Safety: The New Backseat Driver?
We’ve all experienced it. That friend or acquaintance who just can’t help but explain to you from the backseat that you’ve missed your turn, you’re driving too fast, or even that there’s a better route.
Any event deemed negative is quickly reported to you, and it’s expected that you’ll change your behavior in the future.
In his recent article for Impo Magazine, Holcombe Baird III wonders if workplace safety isn’t much different these days from a backseat driver.
Despite safety improvement programs, the backseat driver technique is often applied.
To overcome the backseat driver safety technique, Baird suggests looking at it like a maintenance worker would.
If you view employee injuries or safety incidents as machine breakdown, evaluators could ask the “Why” questions and not just the “Who” “What” “Where” and “How” questions.
While “smart cities” sound like a modern phenomena, Mark Vallianatos for Gizmodo reports that some cities were actually not far from it. Cities like Los Angeles used technology to gather and analyze civic data to make decisions in the early 70s.
It was called Community Analysis Bureau– using “computer databases, cluster analysis, and infrared aerial photography to gather data, produce reports on neighborhood demographics and housing quality, and help direct resources to ward off blight and tackle poverty,” Vallianatos said.
The cluster analysis snapshot is actually data-rich, yet 40 years old. It appears an “Urban Information System” was being built.
After collecting the data, however, the bureau had to digitize and centralize information using the city’s IBM-360 mainframe computers. They even created a database “using 220 staff-identified data categories as the nucleus.”
Read more about the Community Analysis Bureau at Gizmodo.
Wireless Applications on the Rise with IoT
Industrial wireless applications have been a hot topic in the past decade or so, according to David Greenfield of Automation World.
But a recent Berg Insight report said that it’s only going to get hotter– they predict that the number of IoT wireless devices will grow at a ” compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.2 percent to reach 43.5 million by 2020.”
Companies are now integrating industrial automation systems and enterprise applications– making the IoT more and more real everyday.
The increased use of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones for mobile HMI applications is one of the key drivers, according to Berg Insight.
Computers that can ‘See’
Jonathan Vanian of Fortune reported that machine vision technology, what lets computers see to understand their surroundings, is one growing in popularity recently.
“What’s a beer company to do if it wants to ensure that the thousands of bottles of booze it produces daily are filled with just the right amount of liquid, contain no unwanted residue, and aren’t broken?
It uses computers to keep an eye open for problems,” Vanian said.
According to the Association of Advanced Automation (AIA), companies are spending more money on the vision technology now more than ever.
In fact, North American sales of machine vision gear like cameras or vision sensors grew to $520 million– an increase of 22% from last year. These statistics are based off of a survey of more than 80 companies.
According to Vanian, the adoption of robotics in factories is a driver of the adoption of machine vision technology.
To read more about machine vision technology, go to the Fortune article.
The Industrialization of Wearable Technology
If you search for wearable technology on Amazon, you are greeted with a slew of options such as Fitbit, Garmin or Jawbone activity trackers, smartwatches, and even a GoPro – the compact, ruggedized camera that can be mounted.
Amazon also suggests that if you’re not satisfied with only tracking fitness and sleep activities, there are other products that could help to track your pets or even loved ones with a little help from GPS trackers– or perhaps you’re interested in viewing notifications and messages from your smartphone without having to reach for it.
And this basic search only begins to illustrate the wearable technology trend that’s been on fire recently—both in everyday life and in industrial spaces.
The Business Insider reports that the global wearables market will increase 35% over the next five years, reaching 148 million units shipped, compared to the 33 million units shipped this past year.
But wearables can also impact the industrial space– specifically the manufacturing industry. Wearables such as smart bracelets or watches could even help operators communicate to the line and improve workflow.
To continue reading about the industrialization of wearable technology, go to the original post.
Decision Makers Born in a Digital Society
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