IoT-enabled Smart Helmet Can Save Lives of Workers

Sukamal Banerjee, Executive Vice President; Global Head: Hi-Tech & Communications, ERS ; Global BU Head: IoT WoRKS, HCL

Dataquest has spoken to Sukamal Banerjee, Executive Vice President; Global Head: Hi-Tech & Communications, ERS ; Global BU Head: IoT WoRKS, HCL regarding the smart helmet which it has created for the construction workers and miners.

What is HCL’s Smart helmet and what are the problems it addresses?

HCL’s Smart Wearables are innovative safety solutions leveraging technology to provide a safe working condition for employees, while providing an enhanced experience to augment business processes – such as hands-free operations through voice-recognition commands, speedier communication of alerts. This solution can be deployed in multiple scenarios and verticals such as Industrial, Mining, etc. Some of the possible use cases are

  • Voice commands to control machines and other devices/appliances in large industries
  • Monitoring the status of machines (e.g. machine malfunction) whereby alerts are sent in audio format to the industrial worker. For example, an industrial worker can get an audio alert about gas leakage and he/she can contain the damage by issuing a voice command to close the gas valve. The industrial worker is not required to run to the gas valve and close it manually, thereby saving crucial time
  • Enable bidirectional communication between industrial workers or miners
  • Locate workers, miners especially in difficult to reach locations
  • Interact in real time with back-office for complex maintenance tasks

What is the role of technology in creating safer construction sites?

Smart wearables can help detect unsafe conditions such as extreme heats (sun-strokes), impacts (xG forces), poison-gases and also provide geo-coordinates to accelerate emergency response.

What are the benefits of HCL’s Smart Helmet?

It provides a smart hands free mechanism for control and monitoring. This solution can be leveraged in diverse verticals, application areas and usage scenarios. Smart wearables are innovative safety solutions leveraging technology to provide a safe working condition for employees, while providing an enhanced experience to augment business processes – such as hands-free operations through voice-recognition commands, speedier communication of alerts. We have engineered additional use-cases to help specific requirements such as vehicle proximity detection in case of mining operations.

What is the cost of procuring this helmet?

Currently the solution is in proof of concept (PoC) stage and is not produced. Hence it would be difficult to quote a cost for the same. But our understanding is that it would be quite cost effective once it is brought to market. On the cost side, we are exploring with partners to package features in a way that will not only ease the handling, but reduce effective cost of an array of devices by 40% – 60%.

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