Unlocking the Potential of Wearable Technology in Food Production
The supply chains of the future are moving ahead to a transparent and tamperproof system ensuring resource efficiency across geographies. In this context, the focus is to reduce the three nexus components revolving round water, energy water, and the more dangerous food waste across the world. One of the key impediments to an accurate analysis is the limited availability of real-time data originating from the food supply chain (FSC) for better decision-making capability. Here wearable technology comes into picture.
Wearable technology is a major trendsetter in the technology space gearing up for the next battleground for supremacy. In the path forward, Google is on an advanced testing stage of its Google Glasses, and Apple has more than 100 employees working on its smart tech.
Wearable devices are mostly equated with a consumer device though enterprises are working to expand the sector and put their innovations on the food processing plant floor, like smart gloves, smart glasses, and smartwatches.
The market for wearable devices is growing. According to ABI Research, the market advisory firm facilitating strategic guidance on transformative technologies has forecast that revenue from wearable data and analytics will reach US$838 million in 2022, showing an impressive CAGR of over 27 percent, mostly in the food-manufacturing sector.
Wearable devices provide key insights and updates on the dynamic food industry. The common wearable technologies in food production are –
• Smart glasses [for understanding instructions and for an effective communication interface]
• Smartwatches [which display haptic alerts]
• Wearable scanners [for bar-code/QR code scanning]
• Hearables [helpful for user-user communication]
Smart Technologies in Food Production
Google is working on its prototype, Google Glass, created under Google X. Since its introduction way back in 2013, Google Glass is now tailoring its offerings to those working in manufacturing and other hands-free environments. Using Google glasses, users can access images annotated with instructions, quality assurance checklists, or training videos.
Through Google glasses, users can scan the bar-codes and send the data directly to the warehouse management systems. Bar-code scanners ensure that all the workflows are recorded and that the workers are following the correct steps. In the event of any deviations, like scanning the wrong bar-code, an alert can be sent to ensure that the workers do not complete the incorrect steps, which will reduce the number of errors.
Apple’s Curved Glass Watch
Apple’s wearable technology will prove to be a revelation in the wearable technologies market. The main question remains whether this digitally disruptive timepiece will act as a complementary device to the Apple iPhone smartphones or will be projected as a standalone product with other functionalities like activity tracking capabilities.
IoT enabled devices will offer an opportunity to address an array of pest challenges the food processing sector often faces. Using connected devices, pest controllers can utilize the wealth of data and knowledge to provide the food processing sector precautionary measures to pest management, helping to improve food safety and assist with auditing requirements and other legislation.
Marching Ahead to an Exciting Future
In a crux, wearable tech is growing to new heights, with no signs of slowing down. This can be ascertained with the number of connected devices worldwide. A figure which is projected to jump from 453 million in 2017 to 929 million in 2020, showing almost a 100% increase.
However, the food manufacturing sector has warmed up to adapting changes brought by digital disruption making every warehouse around the globe plan to adapt to wearable technologies for its staff and stakeholders. Smart glasses show an exciting way of the future for the food industry.