Built to inform

Sign up for the daily newsletters

No, Thank you

Microsoft launches new tech to increase safety at construction sites

Microsoft has introduced its workplace safety demo, a new software built on the company’s cognitive services platform, to enhance workplace safety using technology and artificial intelligence (AI)

The workplace safety solution uses existing CCTV cameras to create a safety and security tool.
The workplace safety solution uses existing CCTV cameras to create a safety and security tool.

Microsoft has introduced its workplace safety demo, a new software built on the company’s cognitive services platform, to enhance workplace safety using technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

Recently launched at Gitex Technology Week 2017, the workplace safety solution uses existing CCTV cameras along with AI to create a safety and security tool that can be used for high-risk workplace environments such as plants, factories, and construction sites.

Necip Ozyucel, cloud and enterprise lead at Microsoft Gulf, told Construction Week during the exhibition earlier this month: “This is about workplace safety, whether within a construction environment, a plant or a factory.

“The system can be used, for example, when an unauthorized person enters [a specific area]. We [can detect this] immediately by using commodity cameras – it’s all about facial recognition.

“We can also recognised tools that are misplaced [on the site], which could create [a hazardous environment] if not placed in the proper location. We can understand this by using the cameras and artificial intelligence, warning all administrators on the system.”

The system essentially uses object recognition to alert users of dangerous or hazardous situations. This then helps to create safer environments on construction and work sites by providing real-time alerts.

READ: The GCC's construction technology sector is ready for more

With the use of intelligent cloud, the cameras can identify a specific tool, as well as the closest authorized person who can deliver it, saving everyone time and keeping the workflow moving.

The demo also automatically detects threats such as fire, as well as workers not wearing the appropriate protective gear.

The technology and platform can be used in many areas where safety is a top priority including hospitals, petrol stations, and manufacturing plants.

But the construction industry is still in its infancy when it comes to the adoption of technology, with many companies seeing cost as the biggest obstacle to its implementation.

READ: High costs biggest challenge to adoption of construction tech

During Construction Week’s Leaders in Construction Summit last month, industry leaders affirmed that though many firms and experts agree that digitisation will improve the quality of work, the cost of these tools are a reason for concern for many local firms in the region.

Ozyucel said, however, that the industry is becoming more accepting to tech adoption and demand has increased over the last few years.

He said: “Cloud is definitely a solution for off-site areas, especially when IT infrastructure is difficult to reach or install.

READ: Microsoft offers solutions for construction sector

“By only using an internet connection, users can reach almost infinite resources, so this system creates flexibility [for professionals working on-site].

Additionally, Ozyucel explains that through wireless connections and easy installation, worries of high costs are almost eliminated.

“There is no need for a capital expense as it is a paperless cloud. There is also no need to buy infrastructure, so it is easy to use.

“Therefore, it is a good solution for companies to lower their costs {when adopting technology],” he added.

Ozyucel explained that it has not been too difficult approaching the construction industry with the service platform, as Microsoft is providing a much needed necessity for workplace safety.

“It’s been easy because when you think about construction, they are usually in [remote locations] where it is difficult to have IT supervisors on site,” he said.

But challenges in the implementation of technology for construction remain, especially in the fast-paced segment of cloud services.

“I think not only for the construction industry, but we clearly see a cloud skills gap. One of the reasons is because it is moving very quickly and every month we are adding new features,” Ozyucel added.

Most popular

Awards

Construction industry conversations around digitisation must evolve
The Middle East construction industry’s approach to tech must evolve and focus on how can

Conferences

CW In Focus | Inside the Leaders in KSA Awards 2019 in Riyadh
Meet the winners in all 10 categories and learn more about Vision 2030 in this
CW In Focus | Leaders in Construction Summit UAE 2019
A roundup of Construction Week's annual summit that was held in Dubai this September

Latest Issue

Construction Week - Issue 754
Nov 23, 2019