Affordable Apps for the Construction Industry

Solutions for the construction industry are far reaching. More innovative solutions for the industry are being created all the time. Some solutions can get pretty pricey and with all the tools needed to compete today, it can add up. Keeping a budget on track shouldn't be harder than it needs to be. To give you a leg up on the competition, Ryvit has compiled a list of affordable tools in a few categories including timesheets, document management and project collaboration, that will help you save a little so you can spend elsewhere.

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1. TSheets Time tracking made easy for you and your employees. This mobile app does more than just logging hours. You can set overtime alerts and it will keep track of vacation days, PTO, and approvals. A feature that makes it great for the construction industry is the uses of GPS location tracking. This app integrates with QuickBooks, makes payroll simple, and gives real-time reports. You can start with a three-day trial.

2. Trello Trello is a more visual project collaboration tool. You can drop any number of assets associated with a project into Trello to keep track of it all in one place. Your projects become boards. You can see, all in one place, what has been worked on, who is working on what, and where your project is in the process. Trello is free and easy to learn.

3. Office Lens Office Lens will take a picture of a whiteboard or other assets and make them readable and in a document form that can be converted to a PDF. This app enhances and trims the photos to make them readable assets. This can be a handy tool for brainstorming sessions. This is a free app, part of the Microsoft Office Suite and can sync with OneNote.

4. Jobsite unite This is more than project collaboration and could fall under the category of a workflow tool. It is strictly construction focused, which is great! It has really kept in mind what construction professionals need. You are able to create a construction profile for each project, communicate with a team or the entire jobsite, improve awareness and safety on the job, and deliver your projects on time and on budget. You can access this tool from anywhere and use the direct chat, photo, and check-in functions to stay on top of the project.

5. CamScanner This will turn your smartphone or tablet into a scanner. All of your devices can sync up and your scans can be shared. If your mobile banking app allows you to deposit checks with your smartphone, you already know how this app works. Store, share, annotate, and manage your documents all from this free app.

6. Asana Asana is an affordable list making tool that helps with project collaboration organization. Assign tasks to your team and they will check them off as they go. If a team member needs something from you, they can assign you a task to you or anyone else as well. Give these tasks due dates for added accountability and sync with your smartphone so you can check off and assign tasks from anywhere. These tasks can stand alone, for one-off requests, or be rolled into projects with bigger goals.

Do you need a Chief Security Officer?

Cyber security is an increasingly important topic. Whether you are in the construction, financial, legal, healthcare, education or many other industries, your data needs to be both accessible and secure. Internal and external security threats can affect your operations, earnings, and level of trust your clients have with your organization. With the growth of cloud-computing and mobile technology the demand to keep sensitive information and data secure will only increase.

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Few companies can afford the disruption to operations caused by a security breach. Enter a Chief Security Office. This C-level professional will lead the charge for security measure of data within your company. CSOs usually possess a master’s degree. They will make the procedures, guidelines and direction for information security policies within your company. These guidelines should be set in place to protect information and data from internal and external threats. The CSO will be responsible for the planning, coordinating, developing, and implementing of all cyber security measures.  They can also educate other employees on data security measures and best practices. Not every company is able to add another C-level position to their organization just yet. With or without a Chief Security Officer, all organizations should have a data recovery plan so they do not lose their data and information. If a CSO is not currently in your scope, consider doing outsourced IT. This alternative will fit you data security needs and other tech needs your company may have. They will be able to assist you in doing a technology-based risk assessment annually, which is a best practice when it comes to data security. This can give a baseline of the measure that need to be taken to keep your sensitive information and data safe. An outsourced tech provider can assist you in creating a data classification policy and verse you in cyber liability insurance. Deciding if you need a CSO can take a good deal of internal auditing and planning. This tech-focused executive can be replaced by outsourced IT. Take your time in researching the benefits and costs of each option.

Introducing Ryvit iPaaS+™

Get your Software’s Integration Solutions to Market and Outsell your Competition Ryvit is a new fresh approach to integration for the software industry. Once we have access to your API, we integrate your applications with other business critical applications without additional coding by your developers or implementation teams. We don’t offer toolkits, GUIs, and SDKs to let you build point-to-point integrations . We build the integration for you. Easier. We build software integrations for your company.

