Wearables at Work: Low-profile construction technology improves safety and efficiency

Wearable technology is a growing trend for gadget lovers. Over the 2014 holiday season, products such as fitness and wellness trackers, watches synced to smart phones and low-impact cameras were vastly popular. The wearable industry is worth more than $11 billion and is slated to grow over the next decade to upwards of $50 billion. This is a huge market and while the industry is driven by private-use consumer demand, the technology involved is seeing new life in varied professional applications.

The construction industry continues to fight an upward battle against a reputation as a physically dangerous business. Wearable technology is beginning to take hold, providing new solutions to old problems in ways that are less invasive and more traceable. Wearable technology on the jobsite has great potential to help contractors improve both safety and efficiency.

Several manufacturers are taking cues from the health and wellness industry as well as other growing technology areas in order to develop these products and solutions. This market, like other technology-driven sectors, is seeing the first steps of growth by focusing on underserved industries by creating streamlined and affordable systems that are taking the construction industry to a new level in terms of useful technology.

Research and development

Development laboratories all over the country are stepping up to the challenge of construction safety hardware and software. The Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University are on the ground level. Human Conditions, a New York think-tank, is also progressing on integrated wearable solutions. By addressing the changing needs of contractors, industry culture and OSHA requirements, these organizations are custom tailoring wearable technology for use on site.

One of the major concerns of developers is the creating low-profile products. While wristbands and watches work well enough for athletes and office workers, they may be too intrusive to be viable for use on a construction site. These products must stand up to impact, dust, bad weather and other hazards while staying out of the way for laborers and site managers. Through managing these concerns, these developers are also addressing industry culture by creating products that do not stand out on the site.

To address these concerns, manufacturers are focused on integrating these products into items already typically worn onsite, such as safety vests and hard hats. Human Condition has developed these products already, with hardhats that record use, helping managers ensure that they are being worn in hazard zones. They also record impact, delivering product damage and potential physical harm of wearers to an integrated cloud. The helmet charges through an integrated solar panel on the visor. The company has also designed a vest that monitors motion, location and wearer vitals. The vest is self charging, harnessing the kinetic energy of the wearer as he or she moves about throughout the day. Safety managers, supervisors and other company personnel will be able to access this data through software onsite or back at the office.

More developments

Software plays an important role and continues to change throughout development. While data tracking is the focus of associated programs, developers and manufacturers are making improvements to increase accuracy and integrate new features. Soon this software will be easily incorporated into BIM imaging, allowing users to see onscreen where workers are in relation to design plans. This is a huge benefit for complex jobsites where employees may be working below grade, or inside a complex structure. Through the cloud, this software will be able to report what floor, room, or chamber a worker is in to improve response time in case of an accident.

Wearable Construction Technology

While safety is the driving force behind this developing technology, wearable tech on construction sites can also be used to track efficiency. Motion sensors can detect how a wearer acts throughout a space and may even become refined enough to identify tasks such as hammering, demolition or equipment operation. Data will reflect how much time workers spend on various tasks and allow managers to reconfigure practices to improve efficiency.

Construction wearable technology is still in the early stages of development. It may be a few years before these products and systems hit the market on a broad scale, and potentially longer before these solutions become affordable for anything but very large companies. In the meantime, manufacturers and researchers continue to work in development and testing to provide solutions that help contractors improve safety and efficiency without getting in the way.

How will wearable technology improve your business? Share your stories, challenges and thoughts with us on social media — TwitterFacebook and Google+


My experience with US Builders Review was positive from start to finish. The staff conducted each interaction with the utmost professionalism, whether over the phone or by email. Beginning with the initial telephone interview US Builders Review carefully gathered information to form a draft document then incorporated my minimal edits required to achieve factual accuracy in the finished article. US Builders Review is a pleasure to work with.
— Tim Craddock, President, Vansant & Gusler Inc.
Kyle Gahm was instrumental in coordinating this project from beginning to end. He was always available and a pleasure to work with. It would be a pleasure to work with Kyle down the road. Bill Keaton was very impressive in raising money from advertising which resulted in ASE getting the cover story, so thank you Bill. Lia Prysunka and Jeanee Dudley are both very impressive individuals who deserve a lot of credit for this featured piece. They were both very patient and accepting of any changes we suggested. The format, quality, and resolution was awesome. To sum it all up: Our upper management, who never have been high on PR and things of this nature said that it was "absolutely fantastic" and were blown away. They now are requesting multiple copies of the full magazine and are very proud of the work you all put in. Thanks again.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
It was an absolute pleasure to work with the writers and editorial team at TrueLine Publishing for our recent article in US Builders Review. From the start of the project, it was apparent that everyone involved was very concerned with accuracy and getting the facts right. They were also very conscientious about soliciting our feedback and ensuring that we were happy with the content and with the manner in which Giroux Glass was described in the finalized piece.
— Barbara Kotsos, Director of Marketing & PR, Giroux Glass
Professional with attention to customer’s needs. Well prepared vision for article while open to suggestions. Provided plenty feedback and review prior to final draft. Thanks in advance for the assistance and promotion of our organization!
— Jason Lee, LEED AP O+M, Director of Sustainability and Optimization for Harvard Maintenance
Thank you all your efforts in putting together such a great article about our company in US Builders Review. DH Construction appreciates the professional manner in which your team worked with us to achieve the stateside exposure we were after; especially taking the time to get all of the facts correct. In short, the article was extremely well put together and we have already received a great deal of feedback, interest, and compliments as a result of the piece. Once again, we appreciate all the effort, and without a doubt, we will not hesitate to work with your organization again in the future.
— Daniel Harrigan, Principal, DH Construction
Kyle and his team were very professional and patient in explaining their program to us. Their communications were clear and concise and did a great job of guiding us through the process of getting published in their magazine.
— Michael Henthorn, Owner, Henthorn Commercial Construction
On behalf of Alfred Sanzari Enterprises, I would like to thank you for showcasing our company as a cover story in US Builders Review, and express our gratitude for a job well done in putting together an impressive editorial product. We already have received a great deal of positive feedback on the article and are confident it will be a very effective tool for sharing Alfred Sanzari Enterprises’ story, and our new hotel project, with a national audience of industry professionals. Please also extend our thanks to everyone on your team that helped in any way to produce this article. This was truly a collaborative effort.  Your staff listened to our feedback and was incredibly professional and accommodating to our requests throughout the entire process. We welcome the opportunity to collaborate with US Builders Review on future projects.
— Ryan Sanzari, Director of Operations, Alfred Sanzari Enterprises
The staff was very helpful and easy to work with while developing our story. They were always open to our ideas and provided us useful information to maximize our visibility using social media. We were certainly pleased with final article.
— Daryl Whitmer, Marketing Program Manager, Harrison French & Associates (HFA)
Ryan at TrueLine was a pleasure to work with and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or TrueLine to anyone in the future. They were professional, organized and great to work with through the process!
— James Cahill, President and Partner, J. Calnan & Associates
I’m blown away with the value that could come out of our partnership through this article. Working with the US Builders Review team is something that I have never experienced before and every day I feel even more privileged to be with EJH Construction, I never take for granted the opportunities that have come my way.  I am so excited about what our future looks like based on the relationship that has been built with the US Builders Review team.
Jennifer Wilhelmsen – Director of Human Resources, EJH Construction Inc.


Spring 2018



  • * We’ll never share your email or info with anyone.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.