New ArcSite Pro App Anticipates Your Every Pen Stroke

by LAUREN WANG, CMO, Arctuition LLC | Aug 26, 2015

If you perform site investigations for a living, then your job and your life may have just gotten easier.

Earlier this month, Arctuition LLC, a Grand Rapids, MI-based startup, received approval from Apple to begin selling ArcSite Pro, its mobile app for the iPad, within the Apple Store. Aiming to replace the traditional use of pen and paper during site investigations –usually leading to inconvenient return visits– the company already had launched its initial beta app Arcsite Basic on iPad in May.

The result is a mobile design and collaboration solution for engineers, contractors, architects and designers, all of whom are now better equipped to manage graphic data on the go. Already, the reception has been strong and positive. Just since May, the ArcSite app has been adopted by over 10,000 professionals from a wide range of engineering disciplines, homebuilding, commercial construction, and architectural and interior design firms. In just the last few months, thousands of projects have been created and shared via ArcSite. Users have called it a “game changer”, rating its performance as five stars.

“For decades, hand drawing and CAD occupied two opposite sides of the design world,” explains CEO Pei Zhan, a veteran CAD developer and researcher who founded Arctuition in 2014. “On one side was an old-fashioned way of making designs, being more intuitive but less precise. On the other side, more precision and easier manipulation, but with quite a bit of learning curve.”

With ArcSite, these two concepts come together for the first time, he says. Powered by a patent-pending shape recognition technology that interprets user intention according to the freehand trajectory on a touch screen, the app converts freehand sketches to precise geometries in real-time. This is the first shape recognition technology used on touch screens that can interpret user intentions with precision in real-time. The app is complemented by powerful CAD-like editing tools that make ArcSite the ideal mobile drafting and design tool for professionals in the field.

“The ground-breaking freehand shape recognition combines with advanced constraint solving technologies, so users can now hand draft with ArcSite and set dimensions just as intuitively as they normally do with pen and paper,” adds Pei. “No need to learn. Every user can draw up an accurate floor plan with precise dimensions in just minutes!”

“Every user can draw up an accurate floor plan with precise dimensions in just minutes.”

— Pei Zhan, Arctuition founder

Grand idea: Zhan saw opportunity.

Grand idea: Zhan saw opportunity.

Pei’s prior experience had convinced him that there was a huge opportunity for CAD to achieve its full potential with mobile tech. Most of the leading CAD technologies were optimized for desktop use, with mobile use being an afterthought. AEC professionals still used old tools, like pen and paper, to gather data and sketch initial designs during site investigations. But sketches, photos, field notes, measurements, and drawing markups were scattered and easily lost. Often, field data would have to be re-measured, re-entered or re-drawn on the computer for sharing and further design.

To solve this productivity challenge, Pei began building a team and developing a mobile app that would enable mobile professionals to document all of their field projects digitally in one place. His R&D was supported by Zhen Fund, a leading angel investment fund in China. Today, Arctuition now has team members in Grand Rapids MI, Palo Alto CA, and Shanghai, China.

For a closer look at ArcSite Pro, check out the short presentation below from Pei Zhan, including a round of Q&A with an expert panel, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference back in May. 

Deeper dive

The newly launched ArcSite Pro also comes with advanced design features, Smart Dimension Editing and Customer Shapes, offering users greater opportunity to save even more time in the field.

With Smart Dimension Editing, users can change the length and angle of a line, as well as the radius and radians of an arc by directly entering the desired dimensions. ArcSite will automatically infer constraints for connectivity — vertical and horizontal direction, and tangency of a line or arc — and update the remainder of the object automatically. With Customer Shapes, users can access an ever-growing library of pre-defined, trade-specific shapes, such as a sofa or sink, and insert them directly into the drawings. They can also define their own custom shapes and save them for future use. This eliminates the need to recreate the same commonly-used shapes over and over again.

Stay up to date with Arctution on social media via Twitter @ArcSite and on Facebook.

Note: This article is from the BuiltWorlds archives. Some text, links, and images may not appear or function as they did originally.