Building Confidence in Construction and the Evolution of Jobsite Camera Solutions

This article was submitted as part of BuiltWorlds’ Verified Contributor Program.


Jobsite cameras have come a long way from humble beginnings in the early 1990s.

Once “glorified webcams” with limited point-and-shoot capabilities for low-resolution images, jobsite cameras are now connected, multi-functional tools that support the safety, security and success of construction jobsites.

Sensera Systems complete security solution, featuring TalkDown deterrence. Photo credit: Sensera Systems

From pan-tilt-zoom to 4K time-lapse, wireless and solar, and live video, jobsite cameras have changed forever. This includes direct integration into project management platforms and accessibility via standalone URLs. Now, they hold unrealized potential for contractors around the nation. This intelligence allows the industry to gather information, generate insight, and enable action to improve project outcomes.

Later this month, as part of BuiltWorlds Construction Tech Conference, I’ll join a panel of industry colleagues to explore how innovative capture techniques are advancing the construction industry. The session, called “Reality Redefined,” will look at the emerging camera technologies that will take jobsite intelligence into the future.

Let’s set the stage—and look at the trends impacting this space and how the application of these solutions continues to advance across construction sites.

Realize value across the entire construction value chain through visibility

The construction industry—for all its resilience in the face of unpredictable economic times—has yet to get a grip on its productivity challenges. In fact, U.S. contractors wasted upwards of $30 billion in 2022 due to labor inefficiencies. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of respondents saw declining labor productivity on jobsites. Also, problems with communication and coordination between project teams can exacerbate productivity issues.

Advancements to jobsite intelligence solutions puts the power in the hands of project managers, construction workers and teams making decisions.

Construction is dynamic. It has unique demands when it comes to prioritization, scheduling and coordination. In an ideal world, project managers, for example, could be everywhere at once. They could situate themselves across multiple jobsites miles apart at the same time and have visibility into everything going in and out of a site. They could look around every corner to anticipate potential delays and reschedule to avoid disruption.

While that utopia isn’t possible, advancements to jobsite intelligence solutions puts the power in the hands of project managers, construction workers and teams making decisions. Whether through a unique URL, smartphone or project management software like Procore or Autodesk, contractors can tap into any jobsite from anywhere. With the ability to cycle through cameras and see what is taking place across all sites, in real time, managers can make more informed decisions and speed up time to action. This saves time and money. It also boosts collaboration while eliminating unnecessary interruption.

Strengthen risk mitigation by moving beyond “vision” for proactive site protection

If unpredictable and volatile economic conditions weren’t enough to deal with, the industry is also trying to navigate stringent and evolving builders’ risk and worker insurance demands. Insurance is there to protect individuals and businesses, but without collaboration, cooperation and compliance, insurance can become costly and ineffective. So much of what impacts these policies and rates, such as natural disasters, is unavoidable. However, vandalism, theft and other security breaches can be mitigated.

Enter the evolution of jobsite intelligence camera solutions. These solutions provide perimeter viewing, 24/7 video feeds, IR illumination, and now have added security features.

Construction project at The Moxy hotel in Austin, TX, captured by Sensera Systems’ fixed position camera. Photo credit: Sensera Systems.

For example, validated threat detection can trigger the appropriate action or response, such as talk down deterrence, alerts to authorities or automated timestamped videos to validate claims.

Furthermore, cameras can now distinguish between animals or site threats regardless of time of day or lighting conditions. And, wireless or solar solutions can be deployed and moved without trenching or cabling to accommodate dynamic jobsite requirements. This takes away one of the many avenues that threats can tamper with, while maintaining a clean jobsite.

An investment upfront in jobsite intelligence solutions can save time, money and stress if or when issues occur. Faster response and quicker validation better protect the business. And it gets the job back up and running sooner.

Usher in the next frontier of predictive intelligence and data-driven workflows

The industry has taken steps to automate tasks that can be cumbersome or take skilled workers away from building better. Examples are seen in prefabrication and 3D modeling, robotics applications, the digitization of plans and more. These applications are helping shift the productivity and labor equation.

Food for thought: We are not in the business of camera technology. We are in the business of building confidence for all stakeholders in the construction industry.

Automation is also being realized with jobsite intelligence solutions. That journey starts with data. Cloud-enabled, wirelessly connected and always-on jobsite cameras are critical in gathering real-time information. By building trusted data sets, the future of algorithms, machine learning and automation can be realized. Leveraging these solutions now will fundamentally change construction workflows over the next three to five years.

Food for thought: We are not in the business of camera technology. We are in the business of building confidence for all stakeholders in the construction industry, from field workers, project managers and general contractors, to safety and quality managers, and all the way through to financial investors. Therein lies the true power and potential of jobsite intelligence solutions. These solutions will continue to deliver return on investment across the entire span of a construction project in new ways.

I’m looking forward to what promises to be an engaging conversation at BuiltWorlds’ conference.

David Gaw is Chief Strategy Officer and founder of Sensera Systems. Meet Gaw at 2024 Construction Tech, July 23-25, in Chicago.