Wearable Site Technology
- is this the future?
Stronger, Safer, More Productive Operatives
According to Sonia Mokdad, marketing executive at Geniebelt, a construction project management app developer “Wearable technology is set to enhance strength, safety, productivity, communication and vision on site” (Sonia Mokdad, BIM+)
Defined as any accessory or piece of clothing incorporating electronic and computer technology, wearable technology is already used within sports, fitness, and health.
Constant Technological Innovation
Today, new gadgets that make our lives easier are released on a regular basis. Wearable devices are one of the latest technoloday, new gadgets that make our lives easier are released on a regular basis. Wearable devices are one of the latest technological advances that have the potential to be applied in various areas of the construction process. In the same way as it helps us track and improve our daily life, it will be used to optimise the working routines on site.ogical advances that have the potential to be applied in various areas of the construction process. In the same way as it helps us track and improve our daily life, it will be used to optimise the working routines on site.
Data Collection & Tracking
One important advantage of wearable technology is its ability to collect real-time data. Anything that can be measured on site can therefore be tracked, reported and analysed. 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 site, it is undoubtedly a great way to improve different key areas of the working routines.
Health & Safety is a key concern on construction sites. Computer and electronic technology can help soothe the minds of site managers by providing accurate tracking of workers and processes. For example, the smart vest, already in use on some sites, 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 localise danger zones and vehicles. Warning audio signals are included in the safety gear to prevent collisions or to inform of an imminent danger.
Safe, healthy employees work better, but their work can also be optimised by collecting and analysing data collected from their wearable technology. Movement tracking, for instance, can be reported and interpreted so as to identify most productive times of the day, higher risk movement repetition etc. Contractors can then use the data to optimise working processes and increase productivity.
Enhanced Capabilities & Communication
As well as tracking manpower metrics, in the future wearable technology will be able to give you and your employees that extra little strength that will make a huge difference on site. Exoskeletons are no longer a fantasy. Harnessed to the construction worker, they allow them to carry heavy weights with less effort. Smart glasses and virtual reality headsets will increasingly play an important role, like 360-degree viewing and real-time communication. It can make a significant difference for communication and project overview. By being able to communicate with contractors, workers can receive on-site feedback, guidance or training at any time. Used between workers and customers can optimise collaboration, communication and show the progress of a project.
Wearable site technology clearly has a promising future. Indeed several gadgets have already demonstrated increased safety and productivity. However, while safety vests and hard hats are quite easy to implement, more advanced technology requires a more significant investment – and can still fail – so don’t neglect safety training and alertness.
Until It’s Available – Let’s Collaborate
In collaboration with other construction professionals our aim is to design and build safe, easy to build, sustainable, flexible properties that will endure for several hundred years. Hence, we’re constantly attuned to such technical developments and changing expectations. From early design, through technical development of the structure and manufacturing to transport and erection, we use timber based pre-fabrication to minimise the need for special equipment and make delivering the affordable high quality buildings that architects and their clients want – especially on difficult to access sites.
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