COVID-19 is boosting IoT adoption in the construction industry. Indeed, businesses and institutions are implementing new solutions due to COVID-19. From airports to hospitals, a staggering range of enterprises is leveraging IoT and Artificial Intelligence to keep COVID-19 under control. So much so that the AI manufacturing industry will register, according to Technavio, a CAGR of 31% from 2019 to 2020. The pandemic is certainly having a profound impact on the IoT market. And it doesn’t stop there.
Forward-looking organizations are looking at the Internet of Things to modernize their offer. Zoom meetings are not enough. To keep business afloat, most institutions and companies are adopting IoT technologies. From indoor thermal cameras, smart access technologies, and people counters to proximity trackers and device managers, there is a wealth of options available. The challenge is then to envision how to deploy these technologies in the construction industry.
The go-to solution to enforce social distancing involves IoT, Edge Computing and the Cloud. Basically, we’re talking about an IoT device mounted to a hardhat in connection with sensors, gateways and remote servers. It works like this. The IoT device, usually a thermal camera, streams data to a nearby gateway capable of great computational power. The gateway then processes the data through computer vision algorithms. This way, the software can measure the distance between workers, identify people with fever and, if necessary, recognize them. Afterwards, it sends the data to a cloud platform for further processing. By doing so, the platform also keeps tracks of contacts between workers, so to alert them in case one of them develops a fever.
As social distancing is in order, it is no longer possible for inspectors to visit the factory. For one, it jeopardizes social distancing. Moreover, it takes way longer to carry on the inspection. One solution is for workers to install cameras over their hardhat, so that the inspector can log in remotely. Undoubtedly, VR-cameras would be ideal, but VR technology is in no way advanced enough for this task. Fortunately, commonplace remote meeting applications such as Skype, Facetime or Microsoft Teams can come to the rescue.