Construction tech trends worth your attention
June 15, 2018 By Ken Pittman/CONEXPO-CON/AGG
The construction industry generally remains behind the technology curve, but times are changing. In a world of chronic skilled labor shortages and increasing competition, contractors must embrace technological innovation or be left behind.
What needs can technology meet?
With increasing demand for technological solutions to address long-term problems comes investment. An astonishing variety of technologies are being developed to address pain points in the construction industry.
What should contractors look for? Here are the top trends to keep any eye on:
•It sounds simple, but your first priority should be to improve communication. Technology that improves communication will minimize costs and help keep your project on track. Keeping stakeholders in the loop about construction progress not only improves your customer relationships, it also reduces the chance of litigation.
•It may not be the newest kid on the block, but project-management software is the best way to improve efficiency and coordination. The software is rapidly evolving and growing in adoption, yet a surprising number of companies still rely on old-fashioned pen-and-paper or spreadsheets.
•Visual documentation technologies, including Internet-enabled construction cameras and drone imaging, provide great ways to record conditions on the jobsite down to the smallest detail. There are also exciting innovations underway in 360-degree virtual reality and augmented reality visualization technology.
•On the horizon is better machine learning and smart tagging for camera technologies. Imagine a camera being able to automatically detect safety issues while scanning a jobsite. Technology is also being developed to allow better visualization of the interior of buildings during construction to provide a visual history of the project from the inside.
Next steps for construction technology?
With so much technology available comes the need for better integration. Contractors need all of their services and products to be able to play together in one ecosystem. For example, construction cameras or drones should be able to seamlessly mesh with popular project-management software like Procore and PlanGrid or virtual reality (VR) platforms.
The future is both exciting and challenging for the construction industry. Technology will play an increasingly important role in staying competitive for contractors. Change is coming. Be ready.
Ken Pittman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Winston-Salem, N.C.-based TrueLook.
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