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Wearable Technologies in the Health Enterprise

Wearable technology has been on the horizon in the tech world for the past several years, but has often been viewed as a gimmick or expensive novelty item. Yet this futuristic trend has seen recent break outs in the areas of health and fitness, namely with wrist type wearables such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch.

Many of these devices are packed with everything you might find in a larger tablet, but miniaturized. Touchscreen technology combined with large amounts of memory are now being offered in a lightweight, wrist held package. These devices often offer WiFi, GPS, camera, microphone, and the GBs of storage we have grown accustomed to in our modern lives.

Yet the wearable market is poised to open into newer and broader fronts with the advent of "smart" clothing. Most smart clothing looks and feels similar to normal clothing but with sensors embedded into the fabric in such a minute fashion that the wearer is often unable to tell they are there.

Behind this smart clothing idea is the premise that they can be embedded with sensors that are then connected wirelessly to smartphones. They will then relay a variety of information to the user about their fitness and health regimens.

Recently, running socks have been launched that can track your runs better than a fitness tracker on your wrist. These socks have three pressure sensors embedded into them that track your pace, distance and time during a workout. This data can then be analyzed to give you tips on how to improve your exercise, improve exercise efficiency and help you to avoid injury. 

Whole body clothing is being developed that goes even further. These full body outfits track what muscles are being worked the hardest during your workouts. This technology is useful for people who want to efficiently work on a certain part or muscle area in their body and don't have the time to spend on traditional full body workouts.

This is a growing area that has not yet been exploited by marketing, and offers a unique position for a new businesses trying to break into the technological market. As the world becomes more connected, the devices we use daily have become so as well. This has wearable technology is traveling into new and unknown territory for marketers to adventure. 

Benefits Reported for Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise

Wearable technologies in the enterprise are providing advances in productivity like never before. For now, assisted reality is the here and now in the enterprise. Augmented reality gets everyone's heart pumping but the enterprise is not quite ready for it yet. Instead, focusing on wearables that free up the hands of employees and move those operations that required recording information on a tablet or other device to a wearable technology should be today's focus.

Wearable technologies are demonstrating new, increasing benefits all the time. From being able to offer real-time reporting to significantly reducing time that used to be spent in audits, they are beneficial to employer and employee alike. Employers now have access to productivity at any given moment throughout the day and are even able to detect if an employee is overtired. Employees appreciate having one less thing to track daily. Processes that previously were tedious in reporting and tracking are now captured immediately and with more precision. This increases the effectiveness of reporting that in the past would sometimes be postponed until time became available to stop and record either in a computer, tablet or written form. 

The industry of wearable technology now hosts an event whose sole purpose is to educate enterprises on the use of wearable technology in the workplace. In regards to efficiency, a study released by Rackspace, The Human Cloud at Work, concluded that employees that utilized wearables at work became 8.5% more productive and 3.5% more satisfied with their jobs. Wearable technologies are not a thing of the future. They are here now and although it is just the beginning of things to come, initial indicators show increased satisfaction and performance on both the employer and employee's part.

The Netclearance Smart Badge (mBeacon Card) is a wearable identity badge. Its primary purpose is to support indoor tracking and access control and payments among other workplace applications. This technology will allow for fewer identification sources that are currently being utilized. 

Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise Give Businesses a Competitive Edge

Wearable technologies are the next evolutionary step in computing. Businesses are already finding a multitude of ways to profit from them, and the wave is just beginning.

Wearable Sensors Enable Physioletics to Improve Workplace Efficiency

Frederick Taylor would have loved to have been able to monitor the efficiency of workers with wearable sensors. Tesco uses armbands to track how workers are transporting goods in their warehouse. Employees like it because it saves them from having to carry and fill out clipboards of paperwork.

Some Wearables Even Track Worker Health and Fatigue

The technologies are not only about efficiency. In the construction industry, now sensors can notice when a backhoe driver's head falls forward or their back slumps. That indicates they're tired or even that they experienced a "microsleep," where they actually did fall asleep for a fractional second. When operating heavy equipment, that's plenty long enough for a mistake that could cost somebody an injury or their life. Therefore, if the continues to work, they're at greater risk of an injury. Some wearables can track such longterm health indicators as rates of breath and heart beats per minutes.

