Wearables: Utilizing Data for Improved Worker Productivity/Efficiency
Wearable technology has become a real trend in the workplace, and we are not talking about an iWatch or the average Fitbit bracelet. There are many products being designed to help companies better manage their time, predict situational work hazards, and, in general, boost productivity in different workplace environments. Here are just a few ways utilizing wearables can provide data on workplace productivity and safety.
Beat the Heat with Wearables
As we move into the end of the summer, it is important to remember that wearable technology has helped a great deal in preventing high core body temperature (CBT) and heat-related illness, (HRI). Products like wearable physiological monitoring systems have helped notify workers of un-safe temperatures and warnings of HRI before symptoms have set in. Most monitoring systems are available in styles worn around the torso, chest, on belts or in the ear. Several companies offer more compact, light-weight options that can be worn more conveniently around the arm as well.
Mobile Devices = Wearables
There is something most people nowadays always have on their person: a Smartphone. This is a resource that brings unlimited learning and data-tracking possibilities in the palm of the hand. “Smartphones make it possible for organizations to deploy microlearning modules—which consist of compact bursts of information—that can be
accessed by workers whenever and wherever they want.” (IHW, May/June)
In addition, micro-learning type training sessions can be modified to individual employee’s specific job and is a quick way to deliver easily understood tutorials when time is short and urgent tasks need to be completed. It also gives managers valuable user-engagement metrics and feedback. Workers can learn in real time—on the job, and even at home, if companies employ a bring your own devices (BYOD) policy.
All companies might want to consider making this policy in their workplace, because BYOD strategy means workers will always have a data-tracking device on-hand. Use this free resource and make it work to your advantage. A BYOD policy means employers do not have to acquire new devices for each individual employee. “This reduces the bottom line, while enabling employees to choose exactly which device to use—instead of having managers who make that choice for them. And, when employees use the device they want, they are more likely to be engaged and ready to embrace their safety training.” (IHW)
Into the Looking Glass: They are not just for seeing
Finally, we look at the first piece of wearable technology ever created: eyeglasses. Created by Salvino D’Armati in the 13th Century, this wearable tech is now being modified to have even more exciting, futuristic capabilities. Current options offer a wide range of features and pricing options.
- Low-price point options: Starting at the lower end of selections for smart eyewear, these glasses can have all the characteristics and capabilities of a standard smart watch. Other products act as a platform for viewing information; can take calls; deliver notifications; and allow the wearer to control music through a touch interface. Some eye technology can even take pictures and apply filters to the pictures.
- Mid-price point options: According to IHW’s article set to be published in the July-August 2022 issue, “Higher-tech eyewear solutions were designed to supplement the brain’s ability to memorize complex diagrams and processes. These glasses allow the user to view displays from their phone or computer while working. Some even integrate with virtual meeting platforms, allowing workers to consult supervisors or share live work experiences.”
- High-end-price point options: Finally, multifaceted and expensive smart glasses experiment with augmented reality (AR) solutions that allow the user to overlay images on a real-world, real-time view. “Glass technologies that include VR or AR options are being used to reduce time and costs for training. Smart glasses can even be used to assess an individual’s job skills.” (IHW)
Companies and industries should keep a close eye on smart-wear technology, as it is projected to double in value in as little as three years, with increased capabilities at decreased costs. All wearable technology has an important role and provides vital information in today’s workforce. IHW