In this second gallery report we’ll go over the other key companies exhibiting software at the AIA that pertain to tools for professionals and students on Apple’s OS X and iOS platforms.
Google, the giant search monster and still current owner of SketchUp, was on hand at AIA. The company has been exhibiting for years with its casual atmosphere-type booth…which is always popular. While no new products were announced around AIA, the company was showing its latest SketchUp 8 software in both the free and Pro versions.
Another popular tool at AIA in particular it seems is LayOut, now at version 3. LayOut 3 is the 2D companion application which ships with the Pro version of SketchUp. With this software you can create 2D drawings complete with annotations, text and symbols for the production of construction drawings or mechanical drafted plans.
We briefly had a chat with John Bacus, Product Manager for SketchUp at Google, about the Trimble acquisition. He said that some folks are concerned and need not be. Trimble is an excellent and growing technology company with an interesting and diversified portfolio of products. Bacus felt this was a good move for the SketchUp team but could not comment more about what types of integrations may exist downstream. Trimble owns Tekla, a structural engineering BIM software provider from Finland. This company likely has the most affinity to the SketchUp folks because of the AEC and 3D software focus. It will be interesting to see if Tekla and SketchUp form some kind of synergistic features.
HP DesignJets and Software
Hewlett-Packard is typically at AIA due to the use and popularity of its wide-format printers (DesignJets). This year the company had several models to talk about, especially those which link up to its ePrint & Share software technology.
With its ePrint & Share technology HP is leveraging the cloud to offer customers the ability to print from remote locations and access design data anywhere they have an Internet connection, on computers, tablets and smartphones. HP calls this HP Designjet Cloud Printing. We’ll share more about our talk with Todd Hatfield of HP’s large format print group in another report.
Although we did not stop by BQE’s booth, this company, which acquired OrangeLoft, the original makers of ArchiOffice, a few years ago continues to advance a product that serves architects’ financial and project management needs on either Mac or Windows platforms. It is important to note there are very few financial and project-management desktop applications that serve both platforms very well, outside of FileMaker-driven solutions. In fact, ArchiOffice used to be a FileMaker solution, such as Architectronica‘s very nice AIM (Architecture Information Manager). They switched to a different database engine several years ago for reasons too complicated to explain here.
The SU Podium folks were also at AIA this year. The company currently is at SU Podium V2 (version 2) which has many excellent features as a SketchUp renderer plugin. SU Podium V2 supports both Windows and Mac on both 32 and 64-bit operating systems and has a very good GI (global illumination) engine as well as excellent lighting options.
A new product is Podium WalkerBeta 1. Only a Windows version is available thus far but the Mac port is going forward. With WalkBeta 1 the plugin program can support photo-realistic, raytracing-based walk-thrus inside of SketchUp. However, this is not a GPU-based renderer but rather accomplishes the realtime raytracing via the CPU.
Cadalog, the makers of SU Podium, also have another product called PDM Browser (39.USD) which is a program of accessing ready-made content for your SketchUp models and renders.
Bluebeam Vu for iOS
The Bluebeam folks had an excellent large booth at AIA. Bluebeam’s flagship tool, Bluebeam Revu 10 was the main item on display but the company was also showing Bluebeam Vu for iPad.
We have covered this new iPad app here in a dedicated report. And we do look forward to what Karen Tantzen of Bluebeam alluded to in the way of more Apple-centric news coming later this year.