As the world changes, and with the “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic still gripping most industries, one thing that hasn’t been slowed is the pace of technology that continues to move forward. We live in a fast-paced world with faster computing power than ever before, and any industry professional can benefit from implementing new technology.
Whether you’re a contractor in the construction industry or if you’re working to gain your contractor’s license, you’ve probably had your share of issues with working while “social distancing.” But, no matter what you’ve done to get through the economic downturn arising from the pandemic, you may not have thought about the new tech trends that greatly assist contractors in today’s construction industry.
Here, we’ll explore a few new tech trends that you can use to leverage your contracting business.
Now, don’t start thinking Terminator or Judgement Day. Cyborg Arnold is not coming to destroy John Connor. Fortunately for all of us, today’s artificial intelligence (AI) is nothing of the Hollywood sort, so we don’t need to worry about becoming batteries in the Matrix, at least not yet.
Today’s AI largely revolves around machine learning, and this technology is perfect for the contractors in today’s construction industry.
Machine learning requires vast amounts of data over time in order for AI models to learn and build algorithms that can be useful on future projects. The construction industry compiles huge amounts of data, from building schematics and blueprints to industrial engineering efforts and environmental planning. All of this information needs to be digested and unpacked for workers to efficiently plan and build. AI is the perfect tool for this job and it makes the digital legwork easier for you, the contractor, by not having to crunch so many numbers.
Just for example, AI is being tested and developed for use with autonomous construction equipment. Many of these test projects are still in their infancy, while others like assembly line robots have been being used for decades. Currently, AI is being used on construction sites to alert contractors and workers of safety hazards, even with the ability to recognize missing PPE and send the alert directly to a supervisor’s smartphone.
Today’s wearable gear has advanced far beyond the typical blue jeans and white shirt common for most construction workers in years past. Today, wearable tech means big results in the contractor world. You might have seen some of this tech being used on bigger job sites, but the use of these applications is not limited to large projects.
Today, wearable tech has been outfitted with biometric technology, able to send real-time data to an observer or to record the movements of a worker. These have been used to identify poor posture or repetitions that can fatigue a worker in a hazardous environment.
Other implementations of wearable tech include GPS tracking, environmental sensors, voltage detectors and even outfitting a worker with their own personal WiFi.
All of this allows for a contractor to intimately understand the actions of each worker wearing the tech, which results in a greater ability to plan, strategize and build while on the job site.
We’re not talking about Predator drones. These are much more friendly. As a contractor, you need to have optimum visual capabilities in order to properly build and plan, and to mitigate any risk associated with building in a particular environment.
Today, drones are made exactly for this purpose and can be outfitted with the latest technology as well.
Drones can be outfitted with laser sensors, cameras, and infa-red or other optic capabilities. This technology gives you eyes where a normal human cannot see, or go. If you’re building or planning in difficult terrain, drones are perfect for scouting potential sites to drop supplies, or to seek out present hazards or impediments.
It should be noted that drones aren’t like assembly-line robots, they aren’t designed to be replacements for human workers, only an extension of the human eye, which is useful in locating particulars and adding data.
Integrating Big Tech
Whether you’re a big-time contractor or you’ve just started out, utilizing the latest technology isn’t a step away from the traditional methods of days past. In fact, it’s about bringing the two together, integrating traditional methods with today’s technology.
Today, a hard hat can be outfitted with lasers, GPS location, or even a headset to offer better data and communication between parties. The possibilities with tech integration are as endless as the imagination.
Even the most basic implementation of construction technology is sure to give your business the leverage it needs to be successful and competitive in today’s fast-paced world.