Are the days of standard hard hats and safety glasses behind us? Will they soon be infused with data that help make decisions about projects?

With the advent of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning in so many areas of construction beginning to take off, the natural answer would naturally seem to be yes. However, the growth of wearables in construction has been slow, compared to other subsets of technology, but the opportunity is big. Let’s take a look.

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of a smart helmet in construction came from DAQRI. We have written about its pilot program with a smart hart hat many times.

Now, the company has pivoted a bit and is focusing its efforts on two key products: DAQRI Smart Glasses, which are purpose-built with an intuitive hands-free user interface to enhance productivity, efficiency, and safety, and DAQRI Worksense, which is a suite of AR (augmented reality) productivity tools for the digital workforce. The platform packs a power punch with the ability to collect key data to improve business processes.

Analysts are still betting on the growth of wearable devices in the next five years though, with a keen focus on smart helmets. These wearable hard hats often consist of multiple sensors that monitor heart rate, temperature, and air quality, among others. The data can be collected in realtime to provide users with information about interaction about health, environment, and navigation. Satellite-aided navigation is a big feature in these helmets, in addition to other communication and safety features.

Grand View Research is one such analyst predicting growth. The company says that the global smart helmet market is expected to reach $1.2 billion by 2025, which is a growth rate of 18.6% from 2019 to 2025.

This is due to growth in a number of industries including riding, adventure sports, manufacturing, and, yes, also construction. Asia Pacific is anticipated to be the fastest-growing market, with increasing sales of both two-wheelers and industrial and construction projects. AR, VR (virtual reality), and AI will be big drivers of the use of the technology.

With all this in mind, it seems natural that standard hart hats, and even safety glasses, will fall by the wayside, as connected PPE (personal protective equipment) emerges on the scene. But, quite frankly, the reality is the price point of the connected hardware will need to come down, if it will experience widespread adoption in construction. What are your thoughts?

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor