- Skanska UK has signed on to the Daqri Smart Helmet early adopter program and will field test the augmented reality-enabled hard hats this year, according to Construction Enquirer.
- A clear visor incorporated into the smart helmet can display 3-D project and building renderings, environmental thermal imaging, and remote repair and project instruction from offsite team members and partners.
- Skanska UK said the trial is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to fielding new construction technology and should lead to project efficiencies that speed delivery while reducing costs.
Although Crunchbase pegs the company's total funding at $15 million, Daqri has sought up to $200 million to help develop, commercialize, and scale its AR hardhat for the construction industry. Launched in conjunction with the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, Daqri’s scaled-down smart glasses provide a similar augmented reality overlay sans thermal imaging and the protective head gear, but face competition from Microsoft, which is working with the University of Cambridge to adapt its Hololens technology for job site conditions.
Bringing Skanska on board for a 2017 trial run in the U.S. should help prove the smart helmet’s effectiveness in the field and determine how — and how much — contractors will opt for mixed reality overlays to the as-built job site environment. While the remote repair upshot looks promising, particularly with global OEMs like Caterpillar exploring AR capabilities for remote service and maintenance, it remains to be seen how far mixed reality will be deployed on job sites, and if the technology offers substantial value beyond the intriguing but still limited use cases promoted by product manufacturers.