Latest Developments in Wearable Technology for the Connected Worker Space
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The latest developments in wearable technology for the connected worker space include the launch of Rufus Labs’ Cuff Pro and ScanGLove2, the designing of a new wearable exoskeleton by LSU, Kinetic’s patent opening to the public, and the use of wearable exoskeletons in the automotive industry.

Rufus Labs’ Wearable Gloves

  • On November 4, 2020, Rufus Labs, a company that provides wearable warehouse technology and workforce analytics software, announced the release of the Rufus Cuff Pro and ScanGlove2.
  • The Rufus Cuff Pro is a wearable computer with Rufus WorkHero software used for the supply chain. The product features the Android 9 operating system, a large screen, swappable batteries, and dual-band WiFi.
  • The ScanGlove2 is an inventory management glove-barcode reader that connects to the Rufus Cuff via Bluetooth to keep workers hands-free. The product improves scan efficiency “by over 50%.”

LSU Designing Wearable Exoskeleton

  • On November 12, 2020, LSU (Louisiana State University) and Rutgers University “received a $150,000 planning grant from the National Science Foundation as part of NSF’s 10 Big Ideas—Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF) program to develop an exoskeleton.”
  • Through this project, LSU and Rutgers will develop lightweight, personalized wearable exoskeletons for construction workers to provide them safety and longevity.
  • Experts in charge of the project are Bert S. Turner, Chao Wang, and Fereydoun Aghazadeh.
  • This exoskeleton is a new concept in construction as the industry is “more dynamic and complicated” and, according to Wang, “there are a few exoskeleton products currently available on the market, but they mainly target the industrial/manufacturing setting.”

Kinetic Opening Patent for the Public Domain

  • KINETIC, a company that provides wearable technology for the industrial workforce, was issued a patent “for using a wearable device to perform contact tracing and proximity alerts.” The company was given the patent for its system which monitors “safety and productivity of physical tasks .”
  • On October 22, 2020, the company opened this patent “for free public domain use during the Covid-19 pandemic through the Open Covid Pledge.”
  • The patent addresses proximity alerts and contact tracing challenges faced in the current pandemic.

Current Trend: Wearable Exoskeletons in the Automotive Industry

  • Wearable exoskeletons are being studied by companies in the automotive industry. Examples of companies include Hyundai Motor Co., Ford Motor Co., and General Motors Co.
  • Many companies are focusing on corporate social responsibility and labor protection. To avoid workplace-related injuries, automotive companies are using wearable exoskeletons.
  • Exoskeletons are useful in general assembly lines and in all “repetitive processes that can’t be automated.”
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at The Digital Momentum with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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