In February of last year, New Equipment Digest touted 2016 as the “year of the wearable.” In hindsight, it was more like the year wearables came down to Earth, Upskill’s CSO, Jay Kim, told the publication in a recent follow-up article on the new wave of industrial wearables.

Yes, industrial wearables began to appear more frequently in pilot programs in 2016, but these devices still needed powerful augmented reality software applications for companies to fully leverage their capabilities. This is where Upskill comes into play, delivering its Skylight software platform to help some of today’s leading manufacturers (like Boeing and GE) bridge the real-time knowledge gap between the human workforce and smart machines.

The impact of industrial wearables can be immediate

Kim says that these solutions’ true value lies in their ability to deliver information from existing databases in an assisted reality fashion, thereby creating a more efficient, hands-free computing environment. At the same time, wearables have moved from initial pilots to full-on, meaningful deployments, according to Kim. More companies are beginning to see that the technology is no longer just about innovation, and is more about solving specific business problems. And, the results of some of these deployments have been immediate, not incremental.

For example, at a GE Renewable Energy wind turbine assembly plant in Florida, a wiring technician using Skylight on smart glasses for the very first time improved productivity by 34 percent. The worker was able to receive real-time instructions right in his line of sight, while remaining hands-free – a stark contrast to using a paper instruction manual to complete the same task.

To learn more, read the full cover story, “Style & Substance: The New Wave of Industrial Wearables (Part 2),” in New Equipment Digest.

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