Virtual tours, tech’s growing role in urban development and the problem with “niche” innovation

After a brief hiatus, Tech Talk Radio is back this week with a trio of interviews from across the sector.

We kick off with an interview with Volker Busher, digital service leader at engineering consultancy Arup’s Global, to hear how one of the industry’s biggest players is tackling digital transformation. Busher said: “We want to address two questions: first, why would a property business or corporate real estate organisation want to use technology differently, and where is the value? And why there is so much fragmentation currently in place?

“People do something interesting with BIM here and audio-visual technology over here, so there is a lot of innovation in niches but we are not sure they are adding up to the outcomes people are trying to achieve across their portfolios.”

Next up is the new president of the Urban Land Institute, Chris Choa, who explains why he is calling on the tech sector to help identify infrastructure investment strategy.

“Choa said that attracting interest and input from the tech sector is top of his to-do list as he embarks on his two-year tenure. “Cities are powerful because they bring people together,” he said. “They are not a thing, they are a system. They are networks. And technology focuses on the power of networks and systems.

“Because the tech sector is so focused on this, they have a lot of strategy we can use when we plan infrastructure. We can use different ways of technology-enabled decision-making to decide where we invest first.”

“Connectivity is destiny. There is no place that will grow that is not connected to other places that are growing. And there is no group that will be at a disadvantage by being connected to other groups that are connected.”

And finally, we hear from Andrew Nicholls, founder and chief executive of virtual tours company EyeSpy 360, on why the firm is about to take its tool live.

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