Top Wearable Technologies (IoT) Transforming Construction Industry

Wearable technology in the construction industry makes use of devices that are worn by the workers at the site (labors) to track their location. These wearables are inbuilt with required devices that are connected to the main server which is a control room where real-time information of all the locations of the workers around the construction site is obtained.

Safety being a primary concern on the construction site, the industry continues to seek ways to reduce fatalities among workers. Occupational Health and Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says that wearables help lower insurance rates and improve employee safety and health.

In this article, we will discuss various wearable technologies that are currently used in the industry.

Types of Wearable Technologies Used in Construction Site

  1. Smart Helmet
  2. Smart Watches
  3. Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses
  4. Smart Boots
  5. Smart Body Wear
  6. Power Gloves

1. Smart Helmet for Microsleep Prevention

A smart helmet monitors the data about the wearer's vital signs like fatigue level and even micro-sleeps. 

Smart Helmet
Image Courtesy: Yanko Design

The main benefits of a smart helmet are:
  1. Alert the personnel or management of the worker in distress
  2. Prevent accidents by alerting tired workers
Smart helmets are used by long-haul truck drivers, early morning or later night or long hour shift working employees, and for monotonous activities.

2. Smart Watches for Vital Sign Tracking

Smartwatches are capable of monitoring the activity data of the wearer. It detects falls and helps to have safe communication. Smartwatches can be used to:
  1. Detect health and activity data like abnormal heart rates, blood oxygen saturation to spot respiratory distress, etc.
  2. Detecting falls immediately after the incident by communicating with the emergency department.
  3. They help to provide hands-free communication while operating equipment. 

3. Augmented Reality (AR) Glasses for Leading Edge Alert

AR glasses not only protect the construction workers but also provide an additional layer of information. These smart glasses employ augmented reality that combines both physical surroundings and computer-generated imagery and are present in real-time. 

AR Glasses
Image Courtesy: ONE KEY

AR glasses along with protecting the worker's eye, they show vital information about hazardous materials, leading edges, and related safety protocols.

4. Smart Boots for Collision Detection

Smart boots are boots equipped with sensors that monitor the motion, location, falls, and fatigue of the workers. Safety boots already are a piece of safety equipment, that when transformed into the smart boot, has the ability to detect pressure and location.
Smart boots have built-in charging and charge simply by walking. This helps the chances of boots being charged throughout the shift at the site.

5. Smart Body Wear 

Smart construction wearables exist for other parts of the body besides the wrist, feet, and head. They increase safety in the following ways:
  1. Heat Tracking: Sensors worn around the chest help detect body temperature and alert the worker when a shade or hydration is required.
  2. Gas Detection: Small sensor devices on the upper arm or chest help detect a variety of dangerous gases, that help prevent unnecessary exposure and save lives. 
  3. Reduced Muscle Fatigue: There is special technology called "exoskeletons", which helps improve strength and reduce muscle fatigue that helps in lifting.

6. Power Gloves to Improve Grip Strength

Smart Gloves
Image Courtesy: Utility Products

Power gloves are gloves that help gain increased grip strength and dexterity for using tools and lifting heavy objects.