue’s access to machine learning data sets and best-in-class interface nicely complement Hexagon’s AI and machine learning capabilities, machine automation solutions, and autonomous workflow approach to construction.”

OxBlue is a US-based company, which will help shift Hexagon’s revenue towards North America (though not by much – it’s 2020 revenue of €37 million tiny compared to the much larger Hexagon) but already has an international customer base. Hexagon says OxBlue will operate as part of the Geosystems division. Price paid and other terms were not disclosed.