June 11, 2020

Designing flexible tech solutions for construction and beyond

Rugged yet simple to install, the Tesseract Anchors fit right in with string lights during construction and are built into final electric upon completion. The tesseract PRISM badges come with and without E-ink screens.
Rugged yet simple to install, the Tesseract Anchors fit right in with string lights during construction and are built into final electric upon completion. The tesseract PRISM badges come with and without E-ink screens.

When approaching the design of the Tesseract PRISM ™ ecosystem, we set out to create a platform that is flexible, easy to install anywhere, and rugged enough to stand up to any situation. Construction is one of Prism’s main use cases, but we knew that to make a truly valuable tool, we’d have to design for the kinds of businesses that would move in after the building is completed, whether it’s a hospital, a factory or an office.

After the building goes up, the anchors remain and the staff and patients wear V1 or V2 badges enabling the hospital to use the same system that managed the construction.

That means we needed to create hardware that can handle the harsh conditions of a construction site, and then be ready to move beyond them. We created wearables that are as comfortable for those doing tough physical labor as they are for doctors checking in on patients. Prism anchors can be installed and powered on a site with almost no infrastructure, then installed directly into the building as it’s being finished.

And the Mosaic Command software that runs it all can be totally reconfigured and customized to any type of business, turning construction safety protocols into security parameters for a factory or instructions for cleaning robots at a hospital.

Jeff Chiu—industrial design lead at Future Lab, Tesseract Venture’s advanced R&D studio— explains the careful thinking and intention that went into designing the Prism ecosystem. 

On creating balanced and flexible designs… Our approach is unique for every project and depends on what we learn during the definition phase. Good design that is balanced provides the most flexibility for a variety of use cases and has broad appeal, but may not really excel in any area—this is a universal design solution for everyone. On the other hand, good design for highly specialized verticals should be a reflection of the demands of the environments in which they will exist—this becomes a precise solution for a very specific audience. Sometimes you need a multi-tool ‘ and other times a scalpel.

With PRISM, we are trying to create something that is incredibly versatile but also excels at each thing it does. Like any product platform, it will continue to evolve.

The first generation will provide learnings in real-world performance feedback and influence the next steps in development. In the future, we may have multiple versions of PRISM within the same generation that continues to refine its functionality and design as the needs of the user change.

On designing Prism for different environments…As a system, PRISM is unique in that it functions in the background without much user input.  Because of this limited active interaction when the system is online, we felt the physical elements should also blend into their surroundings. For the badges, we focused on wearability—optimizing the size so they’re unobtrusive while still being secure and robust in challenging environments.

For the anchors, we knew we needed to design them around simple implementation and seamless integration into the environment, whether in the construction or post-construction phase.

How the Prism system evolves with changing conditions and use cases…Prism runs on Tesseract Mosaic(™) Command software, which is designed to react to changes in the environment both manually and automatically. For example, if guidelines for safety or security change on a job site, universal new parameters can be set through Command with no need to touch each wearable Prism unit. 

Tesseract’s internal smart space actively monitors all staff and robots.

As we develop the platform, Mosaic Command will also be able to identify patterns and understand safety guidelines in context to what is happening on the construction site in real-time. In this case, Mosaic may create a warning and exclusion zone around a piece of heavy equipment as it moves to provide added protection for workers. When that stage of its use is done, it can be reset to learn and understand the conditions of an entirely different project, or even a different industry. 

Prism vs. other RTLS platforms…Prism is a multi-layered technology platform that combines the most effective RTLS hardware with sensing and backhaul technology to deliver industry-leading accuracy. Instead of simply delivering real-time information, it gives the user backward- and forward-looking data, allowing them to make AI-powered predictions that supercharge productivity and efficiency. And, it’s very easy to use, because its run on an intelligent administration system that makes deployment and management a natural extension of existing workflows.

Get the PRISM RTLS EcoSystem PDF