Wearables are evolving into important tools in the expanding Internet of Things (IoT) landscape, driven by a combination of technological progress and market demand, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
The company’s latest report, ‘Wearable Tech in Mining – Thematic Research’, explores how wearables will be the next big consumer technology, with their impact similar to that of the smartphone.
Listed below are the leading wearable tech trends in the mining industry, as identified by GlobalData.
Workforce safety and injury prevention
Minimizing workplace injuries is one of the most important aspects of wearable technology. Wearable technologies such as smart helmets can be employed to assess the health and wellbeing of workers. US-based Guardhat has developed a smart helmet that features sensors that can detect workers’ safety in their immediate surroundings.
Real-time monitoring and inspection
A major aspect of wearable technology is to maintain equipment and inspect signs of failure to minimize downtime. In case of critical issues, technicians require an expert’s help, but bringing experts from onshore offices to offshore mines increases the overall expenses and time for the inspection and repairing of equipment.
Smart glasses or smart helmets could be useful in reducing the time and cost it takes to inspect and repair equipment. Wireless connectivity can also assist a field engineer to receive expert guidance in real time.
Wearable technology can be used to efficiently track the workforce during mine operations. Using location-based technologies and wireless connectivity, the device can feed a worker’s real-time location to the onshore monitoring center, and in case of emergencies, quickly remove workers from hazardous unforeseen events.
Canadian-based K4 Integration incorporates RFID tags into personalized hard hats for each worker, providing mine supervisors with real-time information of their location and the state of the mine.