New tech for the construction industry – wearable devices
Most people think about consumer products when they think about wearable devices. Whether it’s an fitness tracker or a smartwatch, this tech is designed to make our lives easier and more fun. However, wearables also have a role to play in the construction industry. Especially for improving health and safety.
Earlier this year IBM announced collaborations with Garmin Health, Mitsufuji, Guardhat and SmartCone to improve worker safety. The firm is looking at how wearable tech can be integrated with IBM’s AI platform Watson to provide workers in hazardous industries, such as construction, with wearable devices to increase workplace safety.
These devices will monitor biometrics and the surrounding environment for changes in things like heat, gas and height, which might indicate danger. Wearable devices could also monitor a worker’s health and stress levels – raising the alarm if someone is displaying symptoms of ill health. On a vast construction site this could be lifesaving. GPS trackers can also being deployed to locate individuals that might be in danger, and warn people if they are entering a hazardous or restricted area.
Wearable devices in the construction industry
While the market for health and safety wearables is still in its infancy, there’s so much potential that it won’t be long before wearable devices are commonplace on construction sites. Already there are several products on the market.
Here are 3 devices that have caught my eye:
SolePower – these smart work boots detect fatigue, location and falls, and have a kinetic charger which solves the issue of battery life. They also have LED lights on the heel to improve the visibility of workers in dark areas of sites. Watch the video below to learn more about the people behind this tech and the safety issues these smartboots solve!
Spot-R Clips – these clips give full visibility of all workers on site at any one time. The built-in gyroscope can also detect slips, trips and falls and alert supervisors to the workers location. Workers can also use the clip to alert their supervisor if they are injured or unwell to get help quickly.
Smart Cap – fatigue is an issue in any industry but on a construction site a worker falling asleep could be highly dangerous. The Smart Cap monitors brain waves and alerts the user if it detects micro-sleeps. The device sends vibrations and an alarm which wakes up the user and warns them that they need to take a break. As well as a cap the device also comes as a hard hat.
Have you come across any ground-breaking wearable devices for improving safety in the construction industry or have you hacked a consumer device to improve your working day? I’d love to hear about them, please email or share via our social media:
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