New worksite ideas come and go, but here are three new emergent technologies that appear to have gotten over the early hurdles and are proving to be invaluable on the job site.
Telematics: As the Internet of Things grows, it’s spreading onto the worksite. Already, many tools and pieces of equipment can transmit data, and more are planned to come soon. Imagine a job when your bulldozers can tell constantly send their oil levels to your phone, your trucks send you their tire pressure, and your drill batteries tell you their power levels. And it’s not just a reminder to refill the coolant: this data can be aggregated to tell you about vehicles that are running efficiently, accessories that will need to be replaced, and equipment that is sitting around, collecting dust.
It’s not a dream for the future—it’s already happening. Companies like EquipmentShare are delivering on all of these things: tracking vehicles for OSHA compliance, identifying operators who are having problems—you can even shut down any machine immediately, with the push of a button on your smartphone.
Drones: When we hear about drones, most people either think about military weapons that patrol dangerous territories—or we think of cheap drones with cameras for making YouTube videos. Well, there’s a group of drones in the middle: smart drones that help in business, collecting, tracking and analyzing data. They can be integrated with BIM (Building Information Modeling), creating 3D models of the jobsite, and tracking the progress of the structure.
It’s estimated that the construction industry will be using 6.3 million drones by 2025.
Augmented Reality: The promise of virtual reality has been around for decades and is usually associated with gaming. But the real reality is that AR is available right now, and is literally changing the way foremen and supervisors view a job site.
AR glasses are expected to sell 5.4 million in the next three years, allowing an instant, virtual look at the work in progress, checking it against plans and schedules.
Cloud Reporting Technologies: hh2 Cloud Services is doing its part to bring technology to the job site, with products such as Field Reports, where a foreman can walk a job site, dictating information into his smartphone, reporting on activities on the job while recording units or percentages complete, taking photos to attach to the job log, checking on the condition of workers, and creating an easy, yet thorough and robust site report—in real time.
We've written twice in the last week about studies showing important jobs not being filled in construction, but low projections of the number of workers able to enter the market in the near future. These worker shortages will have to be corrected somehow--and one very plausible solution is to automate and digitize wherever possible.
For information about Field Reports, click here to request a demo.