As smart phones are starting to become more and more popular on construction job sites, not just any phone will do. It has to be able to survive the rigorous day-to-day activities that ordinary phones can’t. Tool giant, DeWalt, has recognized that trend and are now tossing their hat in the ever growing “tough phone” ring.
The DeWalt MD501 does not have an official release date yet, but is expected to retail in the typical $500-600 range, according to reports. The phone is powered by Android operating system and comes with all of the standard features we’ve come to know and love, but with a few extras for the hardworking construction crowd, including:
- Waterproof up to 6.5 feet (2m) for up to 30 minutes.
- Can work in temperatures from -4 to 140°F (-20-60°C)
- Can withstand drops from 6.5 feet (2m) on concrete
- Extra sensitive screen can sense pressure through work gloves
- An amplified loudspeaker, so you can hear over all of the commotion on a job site
- Bright View glass, which is easier to see in the sunny outdoors
- Wireless charging, so you don’t have to fiddle around with wires
- A radio, so you can listen to all of the classic rock your heart desires
- 7-8 hours of talk time
It’s nice to see construction industry leaders continuing to pay attention to the construction industries needs with regards to technology. Though it's not the most powerful smartphone on the market, it does provide extra durability. We have a lot of specific needs on our job sites, so customization is huge for company buy-in. For right now, it appears that this release will only be in the UK, as DeWalt has partnered with UK rugged phone manufacturer Global Mobile Communications.
DeWalt MD501 | DeWalt Phone
For the past 5 years, construction technology company, Procore, has hosted their customers and tech enthusiasts at a multi-day conference called Groundbreak. There’s been significant growth since the events humble beginnings, not only in just attendees, but in the conference’s offerings.
This was my second time attending Groundbreak and, in case you couldn’t make it, here are the highlights of the items you missed:
If you want your construction company to be best-in-class, you need to be able to objectively measure yourself against them. To help assist with that difficult task, Autodesk has announced the release of a new self-assessment tool to measure where your company stands against your competitors based upon 7 different key performance indicators (KPIs).
Just days ahead of their annual Groundbreak conference, Procore has announced a new feature upgrade to their platform called Embedded Experience.
A few months ago, we wrote about a pretty weird and creepy robot dog that was designed to navigate tough and constantly changing terrain, such as on a construction site. Boston Dynamics, the maker of robot, has now officially announced it is available for sale.
Drones are used for a variety of different tasks on construction sites, like for tracking employees, calculating the volume of on-site stockpiles, or even performing OSHA inspections, but I’ve never actually seen any tools attached to them before. Well, engineers recently strapped a nail gun to one to see if it could potentially perform roof shingle installation.
If you didn’t know, the Netherlands loves pedestrian and biking bridges. Perhaps because of that, they seems to have become a leader in 3D printing bridge technology.
If you have a safety meeting or perform an inspection and you can’t find any documentation of it, did it ever really happen? Well, sure it did, but it definitely helps to keep proper records for things as important as safety for reference later on or to prove to a government agency like OSHA that your company is being proactive. One way to keep proper records is to use an app, and Safesite has just made that easier as they now offer a free version of their inspection platform.
A few technology companies have been trying to wedge augmented reality into construction for a few years now, boasting benefits of overlaying BIM models onto the real life site you’re working on, as well as interactive collaboration with remote workers. One of those companies that we thought was going to make a pretty big impact is apparently closing its doors in the near future.
As much as I like my smartphone, it’s undeniable that they can be a huge distraction on the job site or in a vehicle. The construction industry is dangerous enough without these added distractions, so at least one US contractor has decided to proactively manage their employee’s smartphone usage.
With temperatures globally trending warmer each year, that heat can take quite a toll on professions that rely heavily on exterior labor, like the construction industry. There are many products available currently to help keep you cool on the jobsite, but the best may still be yet to come.