The construction safety technology sector has grown at a fast pace in recent years as new solutions come online that are aimed at making jobsites safer and more connected.
These products are transforming even the most remote construction sites where paper processes and air horns have been historically used to track activities and alert workers to injuries and evacuation orders.
Today, the solutions make it possible for general contractors and site managers to monitor progress, quickly learn about injuries and gain visibility into jobsites via the laptop in their office or their smartphone on the job site.
But not all worker safety solutions are created equal. Unlike Spot-r’s patented mesh network protocol, all other products on the market use alternative network solutions that come with big limitations and disadvantages.
Here’s a look at the other technologies on the market and why Triax’s approach is best.
Global Positioning System
Most of us use GPS on our smartphones daily to map destinations, but if you’ve ever tried to navigate through a big city using your phone, you know it has its limits.
It’s not uncommon for that blue dot to locate you in the middle of a block, for example, when you’re walking among tall buildings that interfere with the GPS signal. GPS also is dependent on having a decent signal and can quickly drain your smartphone battery.
The drawbacks of GPS on your personal smartphone are translated to the job site. It’s dependent on cellular or wireless connections, which can be tough to come by on a jobsite.
On urban sites, tall buildings can interfere with the signal. GPS also is not very accurate when it comes to tracking workers or equipment inside multi-story buildings as it has trouble identifying vertical locations.
And it can drain batteries, a significant obstacle on sites where electricity is a hard-to-come-by commodity. What’s more, using GPS can present another hurdle for general contractors as workers may worry about off-site tracking and be less likely to use the technology.
UWB networks are another radio technology that worker safety platforms use, but they bring their own set of downsides.
They are designed for high-bandwidth and low-range applications and are better suited to permanent installations, not construction sites. They require a significant amount of high-powered hardware. And they are limited to about 100 devices per gateway, which can cap their use on large construction sites where general contractors want to track hundreds of workers and pieces of equipment.
Bluetooth Low Energy
BLE can be cost prohibitive for many construction companies because it must be paired with other devices and, in most instances, those typically are smartphones. That means each worker and piece of equipment you want to track will need to have a smartphone attached to them. Another pitfall: Smartphones have proven to be a distraction on jobsites, and some contractors have started banning them.
But that’s not all. BLE requires frequent battery recharges, and it also has difficulty hosting large numbers or dense collections of devices, limiting its use on a busy jobsite.
RFID requires users to be within inches or feet of a reader, so it can’t fluidly track a worker’s location. It’s low bandwidth also limits its ability to communicate alerts and other safety information.
Triax’s proprietary solution
Our proprietary solution has been built off of the 900 MHz radio frequency network to give general contractors the full visibility they want into their jobsites.
Triax’s Spot-r system includes
- Minimal network hardware installation and power requirements.
- Real-time location by floor and zone.
- The ability to transmit both BLE and RFID data through sensors without the issue of these networks’ proximity requirements.
- The ability to support tens of thousands of devices simultaneously on a single site.
- No off-site tracking concerns, unlike GPS.
- A long battery life. The rechargeable batteries last four to six months.
In other words, Spot-r demonstrates a network protocol that is more practical, scalable and cost efficient than our competitors. If you’re ready for real-time visibility into the workers and equipment on your jobsite, contact us to learn more about how our patented Spot-r technology can work for you.