Coexisting with smart and monitored devices is the future of construction sites. IoT continues to gain momentum and collect accurate data for safety, management, and real-time analytics purposes.
Wearables in Construction
Daily interaction with smart devices might be overwhelming for some people, but what if the interaction is designed to be uninterrupted? Monitored devices in your job site that allow you to stay safe, responsive, and productive without the constant need for human/device interaction. In all fairness, these devices do require a set-up and centralized control, but for the user, it becomes a seamless technological experience that collects data for different purposes.
According to CDC, Heat stroke-related issues cause up to 10 fatalities per year on construction job sites, smart helmets can keep track of your body temperature and let you know when it is time to hide from the sun. Smart helmets can also be embedded with GPS that tracks your location in real-time or gyroscopes that indicate rotation and orientation in order to prevent falls.
If an object is approaching too quickly or getting too close, your smart vest will trigger audible alarms or physical alarms such as vibrations or compression of your clothing. Heart rate can also be monitored with a smart vest, alerting the system and the user of any possible anomalies or health conditions.
Augmented reality glasses overlay information in real-time, blueprints, design changes, and any upcoming challenge can be projected as you work. Another use for AR is allowing anyone to inspect the job site from their office without having to step the construction site. Photos and videos can also be issued with AR glasses in order to track progress or major construction errors such as misplaced walls, windows, equipment, etc.
Most IoT companies agree that manufacturing smart shoes is impractical and expensive. The average life span of a construction worker’s shoe is 10 to 12 months. This is why most companies opt for having a small device that can be attached to their boot. The panic button might be one of the best uses for an IoT embedded device, you can tap your boot against the floor or against a wall several times and it will signal an immediate assistance request, if the user has fallen and can’t get up, a signal is also automatically sent. Signals can also be set up with a removal feature, meaning if you accidentally tapped your foot, you can cancel the panic button signal that has been triggered.
Monitoring Small Equipment and Machinery
Monitoring construction small equipment or machinery prevents it from being misused or moved off-site without permission. IoT can also grant or deny access to a handful of users on determined types of equipment in order to prevent unauthorized use of small equipment or machinery. Forecasting equipment performance with IoT allows you to predict and schedule maintenance, improving efficiency and working ahead of time. Knowing the location, uses, and status of your equipment allows you to identify equipment and machinery that can be relocated to other construction sites without the need for double spending.
The Future for Wearable IoT
Construction is evolving and adopting new technologies as they become more accurate and trendy, let’s not forget this is a very competitive industry and builders are taking small but firm steps in the right direction. Is just a matter of time and proven ROI until these devices become a must-have safety gear in construction sites. Improvements are expected as data becomes more accurate and IoT gains the industry’s trust in order to implement more efficient, smarter wearables.
Andrea Scott - VP of Client Success At TheoBuild