Why Construction Companies Are Turning to Smart Helmets

Smart helmets are changing the construction industry. Find out why so many construction companies are using this wearable tech.

Wearable technology has been creeping into many industries for quite a while, but it’s only now starting to take hold in construction.

With the introduction of the smart helmet, construction workers can stay safer while performing their jobs better. Construction companies love these improvements because safer employees work more efficiently, contributing to better profit margins.

But what is a smart helmet? What do they do, and how do they work? Keep reading as we dive into construction smart helmets and everything they have to offer.

What Is a Smart Helmet?

A smart helmet protects the user while incorporating built-in tech. Originally introduced for the motorcycle, ATV and bicycling communities, smart helmets in construction are rising in popularity. They’re a far cry from the iconic construction hard hats that first appeared in the 1930s.

A standard hard hat protects the wearer’s head on the job site. However, their basic design only addresses sudden impacts from the top, like falling items or striking your head while walking under obstructions. Smart helmets address these shortcomings by also protecting against side impacts.

A standard hard hat also can’t warn the wearer of hazards, or help them communicate with colleagues. Smart helmets employ technology like Wi-Fi connectivity and hands-free features to facilitate on-the-job communication.

Best Smart Helmet Safety Features

A helmet’s primary job is protecting the wearer from injury. Smart helmets take this a step further. Here are some of the most significant safety features of today’s smart helmets:

  • Some feature sensors that monitor the wearer’s skin temperature and heart rate, or provide early warnings of hazards or dangerous locations.

  • Mips, a Swedish company, devised a safety system that allows the user’s head to rotate slightly in the helmet during a lateral blow to reduce the risk of a brain injury. Many products include this system.

  • Some models feature air monitoring, alerting them and the on-site safety manager to air quality dangers.

  • Push-button emergency contact buttons allow users to call for help should they fall or have an accident that immobilizes them.

  • Employee location monitoring lets construction companies keep track of where their workers are so staff can find them quickly in the event of an emergency.

All these features can potentially lower the number of injuries or deaths on a job site.

Best Smart Helmet Productivity Features

Smart helmets aren’t just about safety. Many contain technology that improves productivity as well. Here are some common features:

  • Internet of Things technology lets the helmet identify objects and help the user repair or replace the item.

  • Built-in cameras and microphones make it easier to take pictures and make phone calls, so the user can keep working while communicating or documenting progress or issues. Project managers can even communicate directly with engineers for more information on specs or changes.

  • Built-in augmented reality lets the user walk around the construction site while accessing the drawings. This keeps the project on track by ensuring utilities are where they’re supposed to be, change orders won’t impact other aspects of the job, and much more.

Best Smart Helmets

While there are lots of smart helmets on the market, a few models are better than the rest. The following are some of the most impressive options.

Guardhat Communicator

The Guardhat Communicator is a top-of-the-line product that certainly earns its name. Via Wi-Fi or cellular service, users can make phone calls with push-to-talk features and communicate across the job site. Safety sensors notify personnel when the hat isn’t on someone’s head, the noise level or weather conditions are unsafe, or they’re close to danger.

XR10 with HoloLens 2

A collaboration between Trimble and Microsoft, the XR10 is a serious piece of equipment. It can overlay drawings on actual job sites, allowing users to see errors or potential clashes. Users can also review 3D design details, collaborate with management and stakeholders, create punch lists and more.

Guardio Armet

The Guardio Armet might not project heads-up displays or let users talk to their home office with one push of a button, but that doesn’t make it any less smart.

It features the aforementioned Mips system, greatly reducing the risk of brain injury. It’s also available with twICEme, a system that lets rescuers access information like next of kin, allergies, medication and more through their phones.

Tom Scalisi
Tom Scalisi is a professional writer specializing in the home improvement, construction, DIY, and pest control industries. After spending two decades in the trades as a contractor and a building maintenance technician, he now enjoys sharing everything he’s learned with readers through articles and how-to pieces. He’s passionate about helping DIYers tackle new projects while also educating construction and home improvement pros so they can build better businesses.