Barcodes on workers helping construction projects stay on schedule

- How would you feel if you had to wear a barcode to track you when you are at work? A D.C. startup company is banking on that technology to help construction projects stay on schedule.

But is this an invasion of privacy or an innovative tool that helps companies save time and money?

Eyrus has come out with new app that will work hand-in-hand with this barcode technology and provides data and analytics about who is and is not present at a job site.

“I wouldn't want to be barcoded if that were me,” said D.C. resident David Olson. “I would like my employers to have trust that I'm going to do my job and be where I need to be and not have to track me with a barcode.”

For some, it may seem a lot like Big Brother – always watching.

“Well, that is what people say, but the reality is that the value of the data quickly overwhelms any fear of the data being used improperly,” said Eyrus managing director Rusty Meadows.

The company said it does not focus on tracking what each individual employee is doing every hour of the day. Instead, Eyrus provide the big picture and works as a communication tool between contractors and subcontractors.

Every construction job is required to have a list of people on the job such as electricians to plumbers and other crews. That can mean tracking hundreds and even thousands of people and those workers can change from one day to the next.

Eyrus founder Patrick Thomas came up with the idea of automating the process with barcodes on hardhats.

“Now we know who is here, how long they are here, what trades are here, when they are here, what consistency they are here,” he said. “We are able to look at that data in real-time.”

The company has only been around since 2015 and about a dozen companies are currently using Eyrus’ technology on about 25 projects in the D.C. metro area. The projects include three buildings currently going up along South Capitol Street.

Eyrus is working on expanding outside of the D.C. area and their pitch is the system improves safety costs and efficiency. Eyrus said every single one of their projects has finished on time so far. 

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