Mobile devices increasingly used in construction site work

BACK IN EARLY FEBRUARY, five Tucker Paving team members set off to Orlando to attend the Florida Transportation Builders Association’s 2018 Construction Conference at the Hyatt Regency on International Drive.

Tucker Paving is an active member of the Tallahassee-based FTBA, which has a mission to connect, promote, explore, and promote the Florida transportation industry.

Representing the company at the two-day Construction Conference were President Larry “Chip” Tucker, Michael Chevalier, Raymond Curtis, James Justice, and Mary Myers.

The conference featured dozens of interesting and informative presentations, ranging from industry trends and transportation project updates to best-management practices and workforce development.

One of the presentations, included online with the others here, was titled “Effective Use of Mobile Devices in Construction.”

The presentation covered the familiar-to-almost-everyone computer technologies generically called smartphones, tablets, and laptop/tablet combinations, and it called out each of the technologies for its construction-related and in-the-field advantages and disadvantages.

While it didn’t go into much detail, the presentation also included a mention of four new and/or developing and perhaps unheard-of technologies —3-D construction and structure plans, augmented reality, the Trimble SiteVision, and Microsoft HoloLens.

  • 3-D plans include not only the kind that can be created and seen on a computer screen, using high-end drawing and modeling software, but also the kind that can be created on a computer and then magically brought to life by a 3-D printer.

  • Augmented reality (AR) is defined by Dictionary.com as a digital “technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.” Wikipedia.com defines augmented reality as “a direct or indirect live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are ‘augmented’ by computer-generated perceptual information, ideally across multiple sensory modalities,” including the senses of sight, hearing, touch, and even smell.

  • Trimble is a 40-year-old, California-based company best known for GPS technology. The Trimble SiteVision is a device that delivers augmented reality to the field — when no real-time satellite data is available. Using proprietary software and receivers, the SiteVision provides a highly accurate overlay of digital data on outdoor scenes. The SiteVision can be used in building and road construction, visualizing subsurface utilities, earth-moving work, and architectural visualization.

  • HoloLens is an augmented-reality headset created by Microsoft. With new “hard-hat” (construction site) safety features coming for the HoloLens software, the HoloLens could be used in a variety of ways by construction personnel. They include hands-free access to blueprints, remote support in the field, 3-D modeling superimposed on a site, measurements and 3-D scanning, employee training, inspections, and post-maintenance activities.

“Cool!” is pretty good way to describe each of these new technologies and, combined, their potential creative and time-saving use in the construction office and on the construction site.

For the complete presentation on “Effective Use of Mobile Devices in Construction,” visit the FTBA Web page here and download the 42-page PDF file.