Drives and Controls Magazine
Hands-free wearable technology guides plant workers
Published:  14 May, 2018

Honeywell has announced a wearable, hands-free technology that, it says, will allow industrial workers to perform tasks more safely, reliably and efficiently. It uses a head-mounted visual display that responds to voice commands, and shows live data, documents, videos, work procedures, as well as health and safety information.

The technology “offers industrial workers the information they need when they need it, wherever they are,” says Youssef Mestari, program director at Honeywell Connected Plant. “That means workers carry with them decades of relevant expertise that is accessible at any time by simple voice activation. This makes this solution a particularly good fit for industrial workers who have an affinity for technology and who need more physical freedom to efficiently accomplish their work.”

The technology combines Honeywell's cloud-based Movilizer platform, which supports field service operations – especially in hazardous locations – with a hands-free wearable computer from the US specialist in rugged wearable computers, RealWear. It presents real-time IIoT data to field workers, and allows them to have video chats with remotely-located experts in real time. The experts can see exactly what the field worker is seeing, and can offer advice, share documents or annotate the video feed.

The system can also guide field workers through procedures and show them documents to make their jobs easier. They can use voice commands to search for and view videos, captured previously by experts working on similar tasks.

Honeywell's wearable technology will save time and money in industrial plants by getting information quickly to field workers

Another role for the system is to locate field workers in a plant and help them to navigate around the site. In an emergency, it can guide them to an assembly point.

The RealWear HMT-1Z1 handsfree wearable computer is claimed to be the first in the world to achieve the Atex Zone 1, Class 1/Division 1 level of intrinsically safe certification, allowing it to be used in potentially explosive atmospheres.