By Meghan Hall
In the age of social distancing and remote work, a number of new technologies are hitting the market in an effort to bridge the gap between “office” and “home.” For those at OxBlue, this mentality is nothing new, as the company has been in business for nearly 20 years. The Registry spoke with OxBlue’s CEO and Founder, Chandler McCormack, on how OxBlue works today and how it is aiding those in the construction industry with its offerings for remote jobsite monitoring.
Can you please tell The Registry a little bit about OxBlue, and the professional camera services it provides?
OxBlue is a leading professional construction camera service provider, serving clients globally since 2001. Our professional construction camera services include three job site cameras: the Cobalt Series, our time-lapse camera; the Sapphire Series, our video pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) camera; and the Indigo Series, our interior, wide-angle time-lapse camera. We provide high-resolution images, high-definition time-lapse and live video, and intuitive technologies connecting everyone to the job site, as well as making it easy to monitor, document, and market your project.
What pain points within the industry does OxBlue seek to solve and why?
OxBlue primarily allows project managers and owners to remotely monitor their job sites, something that has become incredibly important thanks to COVID-19. Our goal is to reduce the cost of travel and tighten schedules through scheduled project updates, time-lapses available in day/week/month intervals, weather data and more. If you’re managing multiple projects, a lot of travel is involved to check milestones and ensure everything is proceeding as planned. That costs both time and money, and OxBlue can help save both.
From your perspective, what was the national construction industry like prior to the COVID-19? How have you seen the industry change in response to the current pandemic?
Prior to COVID-19, the primary concern was around a shrinking skilled labor pool and rising material costs. Construction was booming, to the point where contractors were struggling to fulfill labor requirements without going over budget and over schedule. The industry is now facing a pandemic and a financial crisis, both of which happened quickly and without much warning. Much of the focus now has shifted towards establishing safe working practices and technologies in order to keep job sites up and running.
What are some of the projects that OxBlue has participated in, and how was OxBlue’s technology used to track these projects?
We’ve been involved in a wide array of projects, everything from Salesforce Tower to Carvana vending machines to gas stations. The most common way OxBlue is used to track projects is with our time-lapse videos. Users can generate instant time-lapses in their camera’s interface, and this gives them a full view of how a project has progressed. We have also added time-lapses with day/week/month intervals for more in-depth review. For chain stores, OxBlue is used to compare existing projects with our side-by-side comparison tool and our still images are used to ensure branding milestones such as signage are up to standards without an in-person visit.
What are OxBlue’s future plans for growth? Why?
We’ve found that being flexible is the key to expansion, and we do this by evolving and listening to what our customers want. We have a system setup for our client support specialists to report features and hardware our clients are looking for. We’re constantly updating our interface and cameras to ensure new and existing clients will have the tools they need, no matter the project. Our current goal for expansion is to double our number of active cameras in the next five years.
With so much new technology now in play, where do you think the CRE sector is headed in the future?
It looks like the industry will continue to grow despite the current challenges. OxBlue has been monitoring construction activity using artificial intelligence (AI) since the beginning of the pandemic, and levels of activity have remained steady since the end of May and beginning of June. We’re also finding ways for our cameras to promote safe workplaces with features like PPE and social distancing detection. With this technology and data coming into play, the industry will continue to adapt and overcome our current crisis.