Wearable Tech and Smart Gesture Recognition in the Enterprise, Part II

Written BY

Emily Friedman

December 22, 2015

Now, how might smart gesture recognition be applied in the enterprise?

An obvious place to start would be in considering how a platform like Kiwi‘s could be employed to diminish repetitive motion and manual handling injuries on the job. Many workers in a variety of industries are at risk for these kinds of injuries; but smart gesture recognition technology on wearable devices could be employed to capture, visualize, assess, and correct workers’  motions to create a safer working environment. And since lifting-related injuries are the leading cause of workers’ compensation costs in the U.S., implementing motion recognition software on workplace wearables could save companies millions of dollars to boot.

Most of the injuries which lead to back pain – the leading cause of worker absenteeism – are preventable. As of now, there are a few wearable devices on the market designed with deskless workers’ physical comfort and safety in mind; but a smart gesture recognition platform could be a less broad, more tailored and even cost-effective means of achieving the same or similar results.

With smart gesture, there is the opportunity to customize solutions for specific use cases and businesses; and there is also potential to equip the tools workers already use every day on the job with the basic motion sensors required to track and improve their physical performance (as opposed to training them to use a new device). A smartwatch, simple smart band, or even a pair of smart glasses with the right accelerometer and gyroscope sensors, along with an app perhaps integrated with a smartphone, would also do the job.

Imagine a warehouse or manufacturing environment, where tracking and analyzing workers’ motions might lead to significant insights for ensuring proper form, technique, posture, etc. Tracking outputs with smart gesture recognition on wearable or digitized devices would enable us to glean whether certain movements or motions are causing repetitive-motion safety concerns. Other possibilities include pulling useful data like optimal torque to assist workers in perfecting their individual forms; and connecting the smart motion recognition engine to a notification system to warn and advise workers when their form is looking dangerously suspect in real time. For a warehouse worker, being made aware of how one moves could make all the difference in keeping safe on the job.

And it’s not only workers in warehouses and manufacturing plants. Many businesses have a manual handling element to their work–even healthcare providers like nurses are at risk for various kinds of work-related musculoskeletal injuries due to the physical handling of patients. In addition, there are fatigue-related accidents on the job. One need only think of truck drivers enduring long shifts over the holidays: Attaching the right motion sensors to a necklace, hat, or even smart glasses in combination with a smart gesture recognition platform would enable the tracking of sudden jerking movements like a head drop and other physical signs of fatigue.

Beyond preventing work-related injuries, smart gesture recognition technology could have much to offer in more traditional office and retail environments, as well. Tracking the overall movement or mobility of employees in a closed office or on a retail sales floor – as Kiwi did with the EWTS conference attendees in October – might indicate how social they are or how engaged they are with customers. These are insights that could lead to real, positive changes in a business, such as a redesign of an office space to encourage greater productivity or a new method of training retail sales staff.

Whatever a company’s motion-tracking needs or goals, a smart gesture recognition platform like Kiwi’s is worth exploring. Often when we think of voice and gesture recognition technologies becoming more and more advanced, we think of how precisely we will be able to control our smart glasses and smartwatches in the (hopefully) near future. But as Kiwi’s technology proves, all you need is an accelerometer and a gyroscope in the right wearable device to begin employing smart gesture recognition towards improving your business.

To learn more about Kiwi’s smart gesture recognition platform, visit kiwi.ai.

Further Reading