Wearable Tech World Feature Article
March 27, 2017

Hardhat Connect System Provides Connectivity, Improves Worker Safety

When we think of wearables, we often think of smartwatches and other similar accessories. However, certain industries—like forestry, power and utilities, construction and  others require wearable equipment that’s a bit more durable. In fact, it can be argued that these dangerous jobs require wearables much more than other industries, because it can be harmful to employees if they lose touch with supervisors and coworkers. That’s why Hardhat Wearables, a division of Priologic Software Inc., has launched a localized collaboration platform for teams working in these industries.

The Hardhat Connect system is directed at people working in the forestry; power and utilities; oil, gas and mining; engineering and construction industries. These fields often have employees working on remote sites that have little or no Internet connectivity. This lack of connectivity can prove to be dangerous, especially if it keeps workers from contacting supervisors for help, which is where the Hardhat Connect system comes in.

The local ruggedized collaboration server is mounted in the crew truck or portable trailer, and the network gear can penetrate buildings and forests. Hardhat Connect enables audio, video, screen sharing and telestration between team members that are wearing Head Mounted devices. Devices that work with the Hardhat Connect system are Realwear's HMT-1 (Head Mounted Tablet) and Fujitsu's Head Mounted Display, as well as recent Android devices, PC or Mac computers. Ruggedized Android-based phones and tablets are also becoming available, with the CAT S60 ruggedized phone and Sonim intrinsically safe phone being some of the preferred options.

Once Hardhat Wearables figured out the equipment and the system, it needed to tackle the connectivity issue. To do that, Priologic joined forces with Iotatel Inc., which produces a Wi-Fi system that delivers high speed connectivity in British Columbia’s rainforests. If Iotatel’s Wi-Fi can cut through the dense rainforest, then it can provide connectivity almost anywhere, including the dangerous worksites Hardhat Wearables is targeting.

Doug Pelton, CEO of Priologic, hopes that this new offering will help make a difference to these workers, saying, “With Hardhat Connect we hope to make safer working conditions by providing better communications between workers in these remote and dangerous sites. By far the largest number of accidents happen during the first year of work, so excellent communication between a new worker and a supervisor or safety officer is critical.”

Hopefully this new wearable will achieve its goal and reduce the number of accidents that occur on these sites.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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