The Internet of Things (IoT) is being touted as a key contributing factor to the growth of the building industry, and global IoT in construction revenue is forecast to top out at $9.6 billion by 2025, up from $4.4bn in 2019, according to the report “Internet of Things (IoT) in Construction – Thematic Research” by ResearchAndMarkets.
IoT hugely beneficial to construction industry
Loosely defined, IoT refers to the use of connected sensors and actuators to control and monitor the built environment, the objects that function therein, and the people with which they co-function.
IoT is tremendously advantageous to the construction industry as it allows various assets and people to be tracked and accounted for across such a traditionally fragmented industry, improving, for instance, the health and safety of construction workers—the most considerable organizational focus for construction industry executives right now.
IoT technology is useful to monitor assets, and sensors are helpful in providing all construction project stakeholders a full picture of the project at any one time. Assets—including from sites in remote locations—can be monitored in real-time because of low latency connectivity and data displayed on dashboards and apps or integrated with building information modelling (BIM).
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What’s more, data can also help design, plan, and model financing of the construction project value chain, and combined with artificial intelligence (AI), can assist in forecasting materials and worker needs in the procurement phase. The more data collected, analysed, and stored concerning assets, the better the benefit industry digitalization.
Wearable tech destined to become entrenched in building industry
China has so far registered the highest number of IoT construction patents—645 compared to the USA’s 567—while valuable opportunities for wearable technology in the construction industry are emerging. The wearable tech industry is expected to touch $156 billion in value by 2024, up from $52 billion in 2019.
Smartwatches are the primary driver of this metric, with high consumer uptake and several start-ups operating in the space. Proxxi, for example, offers products protecting users from electrocution, while Plinx deploys proximity sensors encouraging social distancing. Wearable tech improves communication between field workers and office-bound colleagues and is destined to become deeply entrenched in the building industry in due course.