IBM Watson IoT wants to improve field worker safety with wearables, but could it backfire?

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On Wednesday, IBM introduced collaborations with Garmin Well being, Mitsufuji and SmartCone as a part of a push for the corporate’s Watson IoT platform for use to extend employee security for these in hazardous environments like development websites, mines, and factories.

IBM envisions wearable applied sciences able to monitoring biometric attributes (together with coronary heart price and physique temperature), together with environmental attributes (similar to top/location, humidity, temperature, noise, and poisonous fuel ranges), as a alternative for “low-tech, outdated practices of accident monitoring, schooling, and prevention,” in accordance with a press launch.

SEE: Office security coverage (Tech Professional Analysis)

The announcement focuses on three merchandise now interoperable on the IBM Maximo Employee Insights platform:

  • The Garmin Well being Companion SDK, which permits the activation of alerts based mostly on definable thresholds from knowledge gathered from near-real-time sensors on Garmin exercise trackers
  • Mitsufuji’s “hamon wearable shirt,” which may monitor biometric knowledge from the wearer to make sure security in harsh or excessive environments
  • SmartCone’s IoT-based security and monitoring options, which make the most of “multi-sensors, audio/video, communication capabilities, computing, and edge gateway capabilities,” and when mixed with IBM’s Maximo Employee Insights platform, gives “near-time notification and historic analytics on hazards associated to falls, “man-downs!,”, no-go zones, extreme temperatures, and extra,” in accordance with the discharge.

Regardless of the nominal pretense of security, the maxim of “expertise is what you make of it” possible applies right here, as a considerable danger exists for taskmaster supervisors who prioritize productiveness or measurable output metrics on the expense of all different elements will inevitably discover a way to make use of this expertise for evil. It’s not tough to think about a state of affairs the place employee complaints concerning the security of a worksite are dismissed as “the system says it’s protected.”

With out indicting a selected trade for lackadaisical or negligent security concerns, the idea of changing “low-tech, outdated practices of accident monitoring, schooling, and prevention,” because the press launch states, with IoT programs apparently supposed to supplant these practices ought to maybe frighten fairly than encourage any security officer charged with stopping office fatalities.

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