The purpose of being at AIA and NeoCon was quite clear for the Trezi team. While we might have been operating from our founder-based bias in terms of the relevance of emerging tech like VR in the AEC industry and feeling excited about good quality traction building in India, the primary reason to attend these events was to see and understand, firsthand, how the world is responding to immersive tech.

And both events brought tremendous learnings and validations, too.

The startup section at AIA was undoubtedly the busiest and over 80% of the companies displaying their tech products had an immersive offering in their products. It became evident, very quickly, what the future holds.

Heck no. The future, in fact, is here already. And India has some catching up to do.

BIM to 3DS Max to VR was one of the last sessions at AIA, it was also among the busiest. To see such a large audience come in on a Saturday evening in Las Vegas, when people usually make other plans for that city, was a massive validation of what professionals in the industry preferred.

NeoCon, despite being a product-centric event, saw a fair presence (and high-interest levels) of tech-based startups as well. Every product manufacturer I met evinced keen interest in understanding how mundane methods of physical mockups and samples can be reduced, even be done away with.

It was a fortnight of meeting stimulating minds, thinkers, academics, peers and old friends. Most of the folks I spoke to validated the need for a new medium of design experience, communication, and collaboration. Tushar Gupta of EYP Architecture & Engineering suggested that change is being necessitated even by clients who clearly understand the value of design reviews in an immersive mode, rather than guesswork done with 2D drawings and 3D stills.

So, the purpose of being at AIA and NeoCon was well achieved.

Immersive tech in the AEC industry is well and truly here and it is here to stay. It is not even a hype anymore. As Chico Membreno of Autodesk mentioned in my immensely stimulating chat with him “with immersive tech it is not about ‘is it of any use?’, it is now actually about what all will it get done?”.

The use and the value is now clearly established but the adoption and success remain in the hands of the end-user. Adopting new tech is not something that most of us who operate in the AEC industry can be too proud of. My meeting with Paul Shahriari CEO of ecomedes was a key highlight of NeoCon. And I totally loved how Paul put it that all of us in the AEC industry are happy to order Burritos from phone-based apps but can’t seem to bring that level of comfort into buying building products online. True that.

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