Bentley Systems announces acquisitions of sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision.
Bentley Systems, the infrastructure engineering software company, announced its acquisitions of sensemetrics (agreement executed) and Vista Data Vision (closed), leading providers of software for Internet of Things (IoT) applications used extensively in infrastructure. sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision will expand the scope of the Bentley iTwin platform to add intrinsic IoT capabilities for infrastructure digital twins to incorporate real-time sensor data. By virtue of the resulting “infrastructure IoT” standardisation, the full IoT ecosystem will finally be seamlessly accessible for IT/OT/ET integration, through infrastructure digital twins, to advance asset performance and to mitigate environmental risks.
Geotechnical engineering firms, land surveyors, and civil and structural engineering firms, and asset owner-operators in mining, transportation, and utilities apply sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision offerings for geological, geotechnical, structural, and environmental monitoring including in heavy civil construction, mines, tunnels, dams, and for water resources. sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision support interfaces to hundreds of different sensor devices and related data types, including robotic total stations, inclinometers, piezometers, strain gauges, crack meters, tilt meters, extensometers, anemometers, and for vibration data, pressure cells, temperature, solar insolation, precipitation, water quality, and air quality.
Sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision are particularly complementary to Seequent, a global leader in 3D modeling software for geosciences, which Bentley recently announced its agreement to acquire, subject to regulatory approvals in New Zealand and the United States. Augmenting Seequent’s Leapfrog models with continuous monitoring of real-time sensor data, instead of waiting for updates from intermittent borehole or drillhole investigations, can advance 3D subsurface digital twins to function as 4D “living” digital twins—enabling unprecedented improvements in environmental safety and resilience.
Founded in 2014 in San Diego, California, sensemetrics has continually advanced its vision to democratise IoT, and to extend its benefits across infrastructure assets, through its native cloud connectivity and edge controls platform – and its successful propagation, across device vendors, of farsighted sensor-agnostic standards. The sensemetrics platform is used extensively for real-time safety and risk monitoring in infrastructure, mining, and construction activities including to measure and visualise civil structural movement, for condition assessment, and to help detect and prevent damage.
Sensemetrics’ modular design provides a flexible platform for developers to build their own applications to meet specific infrastructure IoT needs. In particular, sensemetrics’ Sensor Integration Builder uniquely enables asset owners, engineers, and risk managers to choose their own sensors – with assurance that they can be seamlessly integrated into digital twin solutions within a matter of minutes. Finally, sensemetrics’ Thread and Strand connectivity devices can optionally accelerate “plug and play” deployments for wireless sensor devices, even for “off-grid” infrastructure locations.
Vista Data Vision
Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, Vista Data Vision is a second-generation family business spun out of Vista Engineering, which pioneered remote, real-time monitoring of power, traffic, and sanitation systems. In 1991, Vista Data Vision started developing software for analysing and managing project data, to be used in solving real-world engineering problems that required real-time or near real-time observations, and that could be configured by nontechnical users, with no software engineering required and no vendor lock-in.
Vista Data Vision is a stalwart of instrumentation projects, with unmatched experience gained over the last 30 years in bespoke applications for some of the most critical engineering use cases. Its solutions have been used in more than 2,000 projects in more than 70 countries, collecting millions of data points daily from hundreds of thousands of sensors.
By scalably and securely incorporating real-time sensor data, Vista Data Vision and sensemetrics increase the value of infrastructure engineering and geotechnical data to empower proactive risk management, safety, and predictive maintenance applications. Previously, traditional sensor data capture systems required specialists to implement and maintain, and were typically complex, rigid, and costly. Vista Data Vision and sensemetrics have made widespread infrastructure IoT deployments feasible by providing simple and reliable means to connect, store, and stream sensor data from a wide range of sensor devices for continuous and automated condition monitoring. The maturity and experience of Vista Data Vision in established engineering use cases to improve asset and environmental outcomes, along with their software’s configurability and ease of use, will now be complemented by the cloud-native device connectivity standardisation, and platform scalability, of sensemetrics.
These capabilities will be closely integrated with the Bentley iTwin platform to enable iTwin partners and users to easily develop and deploy their own applications for seamless incorporation of data streams from hundreds of sensor types. Through the iTwin platform’s intrinsic span of technical integration, infrastructure IoT applications can now gain the benefits of the broader IoT ecosystem including data analytics and visualisation through Microsoft’s Azure IoT, Siemens’ MindSphere, and/or NVIDIA’s Omniverse. The extension of the iTwin platform for infrastructure IoT substantially increases the lifecycle ROI, and the contribution to environmental resilience “handprints,” for 4D infrastructure digital twins.
The combination presents engineering firms with new “evergreen” opportunities to extend their value through continuous monitoring services and to curate, during the operations and maintenance lifecycle, the infrastructure asset digital twins which they create for capital project delivery. Examples of infrastructure IoT digital twin use cases include:
- environmental groundwater monitoring to improve the water quality of catchment areas, rivers, wetlands, and groundwater systems to assure a safe level of flood protection;
- dam condition monitoring for groundwater and slope stability during and after construction;
- near real-time rainfall and weather monitoring to minimise adverse environmental impacts during construction;
- air quality and meteorological monitoring;
- instrumentation and monitoring services during the repair of the truss chord on a bridge; and
- monitoring cracks in a cliff to assure safety for ongoing work at the site.
Bentley Systems CTO Keith Bentley said, “It is exciting to now be able to close the adoption gap between critical infrastructure and IoT technologies by integrating these acquisitions through our iTwin platform to enable living digital twins. We are very pleased to welcome our new colleagues who (from Vista Data Vision) originated and have proven the potential of infrastructure IoT, and who (from sensemetrics) have propagated the standardised cloud platform to now institutionalise it. They have all led the way, and the learning curve, towards this ultimate convergence of ET, OT, and IT, advancing infrastructure engineering and the environment for everyone.”
“We are thrilled to join the Bentley family and look forward to expanding the scope and reach of infrastructure instrumentation projects throughout the world,” said Thorarinn Andresson, CEO of Vista Data Vision. “Combining the capabilities of Vista Data Vision with sensemetrics, through the Bentley iTwin platform, will greatly accelerate our collective users’ benefits from infrastructure digital twins.”
“Combining our technology strengths with Vista Data Vision, and within Bentley Systems as the infrastructure engineering software company, brings closer our goal to effortlessly connect decision makers with condition monitoring data and insights that are critical to the safe and efficient operation of their assets,” said Cory Baldwin, CEO of sensemetrics. “The synergies enabled by extending infrastructure digital twins through infrastructure IoT are compelling, and we are excited to play a pivotal role in this advancement.”
Together, sensemetrics and Vista Data Vision will add approximately 40 colleagues to Bentley Systems. Their combined annualised revenues and profitability are not material to, and are not expected to meaningfully impact, the BSY financial outlook for 2021.