6 Contech Wearables that Can Increase Your Productivity

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Wearable construction technology (contech) is an expanding market – 15% growth anticipated year over year in the next five years. More personal protective equipment (PPE) products are becoming available regularly, some of them affordable even for smaller companies, with a return on investment that is attractive.

As reported in a CONEXPO-CON/AGG newsletter, companies who invest in wearables can increase productivity by over eight percent. Many wearables can also improve safety on the job, thus lowering insurance rates.  


How do you adopt new technology? For insights from 110 construction leaders, download the free new Applied Software eBook, “Foundational Building Blocks for Successful Tech Adoption.”


Following are some wearable contech innovations that can increase jobsite productivity:

CONEXPO-CON/AGG

Eyewear

Smart glasses are the least expensive form of wearable contech. They can capture pictures, videos and voice, which can be integrated with mobile applications. Other features include:

  • Eliminating the need to carry paper drawings or mobile devices
  • Augmented vision to access digital plans, layouts and notes
  • Ability to identify hazardous materials

Smart helmets

Hard hats have been in use for over 100 years. Now the ubiquitous symbol of construction is getting cutting-edge “smart” features. Smart helmets have superior strength and are designed to protect the technology housed inside them from the dust and grime of a construction site. Features might include:

  • Pull-down visors for viewing of blueprints
  • Full 360-degree views of surroundings
  • 3D visual overlays
  • Task guidance
  • Augmented reality to create images
  • Direct communication with offsite workers
TheConstructor.org

Smart boots

Steel-toe boots are becoming safety boots in more ways than one. The “smart” features of work boots can include embedded sensors that can:

  • Monitor the real-time location of workers
  • Map hazardous areas in relation to work areas
  • Detect pressure changes due to falls or shocks
  • Monitor worker safety when they are alone

Smart vests

Safety vests have been around for 90 years, used mostly to improve worker visibility on highway and construction projects. With some notable contech upgrades, they can now help track worker productivity and safety in real-time. Features include:

  • Logging jobsite temperatures
  • Logging hours worked
  • Location tracking
  • Using GPS to detect hazard zones
  • Making emergency notifications

Sensors

A wearable sensor is an accessory that can be clipped to a worker’s belt, vest, worn on an arm, or even attached to a hard hat. Sensors can:

  • Sense when an employee trips or falls
  • Monitor unsafe areas, like dangerous gas buildups
  • Monitor when a worker may be too tired to safely perform tasks
  • Alarm when a worker is too close to equipment and in danger of a collision
  • Notify a supervisor of an accident and its location
  • Provide a “call” button so workers can notify of safety issues they notice
EksoBionics.com

Exoskeletons

Also referred to as “bionic suits” or “exosuits,” exoskeletons equip the wearer with superhuman strength. Power gloves can improve a worker’s tool grip strength and dexterity. Upper torso suits enable them to pick up and carry heavy materials without getting injured. Available in many configurations, this contech reduces muscle fatigue and enables workers to accomplish more by themselves in a typical day, improving productivity of the overall team.

If you are thinking about adding wearable contech in your company, the best place to start is not with the coolest technology. Instead, figure out what your risks are on your jobsites. Then research wearables that can address that risk for you. Be sure to investigate vendors that sell the wearable you’ve chosen – including customer reviews and testimonials – to see if the vendor can live up to their advertising.


How do you adopt new technology? For insights from 110 construction leaders, download the free new Applied Software eBook, “Foundational Building Blocks for Successful Tech Adoption.”

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