BENTLEY Acceleration Initiatives has announced the availability of OpenTower iQ, a digital twin solution that provides 3D visualisation, real-time decision support, and predictive design.
OpenTower iQ is the result of a digital co-venture between Bentley and Visual Intelligence, a Houston, Texas-based sensor technology company, and Aeroprotechnik, an aerial inspection engineering company based in Viseu, Portugal.
Bentley Acceleration Initiatives is Bentley Systems’ (Nasdaq: BSY) strategic investment fund and incubator initiative. Its objective is to bring together ecosystem partners in a digital co-ventures to accelerate the go-to-market of creative cloud solutions based on the Bentley iTwin platform. OpenTower iQ, ‘powered by iTwin,’ is a textbook example of co-venturing that combines innovative digital technologies from entrepreneurial companies to address a market need in double-quick time.
As demand for data grows, tower companies and engineering firms are looking for all-inclusive, engineering-grade solutions to co-locate, modify, and maintain telecom infrastructure for the 5G rollout.
OpenTower iQ makes it easy to modify existing towers and maintain accurate models, automating the repetitive work of producing as-built models and using artificial intelligence to detect critical components.
Tower companies can use OpenTower iQ to monitor the health of their towers and gain access to shared, secured data through an easy-to-understand portal.
Data analytics provide cost benefit analysis to boost operational efficiency and revenue assurance. Improved accuracy of tower inspections and smart inventory management saves time, cost, and improves safety. OpenTower iQ is designed to handle the large asset portfolios of operators, easily processing and analysing tens of thousands of towers.
Artificial intelligence and patented drone technologies
To accelerate the launch of OpenTower iQ, Bentley Acceleration Initiatives acquired digital twin technology from Aeroprotechnik, an aerial inspection engineering company. The technology included artificial intelligence and reality modelling capabilities.
Bentley Acceleration Initiatives also partnered with Visual Intelligence whose patented dual-sensor drone technology digitalises physical infrastructure with millimetre accuracy to reliably deliver 3D, engineering-grade asset intelligence. Visual Intelligence is able to map more measurable surface area than alternative aerial and ground-based methods. Its patented drone sensor technology captures the components of a tower including bolts, wires, ladders, and other items with an extremely high degree of accuracy that was not previously possible.
“The objective of Bentley Acceleration Initiatives is to incubate new businesses and augment existing ones using Bentley iTwin technologies,” said Santanu Das, senior vice president, chief acceleration officer, Bentley Acceleration Initiatives.
“We provide a go-to-market accelerator to rapidly bring to users the innovative ideas from Bentley’s research and development in partnership with emerging industry leaders and technology specialists such as Visual Intelligence and Aeroprotechnik.
“Bentley Acceleration Initiatives helped incubate OpenTower iQ by funding its development, seeking out technology partnerships to fill whitespaces, and creating a comprehensive go-to-market strategy.
“Our next step is to invite additional interested ecosystem partners to kick start new digital integrator services to capture huge emerging opportunities for enterprise integration and implementation for towers.
“The telecom industry is going through a rapid transformation as multinetwork operators are expanding their portfolios through consolidation and moving from a 4G platform to 5G. Without a doubt, digital twin solutions like OpenTower iQ, ‘powered by iTwin,’ will help tower owners make the most of the industry’s burgeoning opportunities.”
Genesys Internatonal vice president Nikhil Jani said OpenTower iQ for tower planning and management was “a game changer” for the telecom market.
“Within a couple of days, we had a high-quality reality model available with the reports and other aspects of the projects,” she said.
“Now, all the tower data is available in digital form—and it’s accurate and current.”
Visual Intelligence and former chairman and CEO of Crown Castle International, Ted Miller, said they were “enabling new applications of drone data and accelerating the value of digital twins to tower companies worldwide”.