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Behind every Ryvit integration is a team of integration specialists working directly with you to do the heavy lifting. We design and develop value-adding functionality to meet the needs of your customers. You can integrate your software application to ERP, CRM, eCommerce, Social apps and specialty industry-specific solutions without exhausting your development resources….the work is being done for you. Faster. Once you have us build an application integration, you can re-use that development investment to connect the correlating database objects with additional applications available on the Ryvit Platform; Or you can choose for us to create a new application ryvit for another vendor’s solution if it isn’t already available. You accelerate getting new solutions to market and quickly create value. Smarter. Whether your requirements include complex data mappings, data transformation, document generation, real-time synchronization or cross-integration analytics we have you covered. Leverage our resources and capability to deliver a fully-managed, enterprise-level solution to your customers for a fraction of the cost to build and maintain a single point-to-point integration. Ryvit iPaaS+™  delivers iPaaS plus a whole lot more — Performance Monitoring, Business Intelligence and Development Services.  With Ryvit you get:

  • Happy Executives - Increase revenue and market awareness exponentially without an upfront development investment
  • Happy Development Team - Leverage our team of experts to build and manage integrations for you
  • Happy Customers - Quickly deploy best-of-breed and complimentary application integrations to your customers

Read more about it by downloading out whitepaper (Ready-needs loaded onto resources page) Click here to get your free consultation today.

Modern Day Matchmaking in the iPaaS economy

Finding your perfect match means more than just a feeling when we talk about the iPaaS economy. Ultimately your perfect match needs to help you accomplish one task- outsell your competitors. Customers demand all of the workflows be accessible from one interface, they want to use one dashboard, and they want to access it from anywhere. Here’s how to outsell your competition: Focus on the Technology itself Ask your software provider what you are really getting. The technology needs to be:

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Reliable- First are foremost your technology needs to do what it is supposed to do all of the time. No one has the patience to deal with spotty technology or an application that is unreliable when you need to use it. The technology we have available at our fingertips is expected to perform.

Usable- Can the end user open this up and figure it out? Sure there could be a little bit of a learning curve, but too much of one and interest in your tool will be lost- no matter how much easier it could make their lives. The technology should be intuitive.

Portable – Having a mobile-friendly tool is necessary to compete today. Many professionals work from multiple devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Make sure it’s all going to be mobile friendly and powerful even in the palm of their hands.

Accessible- Today, everything must be easily accessible. This goes hand in hand with the tool being usable and portable, but it takes it one step further. Can the end user open the tool and go? What steps stand in the way of that happening? These steps should be eliminated to create ease of accessibility.

Performing – The tool has to meet all of the needs of the client. They need to be able to be able to have that all-in-one experience. Streamlined tools perform well for professionals today. Having technology that meets all of these requirements- reliable, usable, portable, accessible and performing is step one in outselling your competition because it leads to happy customers. Make sure your customers know your technology solution in and out to help manage their expectations. If they have new requirements for your tool, be responsive. This will help them understand that you are doing everything in your power to get them what they need and will keep your from gaining any unhappy customers who could damage your reputation. Find a software partner who can deliver to you a superior product and your clients will be happy.

Ryvit Announces Partnership with Viewpoint to provide Streamlined Data Management to Construction Industry

ST. LOUIS – June 30, 2016 – Ryvit ([url=https://ryvit.com]https://ryvit.com[/url]) today announced joining the Viewpoint Development Partner Program. The partnership formalizes the addition of Vista™ by Viewpoint to Ryvit’s iPaaS+™ platform economy of complementary software solutions. The integrations streamline exchanges between Vista and applications used by the construction industry for CRM, Time, Expense Management, and other point solution applications used by the Construction Industry.

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As part of the Ryvit iPaaS+™ platform, Viewpoint will directly extend its integration offerings to include connection to more applications like ToolWatch, Concur, AmericanExpressCAR, Wright’sExpress, ConstantContact, TruQC, and Salesforce. Vista™ by Viewpoint – the industry leading construction and accounting software solution.

