Electronics to wear

Article of 28 October 2016 

The ProGlove in action

Whether it is smart watches, fitness wristbands or data glasses: so-called wearables are in high demand. In the private sphere, the devices offer many ways of acquiring data. For example, distances covered, sleep patterns or body temperature can be checked. And the technology also creates potential for use in companies - above all with regard to optimising processes.

The term “wearable” includes all electronic devices that are worn directly on the body. Strictly speaking, heart pacemakers and quartz watches are already included in this. First and foremost, however, this is generally understood to mean devices that can be networked with each other and can be controlled via an app on a smartphone. The ability to connect to other technologies thus represents the critical function of a wearable.

Acquisition of fitness data in the private sphere

In the private sphere, smart watches and fitness wristbands are especially fashionable. The intelligent electronics can be used, for example, to determine the wearer's running speed and location or to measure their pulse and heart rate. The users can therefore collect data to find out more about their own body, fitness and exercise habits. In serious cases, the devices also make an important contribution to preventing illness and providing early diagnoses.


Optimising processes in companies

In the professional field, benefits can also be derived from the new technology. In the medical profession, doctors are able to help each other during complicated operations by wearing data glasses. In production and logistics, the intelligent glasses help with the maintenance of machinery: they make employees aware of faulty procedures and give precise instructions on how to carry out repairs. They also document the completed work, which means there is no need to fill out forms.


Intelligent glove in action at Festo

Wearables are also in action already at Festo. At the Scharnhausen Technology Plant, the tugger train drivers, who take away the finished products at the assembly work stations, scan the goods with the intelligent “ProGlove”. In this way the employees can work much faster than if they had to operate an additional handheld scanner. The working process is also more ergonomic, as the workers have both hands free to lift crates. The ProGlove is also expected to be used in other areas in future, such as goods receiving or packaging.

You can see in this video how the ProGlove is used at the Scharnhausen Technology Plant (optional English subheading).