- Boston, MA-based Pillar Technologies was named a winner of the Global Change the World for Profit competition at the Forbes Under 30 Summit. The firm was recognized for its damage-control and predictive analytics system for construction sites.
- Pillar uses onsite sensors to monitor construction projects for fires, extreme humidity exposure, mold growth and other environmental and safety hazards that result in damages and revenue loss for GCs and insurance companies.
- Judges for the competition included Sound Ventures co-founders Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary. As a winner, Pillar receives a $425,000 award that includes a $225,000 grant from Forbes and $200,000 from Sound Ventures and Rough Draft Ventures.
As a risk management tool, the Pillar technology aims to prevent onsite damage from environmental hazards, but it is also collecting data during incidents to improve the predictive capabilities of the software to alert construction teams when job-site conditions have a high-accident probability. So-called "failure forecasting" is intended to promote process change in the industry to reduce accident-prone situations overall.
Along with productivity enhancement, safety applications continue to drive sensor development for job sites, particularly for wearable sensors tracking human movement, activity, geo-location and biometrics. Another startup investigating safety sensor technology, SmartSite, uses laser, UV and vibration sensors to detect hazardous particulate, UV and noise and vibration exposures that could endanger workers. SmartSite, currently in the beta phase, is currently field-testing its system with construction firms.