Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Infomobility Conference - London

Conference room at Institute of Physics
On the 7th of November 2013 we held the annual COMIT Mobile IT conference. The theme was Information Mobility and the venue was the Institute of Physics in London. About 100 people booked and over 90 turned up on the day for a packed agenda.

If you attended the event, please let us know what you think by submitting your feedback on our website.

Duncan Evans (Crossrail)

The event was chaired by Duncan Evans of Crossrail and the keynote presentation was by Phil Jackson from the ICE. Phil made the point that it is information that needs to be mobile, not hardware, which means considering more than just the devices from which it is being accessed.

There were presentations from Timico, Costain, CrossRail, The BIM Task Group, MobiBiz, COMIT, Appear and futurist Francis Rabuck. If there was any single thread that tied all the presentations together, it was that mobile IT is increasingly fundamental to the application of initiatives within the construction industry.

Neill Pawsey, who some may remember used to be COMIT's Programme Manager, is now Senior Project Information Subject Matter Expert at Crossrail. With the help of Tom O'Keefe from Crossrail, Neill described the experience of deploying mobile IT on such a large project. He also gave some very conservative examples of the measurable benefits and how they could be used to justify the hardware costs.

Richard Lane (the BIM Task Group)

Thoughts were never far away from BIM, as might be expected during the current UK Government push and Richard Lane from the BIM Task Group gave an over-view of the reasons why.

BIM was also the focus for Harrison O'Hara from Costain, who is currently studying for an Engineering Doctorate at Loughborough University. Harrison is looking at the mobilization of BIM and COMIT is one of his industrial sponsors.

Stuart Young (Comit)

Cloud computing was also raised a number of times in different contexts, including the presentation by Martin Wilson from Appear on the MobiCloud project, of which COMIT is a partner.

The other EU supported project that COMIT is currently part of is Enable My Team, which is also a cloud-based solution. An update on progress was presented by Sandeep Jain from Mobibiz and COMIT's own Stuart Young.

Sharika Fernando (Coins)

Cloud computing is likely to play an increasingly important role in construction - particularly with the need for collaboration on large project data sets as required by BIM.

One memorable moment in the afternoon was when Sharika left the auditorium with the radio mic and treated the audience to her opinion of some slides that Jason was preparing in the foyer. Luckily she was quickly intercepted by Iain before she took it anywhere else...

Overall there was a great atmosphere at the event, with a lot of networking going on and plenty of impromtu debate. Tweets from the event were captured on Storify by Paul Wilkinson, who was one of the media partners. The Institute of Physics is a brilliant venue, with lots of room, helpful staff and good food.

First class biscuits!


A big thank you must go to the presenters and sponsors who made the event possible and to all those behind the scenes who put in the hours needed to make it happen - especially Gerry! We are all looking forward to next years conference which is already in the planning.

Finally, not everyone at the conference was equally photogenic, despite the best efforts of Simon Kalp from Objective who took all the photos. You may find a few amusing ones in the following slideshow - apologies to those concerned!

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