Cambridge-based tech firm Wyld Networks has launched a new mobile mesh technology to help construction teams work on site safely and improve communication and collaboration.
The technology can be built into mobile apps to create an instant communication platform, while virtual geozones allow managed access to construction sites as well as monitoring social distancing and delivering location-aware alerts or safety information.
Wyld mesh networking harnesses the power of mobile devices by connecting smartphones directly to other smartphones without the need for cellular 4G/5G or wi-fi. Combined with Wyld’s Fusion platform, the company can create infrastructure-lite wireless networks. Data finds the quickest and easiest route by hopping between phones to deliver real-time notifications, alerts and content. This is particularly important in remote locations, underground or other sites where there are connectivity challenges.
Social distancing monitoring can be implemented by creating personal one or two-metre dynamic geozones around construction staff and visitors. This provides an accurate picture of how social distancing is being practiced, allowing for better planning of site layouts and workflow schedules. Subject to corporate policy and privacy, employers would also have the ability to quickly alert others who have been in close contact with anyone testing positive for Covid-19.
Furthermore, the system can create virtual geozones around complete construction sites or buildings as well as more physically dangerous or restricted areas. Anyone approaching a physical zone can be sent a message instantly to let them know if they are able to enter and provide guidance on regulations that relate to that particular area.
“Our mesh technology was originally designed for applications such as major sporting events, music festivals, retail centres and transport hubs to share personalised, location-aware information,” said Alastair Williamson, CEO of Wyld Networks, a portfolio company of Tern plc. “But it quickly became clear that it could also play a vital role in construction by providing an instant, low-cost, on-site communications network with the ability to manage social distancing.”
A mesh network can be deployed more quickly and cost-efficiently than traditional models – even in remote areas or underground environments. If one device leaves the network, it does not cause a break as traffic is routed through multiple paths in the mesh.