For a Human-Centered AI

The Software for Multitouch Screens that Helps the Public Administration Save Time and Money is Being Experimented in Trento

February 15, 2018

Practix, a company based at the Mechatronics Hub, has started with the province gevernment the experimentation of DraftTrade, a system that enables multiple remote users to manage building projects. Cutting the costs for prints and trips

[Press release]

Rovereto, February 12, 2018 – Each time that the Public Administration needs to revise building projects, a considerable use of resources is activated: dozens of giant plans must be printed with plotters and special printers for them to be analyzed by a group of people involved in the procedure, and those people, not only employees of the public administration but often also external professionals who participated in the creation of those documents must meet in the office. Trentino-based Practix, a company created as a spin-off of Fondazione Bruno Kessler and established now at the Polo Meccatronica in Rovereto (Trento), has found the solution that eliminates waste and trips: the DraftTrade system enables the dematerialization of projects by uploading them to the cloud, giving the opportunity to several people to simultaneously view and manipulate them in real time on the screen.

“The program is designed for large screens or multitouch tables – explains Daniel Tomasini, founder and CEO of Practix – but it can also be used on regular PCs with a mouse, without slowed down document viewing or editing, since all the calculations are performed in the cloud “.

In this way, instead of organizing meetings in the offices of the Public Administration that entail wasting time due not only to the need to gather the people involved, but also to the management of the plans, which given their size are often divided into different sections to be analyzed one at a time, we can use DraftTrade for the revision, which provides for remote connection of multiple users.

“The software allows users to view and evaluate the entire project that would be too large if printed – explains Tomasini – thanks to a Zoom In function, with which they can enlarge the details of specific areas, otherwise too small to be seen clearly, without giving up the overall view of the whole project “.

Currently the program supports up to four users simultaneously, which will increase to ten in the new version that is being developed. “Each user has their own magnifying glass that they can move independently of the others – Tomasini adds – and once an area has been identified, they can highlight some details with graphic signs, including the appropriate comments for the benefit of other users”.

All the comments and graphic signs are saved in the cloud in the order in which they were entered, thus giving the possibility to those who pick up the document at any time to know who made changes to the plan and what kind of annotations they made.

The software is the perfect tool for the fast and environmentally friendly management of building and landscaping project documentation, especially in those cases where it is necessary to organize a services conference involving the participation of several parties. Also, these can call videoconferences, since the software integrates Skype.

DraftTrade, thus, fits perfectly into the three-year plan for information technology in the Public Administration signed by the Gentiloni administration last May and which provides for investments of 4.6 billion in the three-year period 2017-2019 precisely to modernize the PA through the use of digital tools that allow to speed up activity and lower costs. With this in mind, the Infrastructures and Mobility Department of the Autonomous Province of Trento has started a trial of DraftTrade, which can be used for a year by 20 employees and 50 external professionals to evaluate the benefits of managing complex filed building projects.

With the beginning of the experimentation, the heads of the Province Agency Department explain, “the Autonomous Province of Trento proves to be an administration open to changes and new ideas, always aiming at an improvement that is not an end in itself, but has as its final goal to give tangible, effective and rapid responses to our community. In particular, we are happy to test the DraftTrade software not only because it seems an effective tool for dealing with the complex problems concerning building and urban planning, sectors in which Trentino is investing a lot in terms of both human and material resources, but also because it is a result of Trentino’s excellence, that is a company born from our research system. Innovation in the service of citizens: I believe that the importance of this tool can be summarized in this way. And let’s not forget that its use, making in many cases the physical mobility of the people involved no longer needed, thus allowing a cut in costs and time for the handling of the project documentation, will indirectly also give a hand to the environment. Technological experimentation serves this purpose as well”.