Several years ago, Microsoft released their introduction into the mixed reality headset market with the Microsoft HoloLens. The headset, which looks like a pair of bulky, futuristic sunglasses, was touted as a game changer to many different industries. After teaming up with Trimble to directly tackle the construction industry and developing a couple construction technologies for the headset, construction companies have still been extremely hesitant to try out the technology.
Microsoft isn’t giving up on our industry though, as they’ve recently announced that a HoloLens hard hat accessory is in the works and will be released early 2018.
In addition to the accessory, the HoloLens has also passed some important safety and durability tests. These tests have recently confirmed that the headset meets the requirements of ANSI Z87.1, which allows them to be used as safety glasses, and it has also been rated IP50 for dust protection. The 5 indicates that dust is not completely prevented from entering the equipment, but the dust that can enter is not enough to interfere with its operation. The 0 in the second digit indicates that it does not provide any moisture protection, which could be a problem on construction sites.
In a blog post about the release announcement, Microsoft Hololens’ General Manager Lorraine Bardeen explained how she expects the updates to positively affect firstline and information workers. Some of the benefits include:
- Remote assist to allow real-time collaboration with a remote expert
- First-person perspective training manuals and how-to guides
- Augmented reality design features
- Mixed Reality Meetings
- Mixed Reality Data & Analytics
Construction’s first line workers don’t often work with computers in their daily work life, so it will be interesting to see if and how companies start to employ these types of headsets. Do you think your construction company should invest in mixed reality headsets? Tell us in the comments below.
For more information on the HoloLens, check out the video below and Microsoft’s blog post.
I’ve mentioned this several times before, but the single greatest thing technology companies can do for the construction industry is to allow cross-platform integration. That’s essentially what construction is at its core, anyway, a bunch of different entities working together for a common goal. Autodesk’s BIM 360, which already integrates 60+ different softwares into its platform, has recently added NoteVault to its list.
When we’ve talked about construction robotics in the past, it’s mostly been about really large machines working on exterior structures, like this brick-laying robot, or this self-driving track loader. A technology institute in Japan is busy working towards bringing robotics to the interior finish side of the construction world with the development of a drywall installing robot.
PlanGrid users may have noticed, or been frustrated with that fact, that some features that are available on the program’s Android and iOS apps are not available on the Windows app. Windows’ Surface tablets have become a popular option for construction teams in recent years, so those users will be happy to hear that the Field Reports function is now available on PlanGrid for Windows.
One of the very first articles I wrote over 3 years ago was about SAM, the Semi-Automated Mason, which is a bricklaying robot. Since that time, SAM, which is made by Construction Robotics, has seen several jobsites, according to their portfolio page. Their most recent project at the University of Nevada has put the technology back in the headlines.
We’ve heard a lot of promising developments on construction technologies in the past few years, many of which will not only make the industry more efficient, but create a much higher quality product. Testing this technology inside of a controlled facility, however, doesn’t quite paint an entire picture for how the product will perform on a constantly evolving jobsite.
[sponsored] Construction daily reports are necessary for project management and tracking. The need to keep accurate and complete reports has caused the industry to evolve their process from pen and paper to spreadsheet software and now into simple to use mobile apps and software. This has greatly improved the way that daily reports are created, stored, and shared.
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Just over a year ago, DeWalt announced that it was expanding its reach in construction technology with the release of Construction Site WiFi System. As mobile applications for construction tasks, like daily reporting and plan review, become more and more popular, it’s becoming increasingly important for contractors to ensure there is adequate internet connection on the jobsite. Managing that connection on an often changing construction site can prove to be a bit of a challenge.
PlanGrid users who have been wanting the ability to add additional documents to their field reports within the platform now have the ability to do so with a recent update.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.