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.
As smartphones and tablets are slowly becoming one of the most prominent and powerful tools on construction site, construction technology companies are still largely focusing on construction management firms and general contractors. What’s lost on many is the fact that there are dozens of subcontractors on every jobsite that also need to manage their projects.
Late last year, CAT Phones released their first ever smartphone on a US carrier network, the S48c. The phone is currently available on both the Sprint and Verizon Networks and I was recently able to test out the phone to get some better insight into how it operates. Overall, it offers the toughness to hold up to a jobsite at a reasonable price, but continue reading to hear about all of the details.
Tracking progress on any construction progress is an extremely vital step. Artificial intelligence is gaining popularity in the industry, as it can make sense of thousands of images or videos and place them into context. Before the AI can work its magic, though, all of those pictures and videos must be collected. That’s where robotics masters Boston Dynamics thinks they can step in with a robot they’ve been developing for years.
Fatigue on the jobsite is real, so much so that many technology companies have developed products to reduce fatigue and also sense when a worker is experiencing fatigue. There are other wearable devices, like exoskeletons, that can enhance a workers strength and stamina, but when you need to add more than a little punch, Construction Robotic’s MULE 135 may do the trick.
For over 3 years now, Trimble has been teaming up with Microsoft to make the mixed reality headset, the Microsoft HoloLens, a viable and useful tool for the construction industry. With Microsoft’s recent announcement of their next-gen headset, the HoloLens 2, Trimble also made an announcement about the impending release of a new wearable hard hat compatible device featuring the HoloLens 2.
Falls continue to be the number one leading cause of death on construction sites across the country, accounting for around 40% each year. Even if you can convince your construction crew to wear personal fall arrest systems each time they’re required, proper training is required to select the correct type of fall protection and the anchor points, as well as performing proper inspections of the equipment. An app called Harness Hero is trying to help solve the latter problem.
[guest post] Construction project owners are facing a big problem: paper based progress reports and invoices are making it nearly impossible to quickly find and address errors. The tool kit of the past included a magnifying glass, a pencil (and eraser) and a calculator. Armed with endless human resources, project owners would diligently review paper based documentation for discrepancies. This MO is no longer feasible in the modern construction environment.
JBKnowledge, a construction technology and consultancy company, has been producing their annual Construction Technology Report since 2012. Now in its 7th year, it is far and away the most comprehensive collection of survey results in the construction technology sector.
I’m a strong proponent of reducing the amount of pen and paper used on construction jobsites. Handwriting notes is great for personal use, but as soon as you need to get those notes or reports to someone else, you either spend time duplicating your work on a computer or never get around to communicating, because your notes were misplaced, destroyed, or illegible. Fieldwire, a field software for collaborating on plans, punch lists, and scheduling, among others, has recently announced the release of a custom form building tool to reduce the need for paper on your jobsite.
As much as we like to push for the digitization of the construction jobsite on Construction Junkie, there’s no doubt that there are many within the construction workforce that are still apprehensive to go fully electronic. There’s something to be said for feeling and manipulating something with your hands, as opposed to pointing and clicking. SlatPlanner is a new way that construction companies can electronically build a project schedule, while maintaining a hands-on approach.