February 17, 2016
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The Next Industrial Revolution

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A new article in Risk & Insurance by Nancy Grover discusses the recent developments in the evolution of wearable technology in the workplace – and the untapped utilization of data that is already there.

“The technology isn’t necessarily new. But what is new is the connectivity of the worker to the Internet with data passing immediately to supervisors who can analyze the information and provide feedback to the worker,” Grover writes in the article.

At the end of last year, Intel and Honeywell released a prototype of their “Connected Worker.” The two partnered to create a technology-driven safety solution for industrial workers that aims to reduce workplace injuries as well as improve productivity – both which translate to savings for companies.

The Honeywell Connected Worker solution includes a Mobile Hub that collects and provides sensor fusion, which refers to data collected from a variety of sensors on a worker that are compiled to provide a broader and more accurate picture of what that worker is experiencing. The Mobile Hub pulls data from a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA), a heart rate monitor, and several Intel microcontroller based devices, including a toxic gas monitor, an activity detection device, and a non-verbal gesture device, according to their press release.

The Connected Worker marks a new chapter in Internet of Things technology, now translating data to actionable analytics in the form of better worker safety, and integrating efficiency into production workflows.

The Honeywell Connected Worker will incorporate various WiFi and communication technologies, which will then be integrated into a worker’s standard operating gear.

The article also outlines the various functions of the smart technology. The Connected Worker will monitor vital health information as well as be able to understand gestures signaling specific events such as the incident of an injured worker. The new technology can also transmit data to prevent equipment failure.

While the new technology is geared toward industrial workers, its creators see it expanding across all industries. There is an anticipated need in the marketplace as network-connected devices are predicted to increase to 26 billion by 2020 according to the Gartner Group.

Since many industrial settings have systems and sensors already in place, incorporating connected technology will only help employers maximize data. It is not intended to disrupt existing workflows, according to the article.

To learn more about what the Connected Worker could mean for workforces, read the article “Evolving Technology Protects Workers ‘24/7.’