The NEXT Coalition, a group of four major contractors formed in May, has announced its five chosen pilot projects to combat COVID-19 challenges on jobsites.
NEXT -- made up of Black & Veatch, DPR Construction, Haskell and McCarthy -- selected GoContractor, Kwant.ai, Smartvid.io, Opal and Versatile to be the first projects the coalition will aid in developing and rolling out new technologies.
The five were selected from 84 projects submitted by 78 companies and startups. While the ball is rolling with the five chosen companies, NEXT said it is vetting 58 other projects while still welcoming new submissions.
Here’s a look at the five projects that will be used on jobsites of NEXT Coalition members:
- GoContractor is an online contractor orientation platform designed to facilitate COVID-19 protocols. The platform provides contact-free registrations, standard safety orientations, safer check-in and check-out protocols and central compliance tracking.
Kwant.ai uses wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to capture data on worker location. The platform notifies workers of potential threats and helps facilitate worker scheduling. If a worker tests positive for COVID-19, it allows contractors to use geospatial tracing to discover who may have been affected. McCarthy Building Companies is piloting the Kwant.ai platform.
Smartvid.io uses its artificial intelligence system, Vinnie, to study images and alert for potential health hazards. In April, Smartvid.io adapted Vinnie to alert managers in real time if workers didn’t maintain social distance, along with other failures to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. Haskell, which has implemented Smartvid.io on major projects, said it saw overall social distancing compliance improve from 75% to 78% from June to July, and face mask compliance improve from 82% to 90%.
Opal is an IoT wearable real time location system (RTLS) solution that addresses safety, security and operational challenges. In the event of a worker becoming infected with COVID-19, Opal useS real-time alerts and reports to identify where the worker was throughout the shift and perform contact tracing.
Versatile’s CraneView turns cranes into smart devices. The multisensor unit measures points of data to include load, weight, motion, rigging, unrigging, material location, tasks and idle times. The data can help insights that optimize crane utilization and production rates.
NEXT believes these five innovations are just the start.
“The volume and breadth of submissions to the challenge have been impressive,” said Ryan Pletka, vice president, innovation and strategy at Black & Veatch, in a press release. “Over the summer, we’ve had dozens of meetings with startups and established companies alike. It paints a positive picture of how we as the construction industry are responding to this unique and complex threat to the safety of our workforce, our clients and our communities."