Displaying Hands-Free Data

20 years ago, Boeing began using technology that allowed pilots to see critical information without having to glance down at dials. Now, many technicians from wire assemblers to plumbers can access instructions without having to use their hands to thumb through instruction manuals. Some smartglasses allow the workers to talk one-on-one with a remote expert.

An EEG headband developed by Melon may help knowledge and creative workers by monitoring their brain waves to determine when they are about to have a new idea and to track at what times of day or under what circumstances they are most productive.

Increasing Security

One obvious use of wearable technology is to monitor employee locations. Along with that, it could track visitors to make certain they remain within authorized areas. Employees with authorization could enter restricted areas with less hassle over identification. It could also keep them away from areas under construction or repair.

Protecting Police, Firefighters and Soldiers

Police are wearing technologies to track their activities to better respond to allegations of abuse. One city in California had complaints against police drop by 88 percent. And police in trouble no longer have to call on their radios or rely on a citizen to call 911 if they're unable to. The military can also track activity as well, to respond more quickly when someone attacks soldiers. Sensors can let firefighters know when they're approaching dangerous levels of heat and gas.

Many Employees Like the New Technologies

According to Goldsmiths, University of London, these new technologies improve employee satisfaction by 3.5%. That's from a survey taken of 4,000 adults in the United States and the United Kingdom. One out of every three reported that wearable technologies had enhanced their careers.

Netclearance has launched a suite of wearables for the enterprise including the mBeaconSense and the employee mBeaconCard badges that can help monitor employees and visitors. It also works as a way for employees as a way to signal for help during emergencies. Wearable technologies in business enterprises are here, and are going to become mainstream in the years ahead.

Three Ways LoT - Location of Things Can Benefit Hospitality Providers

Resorts and hotels have many moving parts – guests checking in and out, bags being moved, and food getting served. Every hour of every day, guests are in their rooms, or lounging in the resort spa, restaurant, bar, or poolside. There are many ways that premiere resorts can benefit by implementing LoT - Location of Things technology into their services.

  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Help Guests: The grounds of your resort are foreign to many of your guests. Unless they have been there before, many guests may feel overwhelmed by the size and scope of a high-end resort. LoT systems can help guests navigate resort grounds without ever feeling lost. LoT systems can help guests plan their day better by telling them how far the spa is from their room, as well as things like how many guests are currently at the spa and if there is a wait time. 
  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Help Staff Stay Productive: LoT systems are helpful in assisting staff with locating rooms and areas of the resort that require their attention without delay. With Location of Things technology staff can even locate specific guests anywhere on the grounds with ease. LoT systems support orderly rest and meal breaks, as well as effortless clocking in and out.
  • LoT - Location of Things Systems Make Guest Services Seamless: Guests can order services to meet them in their room, poolside, in the lounge or spa or wherever they are on the resort grounds. If they need help figuring out if they have time to visit the pool before dinner, they can map how long it will take them to get from their room to the pool and from the pool to the dining hall. If guests need help, they can quickly call for the nearest staff member with the push of a button or look on a map to see where the closest staff members are near them.

Other hotels have already implemented Location of Things systems to assist with personnel and guest monitoring. Netclearance is the premiere provider of solutions and information for implementing LoT - Location of Things systems into your resort's offerings.

LoT - Location of Things - Making Sense of IoT Data

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The world is awash in smart devices.  So much so that at times, these devices seem to dominate every aspect of life.  The city of Augsburg in Germany has gone so far as to embed traffic lights in the pavement, because "Pedestrians were so busy looking at their smartphones that they were ignoring traffic lights," according to an article by Rick Noack dated April 25, 2016 in washingtonpost.com titled "This city embedded traffic lights in the sidewalks so smartphone users don't have to look up."

Smartphones, smart engines, smart aircraft, smart cars, smart UPS delivery trucks, smart gas meters, smart Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey labels, smart trash collection equipment, and smart cow locating/monitoring equipment...these are just some of the examples of the IoT as reported by Christina Mercer in the April 2016 issue of computerworldUK.com.   It's safe to say that the IoT is just getting started; the list of applications and devices and smart technology of all forms will only continue to grow.  She goes on to say, "Reports suggest there will be 25 billion internet-connected things by 2020..."

Behold the next major wave of development to follow the IoT:  It is called LoT -- Location of Things:  "When a concept is as far-reaching as the Internet of Things (IoT) — involving literally billions of elements — we need principles for organizing and making sense of the data it communicates.  That’s where an emerging IoT subcategory known the “location of things” comes into play. Location is a vital dimension of the IoT concept that encompasses the ability of “things” to sense and communicate their geographic position," from a blog by Christian Lundquist published on April 26, 2016 in internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com.

