Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for Industry 4.0. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we decided to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising wearables solutions for industrial worker safety.
Heat Map: 5 Top Wearables Startups
For our 5 top picks, we used a data-driven startup scouting approach to identify the most relevant solutions globally. The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 interesting examples out of 52 relevant solutions. Depending on your specific needs, your top picks might look entirely different.
RealWear – The Hands-Free Worker
Advancements in technology have enabled industrial workers to use tablets and other devices while working on or with machinery. While it improves their work and efficiency, such hand-held devices hinder the worker by making them use only one hand for most functions or to constantly switch between hands to accommodate the device. Companies have taken notice of this important issue by creating hands-free equipment for workers. The US-based startup RealWear develops HMT-1Z1, a wearable device that can be simply clipped onto the workers’ hard helmets. The device is capable of operating in various tough conditions like heat, oceans, space, and oil fields. The device comes with embedded voice recognition technology, allowing workers to simply communicate without worrying about the safety of the device. In addition, the device uses a purpose-built camera, with optimized video streaming for workers in locations with low-bandwidths.
Eleksen – The Connected Worker
We know that technology in an industry becomes cluttered when there is a lot of chatter about integrations and single solutions. Such an issue is potentially hitting the Industry 4.0 and manufacturing sectors, given how companies are racing to come up with end-to-end solutions. This new era of the connected worker will make these sectors safer to work in and easier to operate and manage. British startup Eleksen develops end-to-end solutions to improve worker safety in a wide array of industries. Their Tap&Go Connected Worker solution optimizes the gathering of the data collected, on a continuous basis, for predictive safety improvements and increased productivity. More importantly, their devices and data integration solutions work with the manufacturer’s pre-existing safety ecosystem.
Retenua – Preventing Industrial Accidents
While connecting workers is great for safety, connecting these systems to equipment and factory vehicles will complete the entire safety policy for a manufacturer. Often times, people driving forklifts or other machinery do not have a complete vision of what is around them, leading to sometimes costly accidents. By connecting all moving parts in a factory, the manufacturer can significantly reduce accidents while simultaneously improving the factory’s efficiency. Swedish startup Retenua develops Emitrace, an intelligent sensor system for mobile machinery and driver assistance. Embedded inside a camera, these vision systems continuously monitor predefined high-risk areas and alert the driver, or a connected worker around the machinery as soon as it identifies a potential collision.
Qoowear – Smart Thermal Garment
Not all industrial operations are conducted in environments that are conducive for sensors to work effortlessly. In conditions of extreme heat or cold, new adaptations must be made to the way sensors are placed to collect data. Workers currently wear almost 7 layers of clothing in cold regions, which adds to the risk of injury while operating machinery. German startup Qoowear develops an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-controlled heating garment, which is able to automatically change its temperature, protecting workers from extreme sub-zero temperatures and automatically boosting both their safety and productivity. The technology is based on selected heating points that use blood as a thermal vector. It uses AI to recognize, in real-time, the coldest points of the body, giving them the priority to be heated.
Behr Tech – Wireless Connectivity For Worker Safety
Manufacturing units are connecting various aspects of their factories to improve their businesses. However, this is leading to a situation where the manufacturer is finding it increasingly difficult to connect all the data collected from the worker, the machinery, equipment, vehicles, and more. Factories, especially those working in hazardous industries, are situated further away from telecom lines while the machinery itself hinders communication because of electromagnetic interference. Canadian startup Behr Tech develops end-to-end wireless connectivity solutions for manufacturing units – providing devices and cloud analytics to support manufacturers from the EDGE to the cloud. Their solution can connect workers, machinery, and equipment to improve response times for any situation. They also aim to actively monitor the workers’ health and wellness to prevent fatigue, stress, and dehydration.
What About The Other 47 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence for your Proof of Concept (PoC), partnership, or investment targets. The 5 startups showcased above are promising examples out of 52 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria and collaboration strategy, get in touch.