Capmation helps Aretas Labs launch Photowave
Full Stack Development
Aretas Labs is a community of business leaders, designers, and engineers who are inspired to build enterprise solutions, develop simple technology products, and discover new ways to ‘discover this reality.’
Aretas Labs had an ambitious goal: to revolutionize communication in the construction industry with a software solution that would streamline the cumbersome photo reporting process. Typically, communication between site supervisors and clients is an asynchronous process that requires time-consuming photo uploads for multiple construction sites. The company had a vision to transform that process by creating a simple, Instagram-like mobile app that would shake up entrenched construction photography practices.
This solution (now known as Photowave) would eliminate photo redundancy, create a central photo location, and save site managers’ and superintendents’ valuable time. It would also make it easy for users to tag other users with specific feedback requests and receive that feedback immediately. Moreover, this technology would allow users to create dedicated workspaces for specific teams and groups to better differentiate between projects.
“We saw the need for a tool that can very easily help construction crews monitor and share photos with both their clients and others on the job,” said Luke Truitt, Chief Product Officer. “There are a couple, but none of them were really comprehensive.”
Creating this new solution would mean disrupting the technological landscape of the industry. There was no existing software with the complete list of capabilities desired by Aretas Labs, and so a plan was set in motion. Aretas Labs would not only seek to create a new photo reporting software — it would take on the challenging task of seamlessly integrating it with Procore, the long-standing construction industry black box.
Luke had previously worked with Capmation CEO and founder, Dave Ward, and knew Capmation would provide the flexibility, expertise, and innovation required to create this product.
Capmation first worked with Aretas Labs to simplify the project scope over multiple creative meetings. The goal was to create a stronger product through a cost opportunity lens.
“There were a lot of nice-to-haves,” explained Luke. “But those aren’t necessarily the point of the product. That was the biggest takeaway. The original version we talked about was much more robust, but being able to cost-effectively build a proof of concept brings in more investor money. Capmation really helped with that.”
Once the parameters of the software capabilities were solidified, Capmation worked to create a Sprint 1 MVP (minimum viable product) that would define the architecture of the software, confirm the database schema, and establish necessary endpoints from Capmation’s API. Aretas Labs and Capmation designed this MVP together, ultimately creating a simple, workable UI with the ability to post, like, and comment on a picture.
From there, Capmation worked closely with the company to refine the user experience of the solution. “It was hard to nail down all the different paths of execution that different users would take,” said Luke. “Being able to determine the ideal user flows ended up being a bit more work than we thought. Capmation sat with us on calls, talking through what a better flow would look like and accommodating crucial fixes to keep us within budget.”
Armed with collaborative project outlines, Capmation quickly created the Sprint 3 app prototype. Working efficiently and in constant contact with Aretas Labs, Capmation accomplished numerous Sprint 3 tasks ahead of schedule.
The primary obstacle of the project was the integration with Procore. This integration proved more complex than initially anticipated, and it briefly extended the timeline. However, integration was eventually successful through collaboration between Capmation and a Procore SME near the end of Sprint 5, which allowed for a Sprint 6 demo for major stakeholders.
Photowave is now available for download in Apple and Android stores. This mobile app resembles Instagram’s capabilities and encourages site workers/superintendents to work digitally with their clients and off-site teams in real time. Photowave additionally provides the ability to create dedicated workspaces for different construction aspects including landscaping, scaffolding, and contractors.
Overall, the process and the solution were a resounding success.
“We got a product to market that accomplished what we wanted to do and we were able to test the core value proposition of that product,” confirmed Luke. “We were able to keep on budget and build an app that works.”
Capmation’s open communication with Aretas Labs throughout the process also left technological doors open for the future of the app in potential extensions.
“We’re looking to build out a web interface to use the app on the desktop,” explained Luke. “We also want to put more emphasis on non-construction industries with an encrypted photo stream.”
Market validation, cost-efficiency, and open collaboration created a successful partnership between Aretas Labs and Capmation.
“Aretas Labs’ collaboration, openness and transparency were key factors in achieving the best product,” said Jose Davalos, one of Capmation’s software engineers on the project. “Their team helped us gain valuable insights about the construction industry, which created a better end project. We look forward to working on future evolutions of Photowave.”
“As an early-stage company who struggled to find affordable development resources, being able to work with a team like Capmation who’s willing to flex with you as part of their team is super important. It was a great experience and we appreciate everything they’ve done for us,” Luke concluded.
- Pioneering industry software creates a competitive edge in a new software market and opens doors to future technologies.
- Comprehensive experience provides user-friendly, scalable solutions.
- Intelligent implementation and development make solutions applicable outside of the target market for a wider release over time.