Of course we are familiar with GPS technology and search engines such as MapQuest, Bing, Google, etc., that help immensely with zeroing in on out-of-doors locations.  However, "Lots of our devices and sensors — along with other assets, people and content — are inside buildings, where GPS has no real reach. That’s where indoor positioning systems (IPS) are creating the next big buzz within the location of things. As IPS technology continues to be enhanced and as more apps that harness its power become available, we’ll see a slew of new data becoming part of the location of things," from the same article quoted above.  

For the business decision maker it quickly becomes apparent that such technology affords tremendous advantages.  If let's say you are warehousing and distributing large stores of Johnny Walker Blue Label whiskey, a smart label on each bottle might be very helpful in certain circumstances.  Same thing for very expensive equipment and tools -- if you happen to be in charge of a big factory or machine shop or warehouse, wouldn't you want to, for example:

-Understand where your high value assets are located at all times.

-Know where your vehicles are, all over the plant.

-Help keep your operating costs down with insight into how to improve logistics management and operating processes.

-Keep track of the 10,000 pallets you just shipped and to your factory's distribution center.

--From the NC_brochure_logistics_091815, downloaded from netclearance.com/industries.

Manage your assets and improve your logistics with superior insight -- using technology from Netclearance, at the cutting edge of the LoT - Location of Things.

Please contact us for more information about real-time tracking of high value assets and inventory, and about business intelligence, mobile customer engagement, and other workplace management solutions .  Thank you. 

 

 

Using LoT - Location of Things to Improve Business Practices

A lot of buzz has lately been generated about LoT - Location of Things, or the function of geography within the Internet of Things (IoT). Corporations and organizations can improve their business practices by using LoT technology within their existing systems.

A few examples of how we can optimize your current business practices more efficiently with Location of Things:

  • An employee walks into the building and forgets to clock in - our systems allow you to track these employees as soon as they enter the building using a smart badge.
  • Your warehouse supervisor struggles to keep up with the maintenance needs of your large-scale facility - our resources create immediate, real-time tracking of maintenance requirements and allow you to track humidity, light, and temperature where you store your assets.
  • Shipment supervisor needs to share stats and shipment details with multiple staff members - cut out one extra step and one more string of unnecessary emails with automated tracking across multiple users.
  • Need to streamline payments - our mobile payments based on active RFID technology streamlines your customer experience.
  • You want your guests to know about the new amenities offered at your hotel- use our systems for on-site engagement of guests in the hospitality industry.

Netclearance Systems, Inc. is the leading provider of cloud-based tracking and analytics solutions. We offer state-of-the-art active wireless sensor technology and software to drive real-time customer and workplace insight for optimized decisions and increased margins, using IoT and LoT to enhance your organization.

Please contact Netclearance for information on LoT technology and how it can change your world. Visit us at RFID Journal Live in Orlando, Florida, May 3-5 Booth #728B

Smart Badge to Power Workforce IoT Applications

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Netclearance, a maker of multi-sensor beacons and software designed for a range of business applications, such as optimizing workflows and tracking assets, has introduced a new product called the mBeaconCard. Approximately the size of a credit card, the mBeaconCard contains a Near Field Communication (NFC) module, as well as a Bluetooth radio. It can be used not just as an identity card or badge, but also to enable workers to make purchases using its NFC module, as well as to track the locations of employees on job premises, by utilizing the card's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio. Alternatively, the card could also be mounted to high-value mobile assets and be used to track their indoor locations.

The basic mBeaconCard configuration contains a microprocessor, a BLE radio and an NFCmodule. But customers can also order a version that comes with an embeddedaccelerometer, a vibration sensor and a magnetic sensor—either a compass or a reed switch—in order to support a wider range of applications, such as those requiring movement to trigger tracking.

The BLE radio is used to transmit sensor data or information written to the mBeaconCard's 2 kilobytes of memory, explains David Fernandez, Netclearance's founder and CEO. It transmits data packets to mBeaconGW, Netclearance's beacon gateway appliance, or to nearby smartphones running the Netclearance mobile application.

