Digs, a digital twin platform for homeowners and homebuilders based in Vancouver, Washington, launched the release of their new “homeowner experience” today. In tandem, the startup announced a new partnership with Thumbtack, which will contextually integrate Thumbtack’s marketplace of home services professionals within Digs’ platform.
Both items signal that Digs plans to evolve into a helpful and intuitive platform for homeowners to manage, maintain and upgrade their homes beyond their initial focus on the homebuilding process.
Here’s what is important to know about today’s announcement.
Table of Contents
- Highlights of Digs’ May 18 Release
- Phase 1 of Digs’ Approach to Digital Twins
- Phase 2 of Digs’ Approach to Digital Twins
- Tracking the Future of Residential Digital Twins
Highlights of Digs’ May 18 Release
Digs‘ product announcement can be classified as a “general availability release” which follows their beta launch at IBS 2023 in February. To date, homebuilders and homeowners have been using it in nearly all 50 states, plus parts of Canada.
The approximate total value of homes currently integrated with the platform is nearly $500M. Using the most recent median home sales price of $436,800 – an estimate by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis – this equates to a rough approximation of 1,145 homes being currently on the platform.
With this public announcement, Digs is now entering a new phase of development, specifically getting their platforms directly into the hands of homeowners to use as they see fit for on-going maintenance and home improvement projects.
Highlights of today’s release include:
- Real-time communication between homebuilding teams and homebuyers
- Enhanced collaboration with users enabled to share comments, questions, decisions, and issues via floor plan views, documents, and threads
- Users can add collaborators and assign tasks to ensure that proper work, tasks, and requirements are completed
- The Digs platform can be used for the 1-year walkthrough of a new home
- Homebuilders can now provide new homeowners a digital binder containing selected files, contacts and contextual information about each newly built home
- Existing homeowners can start to use Digs to organize their home documentation digitally and invite hired or prospective home contractors to view information on their homes for live projects or proposals
- The partnership with Thumbtack will be live within the next of couple of weeks
- Mobile web support includes: collaborate; comment; annotate; take photos; respond to tasks; and upload images from your mobile library while on the job site
- No need or plans for a mobile app was mentioned
Phase 1 of Digs’ Approach to Digital Twins
Digs’ initial focus on the Residential Digital Twin market has been partnering with early-adopting homebuilders to create digital twins from the very beginning of a home’s lifespan. Purgula admires this approach as it’s an effective way to gain adoption, since both builders and homeowners are extremely motivated to gather and maintain accurate and detailed information of a new home from the onset.
The focus of Phase 1 appeared to be on seamless, real-time collaboration between homebuilding teams and homebuyer clients, while capturing valuable feedback from all users to evolve and improve the tool quickly.
The big benefit of the new home building use-case scenario is that everything that needs to be seen, understood and confirmed is viewable and accessible by all project stakeholders via interactive digital blueprints. Pinned comments, related documents, task statuses, and confirmation of decisions and dates are all viewable in context to a given part of the home.
A quote from a homebuilder, published on Digs’ website, succinctly describes the importance of this method of collaboration:
“Digs will save me from sifting through notes and emails. It’ll be very helpful for a homeowner to see what room fan or plumbing fixture they’ve selected. Homeowners are very visual.”
Stacee Connelly, Co-Owner | Rogue Builders
Phase 2 of Digs’ Approach to Digital Twins
Now that the first wave of new homes have been built using Digs’ platform, the corresponding new homeowners are enthusiastically taking ownership of these budding digital twins (AKA digital binders) that can be used throughout the lifespan of their homes.
“Digs has incorporated months of real-world usage and feedback from the builder community, and this launch will, for the first time, allow builders to hand off homes digitally – moving the physical home binder from the junk drawer into the cloud. This represents a significant milestone for our company.”
Ryan Fink, CEO & Co-Founder at Digs
This transfer of ownership marks the next phase of Digs’ long term focus on helping homeowners manage their homes with their personalized digital twins. Homeowners fortunate to have a digital twin from day one of ownership will enjoy a huge advantage for maintaining their homes effectively. Specifically, having accurate digital blueprints with historical and contextual documentation (e.g. warranties; subcontractor information; materials and product details; colors and paint brands; etc.) is a huge convenience of knowing what’s inside a home and how to best manage all that it entails.
The announced partnership with Thumbtack coalesces with this phase of helping homeowners take care of their homes, by contextually integrating professionals listed on Thumbtack’s service marketplace within Digs’ platform.
The goal of this partnership is to match vetted professionals intelligently for the right expertise, location, availability, and pricing. Through a matchmaking API, homeowners can then invite contractors to view their digital homes to understand the full context of a given space and project before needing to arrive on site. This virtual pre-assessment functionality will be a convenient time-saver for both homeowners and contractors.
“We’re excited to partner with Digs, not only to help connect homeowners with the right pros, but also to provide pros with deeper context for the project before ever stepping foot onsite … This integration will allow for an even more seamless and hassle-free experience for both pros and homeowners from the beginning of the home improvement journey.”
David Steckel, Senior Director of Partnerships at Thumbtack
Tracking the Future of Residential Digital Twins
Digs’ has shared with Purgula that they have been pleasantly surprised by the strong, positive reaction from both homeowners and homebuilders on the current and future value of digital twins.
We have held an optimistic position on the future of residential digital twins, as well, as we expect a growing population of younger, tech-savvy homeowners to seek out ever-helpful technology to manage and maintain their homes. Purgula believes that emerging generations of homeowners will apply technology to homeownership much like they have to all aspects of their lives, e.g.: shopping; media consumption; communication; health & fitness; travel; finances; automated calendars; to-do lists; on-demand services; etc.
To help you anticipate Digs’ continued evolution and the broad potential for residential digital twins keep the following in mind:
- Project Collaboration: for new home builds, renovations, and home projects
- Home Documentation: inventory; products; materials; warranties; contracts; lifespans; maintenance schedules; manuals; etc.
- Personalized Marketplaces: contextually integrated advertising, service provider listings, and e-commerce channels within the digital twin of one’s home
- Virtual Repairs: connecting digital twins and homeowners with remote service professionals using FaceTime-like communication
- Prescriptive Maintenance: intelligent alerts and automated methods of pro-active home maintenance with connected appliances
- Performance Dashboards: real-time and historical data integrated with digital twins to understand and optimize energy usage and the status of key appliances and systems
- Home Automation: next generation of smart homes that take a holistic approach to managing one’s home
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