Identifying Wearbles for the Effortless Human Interface
A previous entry in this blog introduced the Effortless Human Interface™. This concept crystallizes our commitment to freeing productive hands from the burdens of cumbersome input devices.
As the marketplace grows with new entries in the "wearables" category, we at LogistiVIEW submit the following checklist. We use it to determine which VIEW devices are truly capable of implementing our notion of an Effortless Human Interface.
VIEW (Visual Input Enabled Wearable) devices are sometimes called "smart glasses." They minimally include a head-worn display screen combined with a camera, which also functions as a scanner. The attributes we demand in any VIEW device include:
1. Safe. We are uncompromising here. The device must be safe for vehicle drivers and industrial equipment operators while on the job. Safeguards are required for vision obstruction, fatigue, and, if the devices are shared, sanitizing procedures between use.
2. Adjustable. The visual display must be flexible in its positioning, relative to the individual human's preferred line of site. Some people will want the device positioned above the eye, some below.
The vertical and horizontal position from the eye, the distance from the eye, and even the choice of eye will vary by individual's personal comfort and the requirements of the job. The human must be able to both see their working space and read the display without manually re-positioning the device.
The device must offer this flexibility whether the wearer uses eye glasses, safety goggles, hard hats, ear protection, or none of the above.
3. Stable. Once positioned, the device must stay in the desired position and orientation. The wearer may be driving a vehicle, lifting, packing, sorting, assembling, etc., at various speeds. The device must stay positioned with minimal adjustments.
4. Durable. The devices will be used in various temperature and humidity conditions. Dust and other contaminants may be present. The device must be built for an honest day's work.
5. Long-lasting. The device requires minimum battery life of 8 hours at a time. More is better. Like any other mobile device, use of the camera will drain the battery more quickly, but it's reasonable to expect a full shift out of a single charge. Similarly, the recharge time must be reasonable. Ideally, a site can run a three-shift operation with two shift's worth of devices.
6. Extensible. Visual display and imaging are the bare minimum capabilities. Voice recognition, voice synthesis, and tactile / gesture sensing form the next tier. If the device does not offer all of these features as native features, it must offer a path to integrate with other wearable tech.
7. Current. The world of mobile operating systems is fast and frantic. While we do not chase the "bleeding edge," we do require the ability to run modern software standards on the device. At LogistiVIEW, Android is our preferred device OS, and we continually evaluate each new release for desirable features.
8. Secure. The device will exchange passwords and other business data with the back-end application. Communications and stored data must comply with common enterprise security standards. Additionally, the presence of video imaging capabilities throughout the workplace carries the risk of malicious video capture. Corporate intellectual property and personal privacy must be protected. A secure solution uses proximity detection to disable the device in off-limits areas (outside the building, in locker rooms or restrooms, etc.).
The market for wearable devices is evolving with the typical speed of the technology industry. LogistiVIEW remains committed to keeping our dogged pursuit of the Effortless Human Interface prominently in the conversation.