We’re not talking about consumer-grade smartwatches or fitness trackers here. Wearables in the construction industry include tough, rugged devices designed to withstand the rigors and abuses of a job site.

Smart helmets, complete with pull-down visors, are brimming with features, such as a health-monitoring headband, smart front- and rear-facing cameras with depth perception, an array of sensors, and wireless connectivity. The pull-down visors on these smart hardhats allow wearers real-time communication (including quick access to data), augmented reality overlays and the ability to record data.

Other wearables designed for the construction industry include rugged health monitors and enhanced safety vests, all designed to boost worker safety and productivity.

Robotic building arms and 3D printers are being used to produce building components or even entire buildings. This combination of technology uses concrete, extruded concrete, and plastics to “print” components and buildings of all kinds and is quickly being adopted on a wider scale.

Dubai is home to the world’s first entirely 3D-printed office building. Robots also serve other uses within the construction sector – placing bricks, excavating, demolishing, and accessing areas that are difficult or unsafe for humans.

Building information modeling, or BIM, refers to a single, collaborative, computerized system that combines technology and solid work processes. With the ability to connect BIM models to wireless mobile devices, companies can ensure everyone has access to relevant information, including 3D digital representations of building plans. Every aspect of the project can be linked to related data, such as manuals, images or precise specifications.

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