Electronics to wear

How wearables are conquering factories

So-called wearables are in high demand, whether for smart watches, fitness wristbands or data glasses. In the private sphere, these devices offer many ways of acquiring data. For example, distances covered, sleep patterns or body temperature can be checked. The technology also creates potential for use in companies, especially with regard to optimizing processes.

The term ‘wearable’ includes all electronic devices that are worn directly on the body. Strictly speaking, this already includes pacemakers and quartz watches. First and foremost, however, it 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 is thus a crucial function of a wearable.

Acquiring fitness data in the private sphere

Smart watches and fitness wristbands are especially fashionable in the private sphere. Their intelligent electronics can be used, for example, to determine the wearer’s running speed and location, or to measure their pulse and heart rate. They enable users to collect data and 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.

Optimizing processes in companies

This new technology can also provide the professional environment with many benefits. 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 machine maintenance. They make employees aware of faulty procedures and give precise instructions on how to carry out repairs. They also document the work once it has been completed, so there no longer is a need to fill out forms.

Intelligent glove in action at Festo

Festo is already using wearables too. At the Scharnhausen Technology Plant, the tugger train drivers, who remove the finished products from the assembly work stations, scan the goods with the intelligent ‘ProGlove’.

This enables them to work much faster than if they had to use 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 the future, such as goods receiving or packaging.