In an age of constant technological innovation, new gadgets that make our lives easier are released on a regular basis. Wearable devices are one of the latest trend and its technology can be applied in various areas.
Wearable technology can be defined as any accessory or piece of clothing incorporating electronic and computer technology. It is already used within sports, fitness, and health.
In the same way wearable technology helps us track and improve our daily life, it can be used to optimize the working routines on the jobsite.
Data as the core of wearable technology
The key advantage of wearable technology is its ability to collect real-time data. Anything that can be measured on the jobsite can therefore be tracked, reported and analyzed.
Heart rate, location, temperature, movement or even lightning trackers can easily be integrated into safety vests and hard hats, making little to no difference to construction workers daily routines.
On the jobsite, it is undoubtedly a great way to improve different key areas of the working routines.
Safety is one of the key concern at the construction sites. Computer and electronic technology can help soothe the minds of foremen by providing an accurate tracking of workers and processes.
For example, the smart vest, already in use on some jobsites allows on-the-job monitoring of body temperature and heart rate. It is therefore possible to prevent accidents by spotting workers that have alarming vital signs.
Another key metric that plays a dominant role in safety is real-time location. Incorporated into safety vests, it provides workers’ location and is also able to localize danger zones and vehicles. Warning audio signals are included in the safety gear in order to prevent collisions or to inform of an imminent danger.
It goes without saying that productivity goes hand in hand with safety, as healthy employers work better. However, beyond safety concerns, the data collected from wearable technology can also be used to optimize the work on the jobsite. For instance, movement tracking can be reported and interpreted so as to identify most productive time of the day, higher risk movement repetition etc.. Contractors can then use the data to optimize working processes and increase productivity.
Enhancing human capabilities through wearable technology
The future of wearable technology looks exciting for all technology lovers and contractors who want to stay ahead of change.
On top of tracking manpower metrics, the wearable technological accessory of the future will be able to give you and your employees that extra little power that will make a huge difference on the jobsite.
Enhanced communication and vision
Smart glasses and Virtual Reality headsets are foreseen to play an important role in construction in the next few years. The key features of those gadgets are 360 degree viewing and real-time communication. While it may seem basic, it makes a significant difference on the jobsite for communication and project overview. By being able to communicate with contractors, workers can receive on site feedback, guidance or training at any time. This technology can also be used among workers for optimized collaboration and communication or with customers to show the progress of a project.
Exoskeletons as its etymology suggests are outside skeletons. While it seems to be taken straight out of a sci-fi movie, this gadget is no longer a fantasy. Harnessed to the construction worker, it allows carrying heavy weights with less effort. A non-negligible advantage in an industry in which injuries are quite common and the risk of said injuries increases with age. Nonetheless, Exoskeleton technology is still at its infancy and is not yet affordable for all contractors.
Wearable technology has a promising future on the jobsite. The gadgets already in use have proven to increase safety and productivity. While safety vests and hard hats are quite easy to implement, more advanced technology requires a more important gear budget. It is also crucial to keep in mind that however impressive the technology is it is still not immune to failure and should not replace proper safety trainings and alertness.