  Viewpoint is a provider of innovative construction-specific software solutions to the global construction and capital project industries. Viewpoint provides the tools needed to improve project profitability and visibility, manage risk, and effectively collaborate with the entire project team. Vista is a fully integrated, scalable and comprehensive suite of software solutions that helps contractors manage all areas of operations. Solutions include Accounting/HR, Project Management, Project Collaboration, Mobile, Estimating, Content Management and Service Management, Vista scales easily and integrates with all key third-party software.  This suite of applications is built on the award-winning Microsoft® .NET Framework using the SQL Server® database for timely reporting of critical data. “We are very pleased to form a strategic partnership with Viewpoint.  By combining Viewpoint’s expertise in ERP, with Ryvit’s vision for the common subscriber’s application mix, we can define exciting new opportunities for data integration and data transformation. Partnering with Viewpoint is absolutely key for servicing our core focus area—the construction industry.  Extending the customer’s Vista investment with integrations to leading point solutions can equate to millions of dollars in productivity savings each year for the industry. We have worked with our Ryvit architects, and we have come up with an incredible game-changing way to do business with the addition of Viewpoint Vista on our platform,” Maureen O’Neill, Ryvit Sales Channel Leader. The solution today for application vendors is iPaaS+TM, Integration Platform as a Service plus a whole lot more.  Ryvit delivers modern integration for software vendors with an iPaaS+™ ecosystem of integrations and applications. Ryvit is not an SDK or toolkit.  Ryvit develops and maintains integrations, taking the burden off the end-users and the software application companies. “Joining the Ryvit eco-system extends our capabilities to deliver choices to our customers who are using other industry applications  to increase efficiencies and provide even better visibility into the data needed for improved decision making,” said Matt Harris, Senior VP of Product at Viewpoint. “Ryvit’s iPaaS+™  approach to integration for the construction industry advocates open and connected systems throughout the enterprise based on the preferences of the end user organization. There is a demand from users to be able to access, update and change data from their application of choice from any device.  That demand extends to integrations with other construction point solution applications running on the desktop and in the field.  We effectively remove the integration product development and lifecycle management workload for our partners,” said Tom Stemm, Ryvit CEO.  

About Viewpoint Viewpoint is a provider of innovative construction-specific software solutions to the global construction and capital project industries. Viewpoint provides the tools these industries need to improve project profitability through better visibility, risk management and real-time team collaboration.  Viewpoint solutions address the full construction life-cycle from planning/bidding to construction and facilities maintenance.  Viewpoint’s solutions are offered on a variety of platforms, including Cloud, Mobile, SaaS and On Premises. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, USA, and with offices in the UK and Australia, Viewpoint has become the technology partner of choice, with customers located across the globe in more than 28 countries. These customers include more than 40 percent of the ENR 400, and over 20 percent of the ENR 600. For more information, please visit www.viewpoint.com.

About Ryvit Ryvit’s expertise lies squarely in the crossroads of the construction industry and software integration.  Ryvit is a new fresh approach to integration for the construction software industry. Once we have access to an API, we can quickly develop and onboard our partners to the platform, who then can rapidly attach to any other application that makes sense.  Ryvit enables connectivity and collaboration for software companies with other business critical applications without additional coding by software company developers or implementation teams. By doing the heavy lifting, Ryvit alleviates the burden of software integration development from construction companies and our partners. In early 2011, Tom Stemm our CEO, identified an opportunity in the market to deliver software development services in a new way to provide scale and interoperability among industry focused applications.  As a recognized authority on innovative integration and development, he set the course for the Ryvit strategy.  He paved the way for companies to acquire integration capabilities with economy of scale by launching a platform that ensures ease of entry and maximum participation for partners.  Tom takes a serious and integral approach to integration, unlike most solutions on the market– we are not an SDK or a simple import/export tool–we build, implement, deliver, and manage the comprehensive integration platform required for meaningful efficiency gains and insightful analytics spanning best-in-class applications. For questions on the release or information about the Ryvit integration partner platform contact Ryvit.  https://www.ryvit.com

