How Beacon Technology Is Changing Our Cities & The Construction Industry

how beacons are used on construction sites beacon technology construction industry

The Growing Popularity Of Beacon Technology

Bluetooth beacon technology has been changing the way we build our cities and interact with technology. Since 2013 beacon technology has been on the rise as a way to connect customers with their surroundings in interactive and exciting ways.

2016 saw the most significant jump in beacon technology adoption across various industries with BI Intelligence reporting that beacons drove about $44 billion in retail sales during that same year.

Large companies in many industries are starting to integrate beacon technology into their business offerings as Apple and IBM teamed up to a host of new apps across various beacon solutions.

While beacon technology offers many solutions for businesses and the general public, this technology has been slow to be adopted. The primary cause for this delayed adoption is because beacons are not well understood.

However, while Bluetooth beacon technology has been slow to be adopted in the mainstream commercial sectors, there are several examples of tags being deployed with success in various industries.

How Beacons Are Used In Commercial Sectors

Retail and commercial spaces have started using beacons to drive customer engagement and drive specific promotions in their stores. Companies like Macy’s use beacons to inform guests about flash sales or other offers.

Hotel chains are using beacons in their buildings to help guests access their rooms when they are locked out of their places. Several hotel chains are also using tags to connect with guests and inform them about drink specials or room upgrade options for loyalty customers.

Another example of beacons being used in public spaces is that some Major League Baseball stadiums are using this technology to help customers upgrade their seats or take advantage of specials at concession stands.

As we can see, beacons offer a host of solutions to help businesses connect with their customers in new and exciting ways. Since tags have proven their worth in a variety of commercial uses, some construction companies are using beacon technology to improve efficiency and drive profits.

Why Beacons Are The Perfect Fit For Construction Sites

On their surface beacons don’t sound like a technology that can drive the future of the construction industry. The beacons themselves don’t do much, but these small Bluetooth devices can broadcast information at regular intervals.

Mobile devices can communicate with beacons to convey their relative proximity to other beacons, and this can provide smart devices with the information they need to understand their surroundings.

If construction companies put enough beacons in an area, they will be able to triangulate your location indoors and even help crews and machine operators improve efficiency in a given space.

Construction sites are complicated work areas with many elements that must work together to accomplish a project on time and under budget. Not only is worker safety concern for all construction project managers, but there is also the consideration of how to get different types of machinery to work together.

Beacons are a great solution for construction sites that operate outside the reach of GPS like inside buildings, underground, and even underwater. This is because beacons provide a high level of accuracy for the needs of construction workers and machinery.

Beacons are not just a reliable and accurate tool that construction managers can use, and this technology is also reusable. This means that construction sites can be outfitted with a fleet of beacons and paired with beacon-enabled applications for various reasons.

Once a specific task is complete workers can repurpose the beacons for other functions or use the same beacons at another job site.

These are just a few reasons that beacon technology can be the perfect fit for construction sites.

How Can Construction Sites Use Beacon Technology On The Job Site?

Mapping out a construction site with a variety of beacon sensors give managers real-time insight to understand various conditions.

Integrating these sensors with existing cloud-based systems and remote devices will enable all aspects of the job site to work together safely and more efficiently.

While there are many moving parts in a construction site, these areas are often marked out in a specific geographic area and have highly structured operations. This means that construction sites could be the perfect area to implement beacons because they can be fitted to particular needs of the construction site.

Since beacons are highly accurate, construction workers can integrate applications in wearable PPE. Wearables can be used in combination with a mobile phone or other connected devices to help keep track of construction crews and manage employee time.

As construction sites begin to adopt automated construction vehicles in the work zone, there will be the need to help these machines to talk with each other and their human counterparts. Beacon technology placed in construction safety cones or other existing equipment on the job site can help projects work more efficiently as the true power of autonomous technology is developed for the construction industry. 

The Future Of Construction Sites And Beacon Technology

There is an excellent potential for beacons in the construction industry. Whether job sites are indoors without GPS accessibility or working with autonomous vehicles, construction crews can benefit by integrating beacons into their construction project workflow.

As construction projects grow in complexity, construction companies need to make day to day activities more efficient while also helping to improve the health and safety processes. The best way to accomplish the goal of efficiency and safety is by integrating advanced technologies with Personal Protective Equipment and onboard vehicle devices.

While there are many opportunities to use beacons on a construction zone, we will need to look at additional case studies on how to harness the power of beacon technology and begin exploring other possibilities for the future of this promising technology!

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Author: Chris Giarratana

Chris is a Digital Media Strategy and PPC management consultant in Orlando, FL. He develops marketing strategies for small businesses, researches emerging technologies, and enjoys studying transportation issues.

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