The future of construction is now with these innovative wearable technologies set to transform the industry.
The digitization of the construction industry continues to rise, and 250 million smart wearable devices are predicted to be in use by 2018.
The construction industry has always been aware of wearable technology’s potential to increase productivity and safety. However, implementing wearable technology in the workplace has proved itself a challenge for this particular industry.
Not only have previous wearable models turned out to be impractical, but employers have expressed distrust in the tech, with worries that their privacy was at risk of being violated.
Additionally, suppliers of wearable technology must ensure the equipment they intend to bring to market is user-friendly, affordable, and easily transferable from worker to worker.
As the construction industry continues evolving, so will wearable technology.
Here is a brief look at some of the top innovative wearables to look out for in 2017:
SolePower Work Boot
Their latest work boot prototype took six months to create and is part of their initiative to create the first self-charging industrial wearable.
Additionally, it contains inertial and electronics measurement units for tracking motion and location.
The fact that this means employees would then have employer-issued work boots rather than having to purchase their own is an added incentive.
Spot-R by Triax Technologies
This wearable is merely the size of a pack of chewing gum, which means it is easily carried.
The wearable contains a small sensor to track workers’ movements to indicate when injuries occur.
Spot-R comes equipped with a button for alerting others of any safety concerns, such as incidents and hazardous areas in the workplace.
The team at Triax has also developed a closed, secure network intended to be set up on site.
“You can think of it like the Wi-Fi at your house. When you come home, your phone automatically connects,” said Chad Hollingsworth, President and Co-Founder of Triax Technologies.
“The workers’ sensor that they wear on their belt automatically connects to the network and then checks them out.”
This network was engineered to address the issue many workers took with the device’s tracking capabilities.
The smart glasses can also be used for communication purposes and contribute to reducing the time used in decision making.
Subcontractors and project managers can be updated faster, regardless of being off-site.
Additionally, the wearable can improve safety and reduce mistakes and rework.
DAQRI Smart Helmet
The construction helmet is a standard necessity for the industry that has been in use since the start.
While construction helmets have solely served as protection from any physical harm, DAQRI is turning them into a versatile wearable.
With the capability to record real–time video, workers can quickly consult with each other when issues arise on projects and tasks.
The Smart Helmet can also display work instructions allowing employees to easily visualize their task and how it fits the project as a whole.
One can never be too safe when working in construction, so it is truly a huge incentive that the smart helmet also improves safety by notifying employees of a detected impact from a fall.
Redpoint Safety Vests
Another standard on any construction site is the safety vest.
Safety is undoubtedly a priority for any construction industry supplier, and Redpoint is no different with their vest also affording workers a way to be alerted when entering danger zones onsite.
Additionally, the vest serves as protection from heavy equipment by instructing actuators to either slow or completely deactivate machines when the vest is detected nearby.
What makes this wearable stand out is its ability to measure workers’ biometrics, including their heart rate and stress levels. Not only does this serve as another way to warn the worker of potential danger, but it notifies others that are onsite as well.
The world’s first bionic suit has been created, and it is completely analog, meaning no batteries or electricity is required to power it.
The exoskeleton was manufactured by Ekso Bionics to increase the amount of weight a worker can lift while protecting them from muscle strain.
This particular wearable would curtail the extreme amount of work-related injuries workers suffer due to heavy lifting.
The Future of a Digitized Industry
The incorporation of wearable technology in the construction workforce is certainly a controversial one.
However, the promise of improving two long-standing issues is highly incentivizing for the industry.
The construction industry has long been the least digitized sector, and the fact that it is slowly adopting wearable technology indicates the start of an evolving workplace environment.