PlanGrid: PDF blueprints on the iPad to improve communication in real-time

This week, Apple is poised to announce the next version of the iPad. The latest rumors indicate that this update will include Apple’s Retina Display technology currently found in the iPhone. The high resolution display makes it difficult for the eye to perceive individual pixels, thus enabling higher clarity. For my colleagues in the construction industry (and stakeholders involved in capital improvement projects), a new app called PlanGrid will make full use of a higher resolution iPad.

Here’s the description from TechCrunch:

PlanGrid is a cloud-based service that delivers blueprints as PDFs directly on the tablet; then people working in the field can use these instead of paper-based versions. When a modification needs to be made, that can be directly noted on the plan, in the app. That is subsequently updated into a new version. PlanGrid’s technology makes the rendering and scrolling of those blueprints significantly faster, too.

According to Ryan Sutton-Gee, co-founder and CEO of Loupe, the company behind PlanGrid, this app has actually convinced some A/E/C firms to invest in iPads so they can use the app. The app is free in the App Store, while Loupe provides the back-end service (cloud-based) in three tiers:

  • Free for a limited number of sheets
  • $19.99 per month for 550 sheets
  • $49.99 per month for 5,000 sheets