Hill International and Everguard.ai tackle jobsite safety
Hill International and Everguard.ai are confident their new AI and sensor fusion partnership marks a 'paradigm shift' in tackling jobsite injuries - as the industry continues to grapple with soaring working at height incidents.
The collaboration, enabled through the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program and Qualcomm IoT Services Suite, will bring Everguard's Sentri360 platform to Hill International customers.
Initial efforts will focus on using the power of AI, computer vision, and real-time location services to enhance safety protocols already in place on jobsites for initiatives such as personal protective equipment (PPE) compliance, geofencing of restricted areas, anti-collision, and fall detection.
"We believe this technology will reduce and prevent injuries and accidents," said Mike Smith, President, Americas, of Hill International. "We strive to partner with only the top organizations in making certain our customers have the right tools and technologies to elevate their construction sites to the highest level when it comes to health and safety. This partnership with Everguard will help us continue to be on the forefront of deploying technology to help our clients reduce their risks, avoid injuries, and save lives."
The Qualcomm IoT Services Suite delivers comprehensive, end-to-end, IoT as a Service (IoTaaS) solutions to enable the digital transformation of smart cities and smart connected spaces globally.
"We are excited that Everguard.ai and Hill International have chosen the Qualcomm IoT Services Suite to deliver smart solutions via Construction-Management-as-a-Service because prioritizing construction safety and digital management of construction sites allows businesses and municipalities the ability to focus on worker safety," said Sanjeet Pandit, Senior Director, Business Development and Head of Smart Cities, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Construction-Management-as-a-Service will continue to accelerate the transformation of city infrastructure and services to help enrich communities' lives."
Everguard's Sentri360 collects inputs from disparate industrial sensor technologies, allowing them to interact in ways not possible independently. Millions of sensor data pieces are fed into edge computers for AI analysis and processing in much the same way that humans process information gathered by their senses.
The platform and ecosystem provide near-real-time alerts and outputs to managers and workers, notifying them of safety threats before accidents occur and identifying opportunities for additional employee training.
"Hill International and Everguard share a dedication to being technology and safety leaders in our respective fields," said Sanjay Pandya, Vice President and General Manager of construction at Everguard.
Working at Height breaches soar in Q1
The need to improve construction site safety is paramount as The Building Safety Group (BSG) reported an 84% increase in the number of ‘Working at Height’ breaches occurring on construction sites during the first quarter of 2021. BSG’s latest figures were obtained following 4,300 independent site inspections that took place between January 1-March 31 this year.
Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2020 show that almost half of all construction accidents (47%) were from falls from height. There were 40 fatal injuries in 2019/20, slightly up on the 5-year average of 37 per year. 29 of these fatalities were due to falls from height. Over 60% of deaths during working at height involve falls from ladders, scaffolds, working platforms, roof edges and through fragile roofs.
"Working at Height is clearly the most dangerous activity carried out in the construction sector," commented Andy Harper, Technical Support Manager at BSG. "We can all do more to ensure that work is properly planned, supervised and conducted by qualified workers who have the required skills for the job in hand. Having the correct control measures in place and assessing the risk is also essential for avoiding accidents."
To read the special report to mark the recent World Day for Safety and Health At Work 2021, click here.
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."