Modern construction jobsite cameras have become high-tech tools that contractors can use to make their jobs more efficient.
Where can construction cameras benefit the workflows of a modern jobsite? The answer is, “Nearly everywhere.” Far more advanced than consumer-grade video cameras, construction cameras can improve security and safety. They can protect your company in the event of a dispute or lawsuit. They can solve that age-old problem of project managers needing to juggle six jobs at once. They can catch problems before they become budget-busting catastrophes. They can show stakeholders the dramatic scope of the project with time-lapse video—or they can simply show that it’s been raining on-site for 3 weeks.
But before purchasing construction cameras, be sure that they have the functionality and flexibility necessary to truly benefit your jobsite. Each construction project has unique requirements and conditions. A great construction camera should be able to function in all of them.
TrueLook’s construction cameras are designed to deliver top-notch functionality right out of the box in a multitude of applications and situations. TrueLook designs its cameras to withstand the harsh conditions of construction jobsites, and back that up with a lifetime warranty on every camera. TrueLook listens to and addresses the pain points identified by the end users, creating cameras with functionality to fit their needs.
Here are some questions to ask before you buy a construction camera to ensure that you get excellent results and return on investment.
WHAT KIND OF ZOOM?
This is an important difference in construction cameras that you might not be aware of. Optical zoom means that the camera lenses move and can actually zoom in on an area of your construction site. Digital zoom means a static picture is zoomed on the screen of your viewing device—essentially taking a still photo and holding it closer to your face. The drawback of digital zoom is that the closer in you zoom, the more pixelated the picture become. While digital zoom is a good solution for some applications, other projects would benefit from an optical zoom, so be sure to ask what type of zoom your construction camera has. TrueLook has both options available to match the needs of any jobsite.
CAN YOU STORE AND REVIEW FOOTAGE?
Some cameras on the market come with limited storage or are only viewable in real time. To get the full benefits from a construction camera, contractors need to be able to store and review historical footage. The applications for this functionality are vast. If theft occurs, you can not only use footage to help identify the thieves, but you can also use it as proof in any insurance disputes. When a mistake occurs, footage can be used to prove who is responsible. Time-lapse footage of the project is a valuable marketing tool to attract new clients, and it can be used to keep stakeholders and investors engaged in a current project’s progress.
To leverage camera footage for these uses, you have to be able to store it. TrueLook’s cameras come with unlimited cloud-based storage. Some companies consider unlimited storage an upcharge, so be sure to read the fine print before purchasing.
ARE THERE HIDDEN FEES?
Some construction camera companies will advertise functionality like live viewing, time-lapse video, security recording, and unlimited storage, but these do not always come standard with the purchase of a camera. Often, you have to select just one feature, and the others are only included with extra fees. Before committing to a camera, make sure you can get the functionality you want without it being an upcharge. TrueLook offers all these benefits included in one standard fee on every camera it sells.
WHAT ABOUT DATA?
Mobile data is another hidden cost of some construction cameras. Before committing to a solution, find out how much the data charges are and who pays them. Do they come out of your company’s overall mobile data plan? Does the camera company charge for data? Is there an upcharge of data exceeds a certain amount?
When you need the cameras rolling 24/7, the last thing you want to worry about is data or slow connections. TrueLook cameras come with built-in 4G LTE modems using a reliable network to provide the optimal data speeds for camera functionality.
IS IT TURNKEY?
In construction, lost time is lost money. Your team doesn’t have time to set up and connect a complicated camera system. Before investing, find out what it takes to deploy a new camera and choose a truly turnkey system. That means the camera needs out-of-the-box functionality with the simplest setup possible for immediate use.
Take that a step farther and make sure the camera is scalable. Is it compatible with other cameras in a single, seamless system? Not only does a TrueLook camera have full functionality from the moment you turn it on, but TrueLook staff are on call and ready to support you if something goes wrong.
Construction cameras can offer unique functionality and produce almost-magical footage across a wide range of applications. They are an indispensable tool in the construction tech toolbox, giving leaders perspective on each job, from sweeping overviews to detailed glimpses into specific tasks. However, as with any construction tech purchase, due diligence is necessary. Be sure to ask the right questions to ensure the camera you choose has the function and performance needed to deliver true return on investment.
about the author
Roger Yarrow is chief operations officer of TrueLook, the only construction camera company to include live jobsite viewing, project time-lapsing, and HD security recording with every camera, pioneering construction camera technologies for over 20 years.
Modern Contractor Solutions, September 2019
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