Wearables Improve Remote Workforce Operations
- Dec 26, 2022 5:56 pm GMT
Energy service teams often operate in dangerous, remote locations. Utiliites have been searching for ways to make these groups safer and more productive. New wearable devices have that potential.
The wearable market is large: 515.6 million units were sold in 2022, and that number is forecast to grow at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.1% and reach 628.3 million in 2026, according to International Data Corp. To date, the interest has largely been limited to consumers.
However, energy companies are starting to find use cases for the technology. Field technicians often spend their day in remote treacherous conditions and work with complex, dangerous equipment, like transformers. Wearables have the potential to simplify data input, improve communications, and free up their hands.
Remote Workforce Wearable Use Cases Grow
Wearable technology enables real-time video monitoring of field technicians to ensure safety. Remote workers can guide employees past dangerous obstacles and provide information, such as changing weather conditions.
In addition, wearables deliver audiovisual assistance when they perform asset maintenance. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality systems walk them through the process and offer help if they have questions or encounter obstacles.
Many wearable devices help individuals stay fit and monitor their vital signs. Utitliies are working on vests that do the same for their remote workers as well as capturing ambient environment data. The goal is to provide a holistic view, so they evaluate the health and safety of the field crew working conditions and find ways to make the environment safer.
Utilities often place technicians in precarious positions. They are now examining ways to leverage wearable technology and improve safety as well as productivity.
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