According to a recent report from the CEFRIO, the construction industry, which is extremely important for the Quebec economy ($52 billion in 2012, or 14% of the GDP), nonetheless presents productivity problems, as well as issues with cost and deadline predictability. According to the organization, the reasons are as follows: industry fragmentation, multiple resources involved as well as their constant change, and difficulty in sharing information –information that is however required in “massive quantities”.
But, a simple solution exists for all these issues, in the form of an integrated virtual environment especially tailored for information sharing. Thanks to cloud computing and other technological advances, this environment has become much easier to set up… This way, even on the construction site, workers with mobile smart devices can access relevant information, and even modify it, save it, share it…
So, we’re all for mobile invading the construction site. But the most important issue remains: the devices need to be adapted to the peculiarities of the construction sector, which can be quite tough! A significant example from the field: in 2008, Hydro-Québec purchased General Dynamics tablets. Designed for military use, these were shipped to the La Romaine hydroelectric construction site. But unfortunately, according to Chantale Germain, head of proposals and estimation for the para-governmental company, this experience failed, as the tablets “did not survive the inhospitable site conditions”.
A new versatile device
Videotron Business Solutions now offers the latest smartphone everyone is buzzing about: the Samsung Galaxy S5. On top of being considered one of the most powerful smartphones on the market today, it is also a versatile device, well suited for a construction site, as well as a typical business environment.
Its benefits for construction workers are numerous:
- It’s water-resistant. The Galaxy S5 was even one of the very few phones to obtain an IP67 certification from the IEC, which means it can resist being sunk into 1 meter of water during 30 minutes. In order to comply to this certification, the phone’s internal core is lined with a thin rubber strip, its headphone jack is designed to prevent water coming in, and its USB charging socket has a waterproof tab.
- The S5 is additionally perfectly resistant to dust.
- In terms of software, the S5 offers an advanced power saving mode. This makes it possible to lengthen the life of a nearly dead battery for several hours. In order to achieve this, the phone will shut down all non-essential processes, and display the screen in black and white. This feature could prove to be extremely useful during long days spent on the building site, without access to a charging station.
- The mobile phone features a 16 mega-pixel camera, in order to take high-quality photos for documenting details or the progress of the project. The device can also record video in 4K ultra HD.
- The exterior shell of the S5 is still made with tough plastic, just like previous versions of the phone, but this time a unique texture has been added, making it easier to grab and keep the device in your hand.
The Galaxy S5 is so strongly built, that users from the TechSmartt site who put it to the test could only marvel at its clever design. Indeed, they dropped an S5 smartphone from a 10-foot height, and then drove over it with a SUV.
The device survived these two extreme stunts pretty well, still working perfectly afterwards, with no more damage than a few scratches on its camera lens. Imagine what it could withstand on a building site!
Used with or without a robust case, this new class of smartphones, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, integrates rugged features that could help increase IT penetration in the construction sector.
Ladies and gentlemen, to your hammers and your smartphones!
 Source: http://www.cefrio.qc.ca/en/publications/organizational-change/improving-efficiency-productivity-construction
 Source: Same as previous.