Netclearance's mCloud Content Management System software is used to collect and manage the data transmitted by the badge, and from there it can be sent to Netclearance's business application or analytics software. Conversely, the data can be forwarded to third-party applications or analytics platforms via an application programming interface. Using the mBeaconGW gateway and an external NFC reader, employers can set up an access-control system. If the badge is being used for room-level tracking, Fernandez says, location can be determined to within a few meters.

Pricing information has not yet been released, but Netclearance will demonstrate the mBeaconCard and its full product portfolio at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2016 conference and exhibition, taking place on May 3-5, in Orlando, Fla., in the Internet of Things Pavilion (booth #728B).

Original article from IoT Journal: http://www.iotjournal.com/articles/view?14379

LoT - Location of Things - Pinning Down The Internet Of Things

Knowing the location of things (LOT) completes the picture for enterprises that exploit the world of the Internet of things (IOT) as part of their business processes. Combining IoT and LoT gives the fine-grained insights that only coalesce as the big picture on the larger scale. When you have a geospatial understanding of your connected devices, it adds the final piece of the puzzle of your operations.

Where Are Your Connected Devices?

The Internet of things connects remote digital devices that share sensor data and sometimes offer automation features. The IoT ties everything together via the Internet to gain valuable business intelligence from all of the data transmitted by the device.

Geo-location information systems are Big Data applications that deliver floods of valuable business intelligence. LoT is the technology that makes this possible businesses of all sizes. Adding a smart beacon tracker to each connected device puts it into an information matrix from which you can find patterns by applying visual analytics.

Necessary And Sufficient Data Integration

The IoT provides necessary solutions for enterprises with dispersed assets, but that is not enough to give you accurate real-time intelligence by itself. Users need to know about the state of devices, the sensor measurements that they provide and the locations from which they report. By tracking these three factors in real-time companies can apply the kind of Big Data analytics that delivers true insight and reveals hidden opportunities.

Fine-Grain Data And The Value Of Big-Picture Patterns

Companies competing in industry segments that use the IoT will get improved business intelligence from LoT applications. Many segments are now using Big Data to make smarter decisions and creating competitive advantages.

In diverse fields such as agriculture and supply chain management, the ability to use fine-grain geospatial information is revolutionizing the way that businesses draw conclusions from data and make decisions. Real-time tracking and location solutions for logistics, healthcare, workforce-management are paving the road for a smart IoT infrastructure.

Netclearance Solutions Complete The Picture

Netclearance puts this capability into the hands of the enterprise. The location tagging technology that put your assets on the map will give you levels of understanding and abilities to forecast future trends that have never been possible for you before. Visit us at RFID Journal Live in Orlando, Fl, May 3-5 Booth #728B to see the latest trends and solutions in LoT.

Understanding LoT - Location of Things - The Killer IoT App

There is currently much hype surrounding IoT, or the Internet of Things. IoT refers to the integration of internet-based technology into every-day items, such as wristwatches and other jewelry, key chains, home appliances, pets and almost anything. A less popular buzzword, but one that is essential for understanding how IoT adds value to an organization, is LOT -- the Location of Things.

Location of Things technology spans the area of identifying where IoT devices are located in relation to their origins, destinations or other adjacent devices. What is the value of sensors capturing identity, environmental data, and status among other things if the consumer of this data doesn't have the contextual location information to give this data some meaning.

By adding "context" to the billions of location-aware sensors and devices that will be part of the IoT ecosystem it will open up unlimited  opportunities to enhance customers’ experience, improve service quality, margins and reduce operational expenses across a wide range of industry verticals and the public sector. 

There are several enablers to LoT such as:

  • LPWA (Low-Power Wide-Area) networks that allow a mass market for low-cost long-range low-power connected network of objects. Analysts forecast that there will be 2.7 billion LPWA connections by 2022. 
  • Indoor positioning thanks to proximity context-aware devices like Wi-Fi, UWB, Mesh and BLE-beacons.

So get ready for a much wider usage of the term LoT. In the near future, Location of Things will help bring "context" to the "who" and "what" provided by the billions of IoT nodes and sensors that will populate our planet over the next decades to come.

Netclearance has been developing LoT technology and solutions since its inception for a multitude of industrial and consumer applications with the goal to add value to your IoT applications. Contact us to learn more about our IoT location gateways, readers and sensor nodes that can bring "context" to your IoT atmosphere.

Visit us at RFID Live on May 3 - 5, 2016 Booth 728B  Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, Florida (www.rfidbeacons.com)