IoT Knowledge Center

Enhancing IoT wearables in the workspace

Arjun / 24 Mar 2021 / IOT Industry | IOT AI

Wearable technology involves smart devices that can be worn on the human body or garment. These devices collect information, process it, and send the data to a cloud or other service. Wearables can be programmed for multi-functionalities. They can serve as health and fitness trackers, work calendars, and other features. With the advent of cheaper networks, smartphones and other devices are capable of transmitting a considerable amount of data. Wearables can range from wristbands, smartphones, smart-goggles, to those that are worn on the full body.


Employee health

With the use of healthcare wearables, real-time monitoring and recording of certain health parameters are possible. The smart wearables measure perspiration, heartbeats, temperature, blood pressure, and oximeter values. In industrial settings, these parameters can be helpful in worker safety monitoring. If a worker is getting overheated, the IoT device can sound an alarm. Ergonomic studies can be conducted with intelligent wearables that monitor repeated movements by workers. The posture and technique can be studied to draw up standard practices to avoid fatigue and injury.


Workplace environment sensors

With industrial and environmental sensors, workplaces and industrial sites can be monitored for safety. Workers can be alerted about the possibility of bad weather or mounting temperature or even air pollution due to effluents. These types of wearables would go a long way in monitoring the safety of employees in mines, refineries, construction sites, and factories. When working in remote areas or hazardous territory, workers equipped with wearables can help in remote monitoring. 

Workers can use wearables to control drones on construction sites. Warehouse personnel can use wearables to help track products stored in the scores of shelves and bins. In construction sites and mines, wearables can help in tracking workers with proximity detection. Sensors can be attached to the vest or hard hat.


Enhancing Employee Productivity

Wearables can completely foresee conference calls. With directional audio, participants will get a feel of a physical meeting. IoT applications create a lifelike feeling. Such wearable headsets can help with syncing dates, facial recognition, and work sharing. The efficiency of staff working in remote locations, sales offices, and field personnel can be tracked through wearables. 


Harnessing the power of IoT with smart workplace wearables

  • The data collected by the wearables at the workplace can be analyzed to check for safety issues and enhance productivity. Fatigue factors are measured by head movements, eye movements, and gait.
  • The stress level of workers can be monitored with electroencephalogram devices. This gives an idea of the risk perception that they feel in certain jobs.
  • The safety of workers in high-risk and inaccessible and remote locations can be monitored.
  • Wearables can be very useful in tracking employees during a natural disaster or accident.
  • IoT wearables that support VR (Virtual Reality) can help in the training and simulation of real-life scenarios. The realistic imagery, sounds, and overall experience would help the employee gain familiarity with the actual work conditions. This type of wearable technology can be used in interior decoration and architecture. The on-site feel can be captured to evaluate progress and outline further work. Clients can also be given a glimpse of work progress with these wearables. This enables remote working and collaboration.
  • When such wearables are synced with cloud-hosted software and portable devices, the overall efficiency of the organization is boosted. 
  • Wearables can help in the training process – with a simulated environment and in-depth product visualization. Technicians can be better trained for troubleshooting. The training can be personalized to the learning speed of each individual with the help of immersive simulations. 
  • Wearable technology can help in testing new products in simulated environments. Design development teams can use them to detect any problems and address them.


Challenges to installing wearable technology in the workplace

  • The privacy risks are caused by tracking user movements. The possibility of keystroke inference attacks is high.
  • Employees feel a lack of privacy as their movements. They feel as if they are being pried upon.
  • The cost of smart wearables and the IoT systems involved in collecting and analyzing the data to infer critical efficiency and safety factors can be substantial. 


Final Thoughts

Wearable IoT technology is here to stay! Workplaces and industries will increasingly harness the power of IoT and AI to derive efficiencies and enhancing safety in the workplace. While the advantages of intelligent wearables are many, the concerns of privacy are real.