The Growing Appeal of Drones and Alternative Field-Management Tech

The Growing Appeal of Drones and Alternative Field-Management Tech

Cutting-edge technologies aren’t just thriving inside the home. High-volume builders are now using emerging technologies to improve jobsite efficiency and increase marketing opportunities.

Drones, field-management robotics and advanced machine learning have enabled new prospects for builders during each phase of a TecHome project.

Some builders and developers use these systems to eliminate risk, while others are using the tech to improve efficiency. However, even with growing consumer enthusiasm and new options hitting the market, some industry leaders remain skeptical because of the cost.

“It’s promising and sounds good, but they don’t even know if there is a market for this kind of technology yet,” says Karl Ottosen of Advantage Security.

Another integrator with a close eye on this technology says that his hesitation comes down to cost and consumer willingness to pay extra for the experience. “It has a lot of potential, but for commercial integrators, it is going to be difficult to find customers willing to pay for it,” says owner of AVMAN, Jay Jones.

This infrared diagram was captured from a drone.
This infrared diagram was captured from a drone.

Ottosen and Jones shared their perspectives at the Total Tech Summit in Atlanta, last week, following a session on drone technologies and its impact on builders.

As this emerging market continues to grow, builders and developers will need to weigh financial options to see if the potential boost of alternative field-management systems is worth the cost.

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New Options and Techniques for Builders

An excellent example of an alternative field-management tool that’s catching on among builders and high-volume developers is drone technology. Thus is due to the technology’s growing availability in the market.

iSparks Solutions, a manufacturer and service provider of infrared drones that works with builders and developers, says more builders are using drones to improve jobsite efficiency and catch mistakes that contractors may have missed.

“You can’t hide a bad job from a thermal camera. It’s a great way to verify a contractor’s quality of work, especially on roofs and insulation,” says drone operator at iSparks, Andy Felsman. 

A builder could use drone technology to survey a home during construction and ensure that it’s being completed to code. Once the home is complete, drone technology can also be useful to confirm your crews didn’t miss anything that could lead to liabilities or unwanted repair costs.

“We can come back with the records and verify that everything was completed to code and that contractors did not cut any corners,” says Felsman.

Aside from drones, more alternative technologies will begin to hit the market and offer builders a new marketing opportunity. These include field-management robotics that can analyze and plot a piece of land, as well as sensor-based learning systems.

The picture on the right displays the roof's temperature to show air leaks.
The picture on the right displays the roof’s temperature to show air leaks.

Marketing Opportunities of Alternative Field-Management Technologies

Just like virtual and augmented reality, drones and other field-management technologies will greatly change how a builder markets energy efficiency and home technology.

RELATED: Virtual Reality Tops Gartner’s Emerging Tech Report

A green builder can use infrared technologies to check for any air or heat loss that could compromise a project’s net zero status. This will, in turn, show your homebuyers how much energy the home consumes when compared to a traditional home. 

A high-volume builder or developer can use drone technology to check on issues and code violations within an entire community with a single flyover, instead of conducting multiple inspections of each home. 

Builders can also use these systems to make sure that home technology has either been installed or primed for installation. Verifying the installation of structured wiring in key areas of the home and ensuring that technologies have been correctly installed is possible with an advanced, infrared drone application.

Whether it is a marketing opportunity that helps differentiate yourself and reach more tech-focused homebuyers, or one which expedites the inspection and construction process, alternative field-management drones, robotics and other systems will soon be transformative and widespread in our industry.

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About The Author

Michael Black is a staff writer and content coordinator at TecHome Builder. He has a particular interest in new solar developments and smart energy systems and is always looking for the next smart home trend to cover. As the youngest member of the TecHome team, Michael brings a passion that keeps the team energized. He also is instrumental in leading our social media efforts.

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