Sustainability in Architecture, Engineering and Construction

What does it mean to be a sustainable builder? A grass hut in the desert? Are there grass huts in the desert? Being a sustainable builder means you are building structures with the future and low-energy use in mind. Using products and practices that will waste less and have fewer harmful byproducts is another large part of being sustainable in AEC. Sustainably designed buildings and environments are put through a thoughtful process required to build green such as LEED certification requirements. The projects details are evaluated and optimized down to the smallest and most subtle detail. Sustainability in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) is becoming increasingly important as the earth continues to support growing human populations and larger industry. The positives of LEED building include saving money, creating a healthier environment, and promoting renewable, clean energy. Sustainability in AEC can be done in all different levels, including building design and construction, interior design and construction, building operations and maintenance, and neighborhood and urban development. Through mindful design, AEC is poised to play a big role in sustainability efforts globally. Economic, Environmental, and Equity, or the Triple E Bottom Line is used as a framework for measuring and reporting building performance against economic, social and environmental parameters. Triple E Line also captures a whole set of values around sustainability to minimize the harm that may result from activities to create economic, social and environmental value. This framework is an important guideline in sustainability because it takes a holistic look at the potential damages that could result from reckless AEC policies. Construction technology has the ability to take AEC into sustainable practices now and in the future. Taking construction to the cutting edge of technology will help shape the future of AEC for the better. These practices support a healthier environment while saving money. Find out how you can bring your construction software to the cutting edge and support sustainability in AEC.

The iPaaS+™ Difference

iPaaS Businesses can no longer survive with software operating in a silo. They need their business systems to communicate across the enterprise and deliver meaningful insights to a variety of stakeholders. Doing this in a consistent and cost-effective way is the trick. The scope of developing, monitoring and supporting a single integration can be out of reach for most organizations. This is where iPaaS vendors come in. The services they provide are now more valuable than ever. Businesses are able to leverage iPaaS to enable subscribers to implement integration projects involving any combination of cloud and on-premise endpoints- data sources, applications, web services, APIs and processes. Some iPaaS benefits include:

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  • Eliminate costs and resource requirements of endpoint-to-endpoint integrations
  • Support for a variety of connectivity protocols and data delivery methods allow businesses to rapidly expand integrations offerings and increase market opportunity
  • Enhance security and stability with 24/7 advanced monitoring and support
  • Reduce time-to-value with reusable integration templates

 

iPaaS+™ With Ryvit, you can integrate your software or services into our ecosystem. This ecosystem of applications and integrations allows you to quickly integrate with all other applications within our ecosystem. You are able to do this without having to build, monitor or maintain individual endpoint-to-endpoint integrations. With iPaaS+™ by Ryvit, you get all of the benefits on an iPaaS provider plus a whole lot more. You are able to leverage our business intelligence component for better analytics because of our ability to natively push and pull data from multiple applications. The meaningful metrics gained from our BI can be shared with the executive team, sales and marketing teams and even customers. Your integrations will be easier, faster and smarter.

Easier. We build software integrations for your company. Behind every Ryvit integration is a team of integration specialists working directly with you to do the heavy lifting. We design and develop value-adding functionality to meet the needs of your customers. You can integrate your software application to ERP, CRM, eCommerce, Social apps and specialty industry-specific solutions without exhausting your development resources….the work is being done for you.

Faster. Once you have us build an application integration, you can re-use that development investment to connect the correlating database objects with additional applications available on the Ryvit Platform; Or you can choose for us to create a new application Ryvit for another vendor’s solution if it isn’t already available. You accelerate getting new solutions to market and quickly create value.

Smarter. Whether your requirements include complex data mappings, data transformation, document generation, real-time synchronization or cross-integration analytics we have you covered. Leverage our resources and capability to deliver a fully-managed, enterprise-level solution to your customers for a fraction of the cost to build and maintain a single point-to-point integration.

