High-tech gadgets is a buzz phrase seen over and over again, from design and manufacturing entities to kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Innovations currently available to construction industry professionals is the stuff futuristic dreams were made of just a a few decades ago.
Those who work in this modern era can enjoy a remarkable array of tools, equipment and even clothing - all of which streamline the design and build process, improve communication both in-house and with clients and/or improve worker safety.
5 Construction Gadgets That Can Revolutionize the Way You Work
Construction management software and innovative marketing tools are macro-versions of innovative construction solutions.. Now it's time to focus on the micro-perspective - taking a look at actual equipment that improve the working lives of the people you value most: your employees.
Not only will the following tools help employees to work more efficiently, most of them will also improve worker safety. Not only that, all but one of these innovations are designed to be wearable, making it easier for your employees to integrate them into the normal work routine, freeing up their hands and preventing the need for employees to stop what they're doing to operate an additional tool.
- The Halo Light. Perhaps one of the most instantly user-friendly of these technologies is the Halo Light. Manufactured by Ilumagear, the light is being marketed as a 360-degree personal safety system (PASS). It wraps completely around the brim of a hard hat, making nighttime workers more visible to passing motorists. It will also increase worker visibility during storm work or in situations with reduced visibility.
Another major bonus of The Halo Light is that it provides hands-free illumination for workers on the job. Previous to this, construction professionals had access to more traditional headlamps, similar to those worn by spelunkers and campers, but The Halo Light is much more efficient, casts a more universal glow and its rechargeable battery lasts for an impressive 12-hours at a time.
- Smart headsets. Motorola has launched the Solutions HC1 headset, a hand-free computer that contains relevant user manuals or can alert an employee if a particular sensor is broken, as well as real-time safety warnings. While initially designed for military and industrial workers, there are plenty of opportunities for construction companies to take advantage of this smart technology, which also includes voice recognition commands. Your employees can work out in the field and still have access to key drawings and schematics available online or in the office.
- Smart safety glasses. While smart headsets may only be worn by key construction personnel and team leaders, a similar piece of equipment - smart safety glasses - is something that every employee can benefit from wearing. Startup XOEye Technologies has invented safety glasses that have embedded cameras, as well as Wi-Fi access and projected screen. Workers will be able to perform a variety of tasks, including matching what they are doing on a project exactly with 3-D mapping schematics. Precise measurements can be made between points A and B and workers will be able to record and send back images of what they are doing in the field so it can be viewed in real-time by managers, owners and industry specialists in the office.
Another benefit of this type of technology is the ability for companies to train new employees. Project managers and eam leaders will have the ability to view the jobsite and particular tasks through the eyes of new hire - literally - allowing teachable opportunities without having to be physically present every step of the way. Workers can be guided via step-by-step instructions, without ever having to leave a particular task to request assistance.
- Laser Scanner. Photos and videos are a valuable teaching, safety and construction monitoring tool, however they are solely visible in two dimensions. With high-tech laser scanners, workers have the ability to capture three-dimensional models, including measurements and other essential data. There are a myriad of opportunities to use laser scanners to increase efficiency and your bottom line, including safety and quality control, road mapping and forensic documentation.
- Responsive clothing. While you can't control Mother Nature, you can control the core temperature of your worker's bodies using responsive or "smart" clothing, which can heat or cool employees based on body temperature. Workers can program clothing according to personal preference, further increasing worker productivity. Also along the safety front, a company in Germany has invented specialty gloves that turn blue when exposed to toxic substances.
The 21st century is truly a "new era" in the realm of gadgets and tools that make for safer, expedient and built-to-plan construction sites.