The average construction sight is probably about as far from the tech-savviness of Silicon Valley as one can get. A recent survey by JBKnowledge, the Department of Construction Science and the Construction Financial Management Association, confirms that in general, construction has been slow to adopt technology.However, there are firms beginning to invest in emerging technologies. According to the survey of 1,028 participants, 3.4% answered "Yes" when asked "Is your company using an augmented or virtual reality solutions?" Additionally, 2.5% said their company is using wearable devices.
Here's a look at six cutting-edge toys for techie masons.
1. Coolbox Toolbox Developers of the Coolbox toolbox are calling it "the toolbox of the future." Developers have financed the product via the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Tech features include:
20-volt rechargeable battery
A Bluetooth speaker (built into the front)
Two USB ports
Three 120-volt receptacles
Watch the video to find out more.
2. Daqri Hard Hat Recently profiled in Builder magazine, a sister publication to Concrete Construction, this 21st Century hardhat has several high-tech features that would benefit construction, including a Google Glass-like technology.
3. Revizto: First there was physical models, then realistic renderings ... now the latest version of Revizto (Vizerra, price varies), a suite of apps that turns BIM and CAD models into navigable 3D environments, supports the Oculus Rift DK2 (Development Kit 2) headset. The result is a virtual-reality look at architectural designs. Architect magazine, a sister publication to Concrete Construction recently showcased the new offering.
According to writer Wanda Lau operating the system is easy:
After plugging the DK2 headset, which weighs in at 0.97 pounds, into a compatible PC or Mac device and running the free Revizto Viewer, users will find themselves transported into their project’s 3D model. Users can scan the space by moving their heads, but must use an old-fashioned mouse to advance down corridors and into different rooms. In other words, they can’t nod or think their way through the building (yet).
Watch the video and Read More
4. Knaack DataVault Mobile As the use of technology increases, one of the key issues will be security. Knaack recently introduced a mobile model of its DataVault. The DataVault Mobile features a touch screen monitor and generous storage space. According to a profile in Builder magazine:
Because of its positioning as a onsite project management kiosk, the DataVault helps keep crews productive and efficient. Firms using BIM software will be able to access project updates in real time whether those updates come from on site or back at the office.
5. Shop Pockets While inventor Michael Frank designed the vest as a way to address problems with standard tool belts and vests, the product also offers a unique, customizable way to carry and protect tech devices. Shop Pockets even includes an iPad pouch option. Read more about it from Tools of the Trade, a sister publication to Concrete Construction.
6. Jobsite Unite According to The Des Moines Register, the Des Moines startup launched it's mobile and Web-based communication platform, designed to streamline and improve construction jobsite communications. The idea is to centralize communication that now happens via email, text and voice call, onto one platform. Similar to social networks such as Facebook, it allows for photo sharing, news feeds and check-ins.
Want to see more innovation in action? Check out the 2015 Most Innovative Concrete & Masonry Products. The MIP Award program is presented annually in conjunction with the World of Concrete, and this year's honorees include some truly state-of-the art offerings.