There are so many interesting and advanced technologies being developed specifically for the construction industry, but these are the 5 main ones we think you should keep an eye on in 2017.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
For those of you who don’t know the difference between the two, virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a three-dimensional image or environment that can be interacted with in a seemingly real or physical way by a person using special electronic equipment. Augmented Reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are supplemented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Both of these technologies will find their place in the construction industry this year as the software and electronic equipment becomes more affordable and readily available. It will allow architects and engineers to see their designs on a new level, allow the GC or CM see plans in a whole new level, and allow for stakeholders and owners in projects to get a more physical sense of their investments.
Since the FAA has released its new rules in regards to the use of drones, and is now allowing the use of drones for commercial use, you will see the use of these machines on jobsites and projects across the globe. Drones make it possible to do areal surveying, monitor productivity of the work being done, track safety methods, as well as conduct inspections and so much more. Though these machines still come with a hefty price tag, you can bet the ROI on a drone will be tenfold.
Another convenient advancement to watch out for in the construction industry is the use of RFID tracking. RFID or Radio-frequency identification tracking uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags that are attached to objects. These tags contain electronically stored information. RFID tracking can be used on tools and equipment and will allow construction companies to be more safe and efficient with their machinery.
Autonomous Construction Vehicles
You’ve probably seen several advertisements of self-driving cars in the media by now. This popular trend has already been translated into the construction industry, and have been put into preliminary testing by the Department of Transportation in Florida. Machines like excavators, bulldozers and other heavy equipment have being designed to be autonomous, semi-autonomous and even remote-controlled. This technology positively affects the safety impacts in construction zones as well as the skilled labor shortage the industry is currently experiencing. With these machines, you can put a less skilled worker in the cab and the equipment will do almost all of the work, and by not putting a worker in the machinery at all, you are minimizing the safety risks by 100%.
Cloud Based Project Portals
Cloud Based Project Portals aren’t necessarily new to the industry, however, with this technology becoming more affordable, it’s becoming more widespread and available to construction companies all over the globe. Cloud based project portals allow the administration side of the industry to be more eco-friendly, track communication more effectively and efficiently, and present updates to subcontractors, owners, stakeholders, etc. PelGC was an early adopter to this technology, and we have been using a cloud based project portal for over 2 years now.
Are there any other trends you think we missed? Do you know of any other technologies to watch out for this year? Reach out to us on Social Media and tell us your thoughts!