The Ryvit Value Proposition

“Software companies don’t typically have the resources or the time to focus on how other business applications use their data or services. They are focused on developing their product. The iPaaS model allows organizations to decouple from the process. A partner builds their API, exposes the objects and functionality they want to share and we do the rest. Ryvit manages the integrations, handles functional changes, monitors systems and hardware – and ensures every partner in the ecosystem can scale to meet demand with 99.99% reliability.” CEO, Ryvit Partner

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Tiny Houses and Micro Apartments mean Big Opportunity in AEC

The trend of living in smaller spaces is really catching on. The tiny house movement has gained a little notoriety after being featured on home improvement shows and national publications. A tiny house builder can easily be found with a quick internet search with floor plans ranging from 115 square feet to 300 square feet. A lot of tiny house residents want the chance to get away from their hectic lives and commune with nature. Their tiny house might be a retreat or a more full-time settlement and usually feature lots of natural light and natural wood. Most tiny houses are mobile and can be found somewhere scenic- with a view of a lake somewhere on the east coast, overlooking beautiful mountains, nestled in a wooded retreat, or within reach of the salty air in the Pacific Northwest. For those who would also like to dwell in 300 square feet, but want a different view entirely, micro apartments in the best urban areas are just starting to catch on too. These apartments are for those who love the vibrant feel of Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, or Seattle but don’t need or want a big space. Many micro apartment tenants are living alone with a minimalistic feel. This lifestyle choice shows an emphasis on the demand for convenience and location over physical space and the ability to entertain. What do tiny houses and micro apartments mean for the construction industry along with the architecture and engineering industries? Opportunity. These two tiny living choices have made an impact on architecture, engineering, and construction already and while gaining popularity could make even more of a splash. AEC firms have to become increasingly creative to find the right balance of being small and being open in just the right location. A smart use of space is what makes tiny dwellings possible and that starts with the plans. Creative storage and versatile spaces are required in tiny dwellings. If these obstacles can be overcome, however, fewer materials needed with a higher price tag per foot than many other homes leave this market with huge opportunity for AEC firms. Keep in mind, many tiny dwellers are visionaries and want a heavy hand in what their space will be like. They want the beautiful architectural touches that say craftsman or urban minimalism in the tiny spaces they call home. Micro apartments don’t always allow for as much resident input, but the style has to be there. Capturing the spirit of this demographic will bring success to AEC firms who look to make it big in this tiny niche.

Triple Sight in Construction Technology

As a construction specialist working in the technology industry, our Construction Technology Architect Adam realizes the potential tech has to transform the construction industry. To help others best understand how technology in construction has evolved, and therefore where it can lead in respect to app integration, business intelligence, and security, he has broken it down into the three stages of triple sight; hindsight, current sight and foresight. Hindsight Hindsight is all about learning about and analyzing the past.

