Screampoint ready to reveal new Digital Cities software

AEC software veterans and a Google Earth co-creator lead the team.

Today venture-funded AEC startup Screampoint announced the launch of 5D Smart City, software for management of buildings and cities. The new software will utilize game-engine graphics technology and web access to assemble a dashboard-type view of real estate asset data. Target users of the new software are large owner/operators, government agencies, construction firms, and other stakeholders in large asset construction and city planning.

Screampoint's 5D Smart City will come as a series of web-based modules for managing buildings and cities.

A hybrid web application and visualization platform will be Screampoint’s hub for various modules designed to connect government officials, master developers and corporate leaders “in creating coordinated, efficient and sustainable urban policies and strategies across neighborhoods, businesses, and the entire social fabric of an urban area,” says the company’s announcement.

“5D” refers to dynamic AEC visualizations that go beyond 3D views to provide access to time (for phasing and sequencing) and cost (for estimating).

Screampoint is funded by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The company started as a development effort within Satellier, a BIM outsourcing firm with a global clientele. When the founders and Sequoia realized the potential market (and development complexity) of the Smart City technology, it was spun off as a separate company.

The basic approach of providing 3D data over the web was pioneered by Keyhole, Inc., the creator of what is now Google Earth. One Screampoint founder is Keyhole co-founder Remi Arnaud, who in October 2010 was a co-winner of the President’s Medal of the Geological Society of America, along with the other founders of Keyhole, for their role in the development of what is now Google Earth. Other principals include:

  • CEO Michael Jansen, the co-founder of Satellier;
  • SVP Paul Doherty, AIA, former CTO of Satellier and author of the pioneering 2000 book Cyberplaces;
  • CFO Rajesh Garg, former Satellier CFO.

What we think

With growing recognition of the power and value of a cloud-based approach to asset management, the timing just might be right for Screampoint. The company is targeting construction hotspots, with sales offices or development centers already set up in China, India, and the Middle East. It has been working in beta mode with select clients for more than a year ironing out the details.

AEC continues to be the most resistant industry to modernizing their software infrastructure. To many architecture and construction firms, the goal of advanced IT should be to transmit AutoCAD files faster. To succeed, Screampoint products will have to be fast, visually seductive, and offer a compelling ROI. The competition is email and possibly some homegrown SharePoint utilities. Navisworks from Autodesk has some of the basic features, but Screampoint aims to go much, much farther.

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