TECHNOLOGY Special Feature
Contributed by BigRentz, Inc.
Construction Technology to Watch this 2021 Year Innovative construction technology enables massive improvements in the safety, e ciency and productivity of large-scale construction projects. After a long construction boom, the past year amidst the pandemic was di cult for the construction industry as it strived to protect its workers and keep job sites open. The industry always responds to di cult periods with an increased focus on innovation, so this year is likely to see further development of automation and technologies that are reshaping construction as we know it. Below, we’ve outlined 10 of the most important technologies to watch in 2021.
1. AUGMENTED REALITY Augmented reality (AR) is a digital layer of information that enhances a view of the real world. By using a mobile device with AR capabilities, construction professionals can look at a job site with additional information laid directly on top of the real world. Augmented reality has huge implications for construction because it provides additional information exactly where it’s needed. Here are a few other uses for augmented reality: • Automate measurements: By measuring a physical space in real-time, AR technology can help construction workers accurately following building plans. • Visualize modifications: By layering potential project modiﬁcations directly onto the job site, contractors can visualize potential changes before committing to them. • Provide safety information: By recognizing hazards in the environment, augmented reality devices can display real-time safety information to workers. 20
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While augmented reality can be used on a tablet or other portable computer, the future of augmented reality will likely rely on AR glasses, which would enable hands-free access to crucial information at all times.
2. CONSTRUCTION WEARABLES Construction wearables oﬀer numerous beneﬁts for productivity, but they may succeed in rapid adoption especially because of their upside for safety. Even before the pandemic, construction was one of the riskiest industries to work in. Wearable technology oﬀers the possibility of added safety for workers, potentially preventing injuries and deaths. Here are a few construction wearables that are already available today: • Smart boots: Powered by walking, smart boots can detect workers at risk of a collision with nearby construction vehicles equipped with sensors. • Smart hard hat: By sensing brainwaves, smart hard hats can detect “microsleeps,” which put workers at risk of injury. • Power gloves: When worn on a workers’ hands, power gloves increase dexterity and strength, helping reduce overuse injuries.