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When it comes to applications and integration in construction, integration was historically limited to main business functions. Accounting, CRM, and some light estimating functions were the only opportunities for integration in the construction space. These integrations were useful for the main operations and increased efficiency and data intelligence. However, countless other solutions could not be integrated. When it came to creating assemblies and take-offs, field reporting, and productivity capture, it all had to be done by spreadsheets or pen and paper reporting. These core business functions were, at the time, left without the benefits of integration. In the past, business intelligence was completely reactionary. It was an incredibly labor-intensive process of reporting and analysis realized most often through market research and project close-out reporting. We learned how our mistakes or oversights affected profitability and tried to correct those mistakes in the future without the ability to pivot during project execution. When it comes to security, we realize it was a different time with different risks. One of the biggest security concerns was human error and user vulnerabilities. The external risks were far fewer simply because of the nature of technology at the time. The tech itself posed a security risk because of the capabilities of the systems and the lifespan of both hardware and infrastructure. The lack of continuity plans were a hindrance on firms as well. Current Sight The current sight is all about understanding what is available now and how it can be best utilized to see maximum benefits in your operation. Currently, there are applications available for all aspects of business functions. No longer is it required for an organization to rely on spreadsheets or pen and paper reporting for core functions. Through this, the focus on efficiency is more apparent and more achievable than ever before. This is driven by tighter margins, aggressive schedules, and emerging construction practices. Currently, integration is thought of in a different way than ever before. It has become a pre-requisite and not a commodity in the application selection process. What does this mean for you? The focus on efficiency in the field is no longer the only profit driver. In order to offset the “cost of doing construction,” corporate efficiency continues to be a driving factor. Two main focuses in this arena are removing data double entry and curbing multiple sources for reporting data. We have seen a sizable increase in the use of software solutions in construction when we compare 2014 and 2015. Here is a quick snapshot of the top solutions including CRM, BIM, estimating and takeoff, field capture and reporting, and project management. Triple Sight Blog chart As it stands now, business intelligence is obtained through a strategic integration plan. This allows companies to answer two important questions: What are our economic drivers? And how can we improve these in real time? The analysis is much more flexible and can be run per project, phase, vertical, or any other way you need. Custom dashboards exist for individual roles including executives, sales, operations, and accounting. Security has come a long way and human error and vulnerabilities are combated by continuity plans as now continuity plans are prerequisites of doing business. The focus in security has shifted to external threats and internal systematic vulnerabilities. To combat this, risk assessments are imperative as they identify risks and publishing mitigation strategies. Cyber liability insurance is one of the best ways to safeguard your business today and calls for a privacy policy, acceptable use policy, network security policy, incident response policy, disaster recovery policy, encrypted devices, secure remote capabilities, protocols for user identification, authentication, and integrity. Foresight Looking at the trends in construction today and how far technology has come in this industry, we look at the possibilities of the future. SaaS and hosted platforms for application integration are going to become essential across the board.  In the future, we fully expect to see complete automation for project lifecycles in corporate offices from start to close-out. The benefits of these platforms are many but two of the top benefits are a streamlined application portfolio, scalability without additional labor-force, and a reduced TCO for IT infrastructure. In the realm of business intelligence, the best strategic planners are going to dominate the market as market strategy and prediction will be widespread throughout the industry. SMART schedules with the ability to pivot project execution plans day-to-day or even hour-to-hour will also become essential. In the near future, security as a service with risk assessment, intrusion detection, and penetration testing will be the norm. A more granular approach will be taken the managed security, data logging and auditing, role-based security settings, and behavior based security   Bringing it all together Triple sight is something we should all be implementing. Understanding where we have been and where we are going allows you to set yourself up for success. Five action items you can do immediately to get started:

  • Create an internal committee
  • Define your critical applications
  • Business Continuity Plan
  • Define your economic driver & true profitability
  • Leverage internal communication solutions to cut down on lost time

Virtual Reality-  Changing the game in Construction

Every building project has its surprises. From a small DIY project to building a hospital, things don’t always go according to plan. This efficiency-sucking truth could change for construction firms through virtual reality. Virtual reality is more than just a cool way to play video games. It has applications across many industries and disciplines from helping veterans cope with PTSD to touring a college campus from across the country. Its application to construction could have a significant impact on building and planning projects.

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Planning Virtual reality allows for the planning process of a building project to be much more detailed and precise. Before the building process starts, the plans can be fine-tuned to cut out inefficiency. Once a building project has started, it is costly to make changes; virtual reality can eliminate this need. Using virtual reality, you could look behind a wall and see what could interferences or challenges you might come up against when planning the plumbing, electric, duct work, and more. Resolving these issues before a project is started means less time is wasted and projects will be completed on schedule. It can also take the speed of project approval to the next level. Quicker approvals have been seen by many firms who use virtual reality because there is less confusion for someone who is not accustomed to looked at blueprints or BIM models. If these plans are shared with the construction crew, everyone will be on the same page and have a good understanding of what will be constructed. Design More than the layout and building materials can be planned by using virtual reality. This tool allows for the design to come to full fruition before any walls go up. For instance, a dentist could see what his patient rooms look like, where he will set up his station, and where the window will be in relation to his computer. Being able to really see the rooms takes a lot of the guessing out for the client. Virtual reality gives a whole new layer to jobsite walks. It’s no longer just about envisioning what will come together, it can be seen before it happens. You can also insert the exact specs from a manufacturer, such as the exact faucet you will use, increasing again the level of detail. Higher satisfaction in clients can be obtained through virtual reality because of the level of involvement they are able to have. Room for creativity Like all new technology being applied to the construction industry, virtual reality in construction leaves room for creativity to take hold. New ways to apply this tool have potential to revolutionize the industry. When combined with other trending technologies, such as drones or GPS tracking, virtual reality is made even more powerful.