Professionals in industry and utility roles often work alone or in potentially dangerous environments. Our team is developing the next step in working safely, with a better means to focus on the job in hand.
Our SmartShoulder technology provides automated light assistance and it will alert the central control room, should something happen to the wearer. With this in mind, we’re striving to seek out the safety issues for industrial professionals, and provide more meaningful solutions for your team.
SmartShoulder is a safety vest with sensors for autonomous lighting – these fitted lights shine upon the technician’s working area to help them do their job. Meanwhile it can also detect if the wearer is in a ‘man-down’ situation - and if so, to make the essential emergency call. Furthermore, this alarm can be actively triggered by the wearer, whenever or wherever he or she feels unsafe.
SmartShoulder is currently under development by Teijin in cooperation with HAVEP and Elitac Wearables. Prototypes are currently being tested in the field with mechanics and technicians. The development partners are investigating the compatibility of current safety regulations for industrial protective wear with electronics.
The vest has been designed specifically to ensure it is washable, durable and comfortable to wear all day, without hindering or restricting movement in tight spaces. All the integrated electronics are waterproof
In case engineers find themselves in immediate danger, they can trigger the panic button. This sends a message to HQ, allowing them to notify emergency services or take alternative action.
Light sensors detect the ambient light conditions and activate 3 LED lights when entering dark environments.
The LED strength adjusts automatically to the available light and ensures the engineer can always see their surroundings without being blinded.
Accidents can be especially dangerous for lone workers if they lose consciousness and become unable to call for help. The SmartShoulder solves this issue by triggering a man-down alarm at HQ in the case of a sudden fall, via the accompanying app. Early arrival of emergency services may significantly limit the seriousness of engineers' injuries and subsequent recovery time.
The project is currently in Phase 3 (Pilot Samples): Functional product samples have been constructed for controlled user tests. The field tests took place in the summer of 2020, with a range of service engineers wearing the smart vests during a regular working day.
The feedback was very positive: Engineers said the SmartShoulder made work easier because their workspace was properly illuminated, with both hands free for other tasks. They also commented that the light was bright enough to do their work, without much shadow.
The next step is to construct more durable Prototypes, for uncontrolled user testing and validation.
A range of additional functions could be integrated in the future, including health sensors (posture tracking & correction), location sharing, camera assistance (e.g. for educational purposes), communication with HQ and colleagues, power banks, data logging/onsite reporting etc.