Gamma AR or how to optimize a VR approach as part of a construction project, in connection with the ACC platform
Virtual reality and all its derivatives such as augmented or mixed realities are becoming more and more important nowadays, especially in the context of construction projects. Beyond the interest that these approaches represent in the design phase, they have notably become essential during construction where the risk of errors on the construction sites remains significant.
GAMMA AR is a young Luxembourg startup that has developed an easy-to-use solution that ensures an optimal construction phase. Let’s discuss with them and discover their solution with Laura Bocchibianchi, their Head of marketing and communication, as well as its two founders Caner Dolas and Jayan Jevanesan.
Hello Laura, Caner and Jayan, could you please introduce yourself in a few words and tell us how the idea of creating Gamma AR arose? Were you coming from the construction industry?
Jayan Jevanesan: The idea had been around for a long time but was not feasible because of the technology maturity. Once the technology evolved and was ready enough to be used, we restarted the idea with Caner.
Laura Bocchibianchi: Caner Dolas himself comes from the construction industry. He was an architect and BIM manager and he was well aware of the problems encountered on site by site managers and project managers. The problems encountered are the following: transforming plans without errors into reality, communicating issues related to the errors encountered on the construction site, problem of information transparency, and the one we all know: delivering projects on time and within budget, because of the problems related above.
When and how did you create your startup? By the way, are you based in France?
LB: The startup was created in 2019 but the beginning of the project dates back to 2016. The project started in Aachen, Germany, when Jayan Jevanesan, CTO and co-founder of the company, was a student (computer scientist). Caner came to present the GAMMA AR concept to the university and was excited by the project. Together, they set up the project with Jayan developing the application. Seeing that the project was successful, the company was created under the name of GAMMA Technologies S.à r.l on July 24th, 2019, exactly.
JJ: We are based in Luxembourg, which is not very far from France, especially the Grand East region and the application is available worldwide.
How many people are you and how are you organized?
LB: We will be 13 in September. The culture of the company is that we are diverse, open-minded, and open-hardhearted. As a team, we complete each other and work in harmony.
What is the range of your solutions? Could you please present them in a nutshell?
LB: We offer a construction application available on iOS and Android, linked to a platform available on the web.
Caner Dolas: This application allows you to visualize BIM models before construction and collect information on site and so on.
What is the purpose of your Gamma AR solution and what use cases does it address?
LB: GAMMA AR allows you to visualize the BIM models on the construction site and thus preview them on the field allowing to detect any errors and avoid them. It also has a documentation purpose, allowing the various stakeholders on site to document the progress of the site and communicate intuitively the errors and thus facilitate decision-making process.
Mainly for use during preconstruction and construction phases of the building, but also for maintenance and facility management purposes.
Was BIM the compelling event for this company creation and how important is it to you?
LB: BIM is the future of construction. In terms of sustainable development first of all, because it is an indispensable process. In terms of plan design, it is a tool that allows for more detailed and readable plans for builders.
CD: BIM was the necessary tech behind.
Speaking of BIM, how do you interface with Autodesk solutions like Revit? Do you have a direct plugin or do you use an intermediary format such as IFC?
LB: We have a partnership with Autodesk Construction Cloud. This allows Autodesk BIM 360 users to connect to GAMMA AR via their BIM 360 credentials and synchronize models and issues.
CD: We also support the « openBIM » collaborative process, which means that we support the IFC format, making it possible to export problems created in GAMMA AR in BCF format. For the moment, we mainly work with Autodesk Revit, Navisworks and IFC files.
Is your solution easy to use?
LB: The solution is very easy to use and there is no need for an IT department to set it up. Watching our 10-minutes tutorials on YouTube is enough to understand how to use it. There is no need to prepare anything on site. Of course, we remain available for any support needed.
Do you support all 3D viewing devices?
LB: The application is supported on both iOS and Android.
Do you already have many users?
LB: We have more than 4,500 active users on our application.
By the way, are you well distributed at European level?
LB: As far as Europe is concerned, we have many customers in German-speaking countries, but also in Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the United Kingdom where they are very advanced in BIM. As the application is available on mobile and tablet, we also have an international clientele, such as Malaysia or the United States.
There are already many VR/AR solutions. How do you differentiate yourself?
LB: We differentiate ourselves by our ease of use. GAMMA AR is currently the easiest to use application on the market, but also by our ability to synchronize via Autodesk platforms like ACC. Also, it is by the precision of the model positioning on site. We have a motivated and skilled team that works hard to provide the most accurate positioning. Finally, what makes us special is that the problems are specific to the object, which allows for greater accuracy in communication.
What is your business model? Direct or indirect? Saas, Desktop?
LB: Our solution is Saas based. Regarding the business model, we have a sales team that is available to propose the right solution for any type of company (construction, pharmaceutical, hospitals, data centers).
CD: The solution is sold as a package by ranges of a certain amount of users. There is also a single User License model and then licenses for teams by projects.
What is the cost of access to your solution? Is it fixed or per project?
CD: We offer Project packages and Enterprise packages.
JJ: Project packages depend on the size and type of project. Enterprise packages depend on the number of users.
What are you planning in terms of future developments?
CD: Our plans for the future are to integrate artificial intelligence into the application to improve data analysis and reporting, and mixed reality glasses.
Is there anything special you would like to say to our readers?
LB: We didn’t mention it but the application is available for free for thirty days to all new users.
Laura, Caner and Jayan, thank you very much for your very comprehensive and interesting presentation. We wish you lots of success in the French market.