Take care!

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Mentioning Mobile, most people tend to think of the pretty little devices they sometime use to make a phone call. And of course very right so.

On the other hand, you see the introduction of many other mobile devices you can’t make a phone call with, even if you would like to. The most recent and well known toy is the Apple Watch. Nice little thing, popular as well, but for me unforgivable stupid not to have a waterproof version…

Together with the Apple watch we see many, many wearables that were already out there for a long period. We have the Pebble watch, the FitBits and the like.
It forms an interesting group of Mobile devices, those wearables. In a recent Research presentation out of the Haifa lab I saw some nice slides and directions coming up.

An industry  that is always present in these developments, is the Healthcare industry. Many years ago we talked about healthcare as being an understandably interesting area to put technology in, to make – elderly – people feel safe and to monitor them remotely. With the new wave of very powerful and wireless devices it only makes more sense to implement these in elderly care and remote care. And please be aware that I’m not pleading that we should not visit our parents anymore because we gave them an iPad… mind you!

Another project I found in the Haifa Research lab presentation is WorkRight. No, it is spelled correctly, WorkRight and has nothing to do with the former product Worklight, now called MobileFirst Platform.

IBM Research – Haifa is the largest lab of IBM Research Division outside of the United States. Founded as a small scientific center in 1972, it grew into a major lab that leads the development of innovative technological products and solutions for the IBM corporation.

WorkRight addresses the unsafe workplace in for example the construction sites. Unsafe, partly because I think the typical worker, being a man with a decent amount of testosterone running through his veins, is not a person that wants to be tampered. Tough guys, can take a scratch or two, not complaining if something is too heavy and a helmet, well yeah, …


Still, a matter of fact is that people get killed on construction sites. And I’m not only talking about those poor workers working in football stadiums in the middle of the desert. The place that former FIFA chairman found an intelligent place to build them.  Closer to home, construction workers get injured or killed as well. In The Netherlands nearly 10 people were killed last year and hundreds were injured. And Holland is a small and rather well organized country. Apart from the killing, which is impossible to put in words or numbers, the injuries and, inevitably, the cost of employees hurting and disabling themselves is sometimes building up as fast as the constructions the workers have to put in place.

Construction sites are dangerous places indeed. The sheer power of all kinds of tooling, vehicles, cranes as well as all the materials used and the heights the employees have to work on are just a couple of ingredients that makes it a hazardous place. And then of course the nature of those tough men.

Wearable devices can help. Perhaps not so much on the attitude of the workers, but having a couple of smart sensors put into jackets, shoes, helmets that measure the ambient temperature, the humidity and the heartbeat of the worker can give you insights of the local conditions. Perhaps it is best to have a break now instead of the planned one in an hour orso?

Accelerators can detect a fall and immediately send out an alert to emergency services with a precise location and also the possible injuries depending on reported data. Co-workers can be forewarned or send to the site for first aid.
Light detectors, CO(2) and/or oxygen detectors can detect environmental conditions and noise. Trembling detectors can predict an accident or even predictive analytics can forewarn co-workers.

It is like a Guardian Angel, on the shoulder of the worker. And in this case not only the shoulder, but also the helmet, the jacket and the whole lot…

Take care!

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