Voices from the Field: Predictions on Wearable Computers in Industrial Environments
Welcome to my new RealWear blog series, “Voices from the Field.”
As one of RealWear’s cofounders, I’ve been in deep conversations with thousands of leaders of industry, and traveled all over the world. Based on a ton of listening, I wanted to share a few questions and responses about what’s happening in the industrial IoT wearable space right this second.
1.) Voice is getting big in consumer. Will voice become the most prolific human machine interface for the future of work industry?
Voice is the future and we believe that RealWear is well positioned to take advantage of its technology. By simply using voice as the human interface rather than a worker’s hands via a standard touch screen or paper manual, we hope that a good voice interface helps improve productivity, efficiency in industrial environments. Today, we believe voice will accelerate and optimize everyday tasks such as document navigation and workflows. Voice controls do more than keep a worker’s hands free. It essentially gives a worker an extra pair of hands. We have found that workers are super comfortable using their voice as for command and control and in fact prefer it. RealWear’s voice interface is functional at up to 95 dBs for industrial environments with 98% accuracy.
2.) For areas where safety matters, which wearable computer form factor is going to win?
We believe a head-mounted monocular device will be the first widely adopted industrial wearable computer. Workers often need to use their hands to operate moving equipment with tools in both hands. On top of that, the HMT-1 boom arm can be easily moved out of the way when not needed as shown here:
3.) What’s the killer app in 2018 for wearable computers in industry?
Remote Mentor / Remote Inspections is getting huge attention and will serve as the catalyst for new apps on the market. I’m defining Remote Mentor as the field worker having on-demand expertise available to them anytime, anywhere and any context. That said, there are a number of other apps on the market that are being adopted already which we can talk about in future posts.
What’s the year that workers and companies are going to embrace a head-mounted, voice-operated wearable computer?
All of my indicators point to 2018 as the yield of the first large-scale deployments of wearable computing in industry. It will be the new way to retrieve information or talk to people.