Editor’s choice

the business case for smart wearables


etting people back to work has an immediate impact on productivity but there are equally employee concerns

regarding their ongoing health and safety. Connected Worker and related digital technologies, including smart wearables, have gained traction to help maintain distancing. The latter has been shown to support a ‘back to work’ strategy and to nudge behaviours in order to maintain compliance. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee per employee per week for a typical wearable tag (in the first year) you would only need to gain 12 minutes per week of additional output through employees feeling safer and supported in order to gain a payback (based on a UK average salary of ~ £30K/annum and a 40-hour week). It is likely that the ROI would be significantly more. And if there is use of contact tracing functionality, potentially infected workers could be isolated, and a productivity crisis averted.

The Technology

Casella has developed an innovative, technology- forward solution to simplify social distancing in the workplace with the launch of the Orbi-Trace smart tag – a flexible social distancing solution that provides simple proximity alerts all the way up to full effective contact tracing. The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag is

simple to operate, with a stop/start input and single LED power alert. It gives the wearer fully configurable vibration and audible alerts whenever a 2m safe distance is breached, and can operate indoors and out, with a battery life of up to seven days. The sophisticated Ultra-wideband (UWB)

connectivity is accurate in detecting distances down to 10cm accuracy – making it 20 times more accurate than Bluetooth. The

connectivity will not cause interference with WiFi or other RF technologies. When combined with the wall-mounted

anchor unit and proprietary, free to use Infection Insights software, the Orbi-Trace can be used to generate connection graphs and risk and contact assessments, should an employee test positive for COVID-19. Adding additional anchor units to the system expands this to full real-time contract tracking, giving users access to heat-maps of areas where social-distancing may be consistently challenging and a full contact tracing history, making enforcing controls much more straightforward. For those mediating employee privacy concerns, the Orbi-Trace system is also fully GDPR compliant.


SmithS flieS high on f-35 aircraft

that will generate stable future revenue for the businesses. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II (previously known as Joint Strike Fighter/JSF) programme falls into this category, dating back to the late 1990s when the need for a 5th Generation aircraft began to evolve. The F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-


seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft that represent a quantum leap in air dominance capabilities. It is the first 5th generation multi role aircraft to reach service, offering significant updates over previous generation jets. Intended to perform superior air dominance, F-35 are also able to provide electronic warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities. Integration and interoperability between allies have also been a key driver in the technology development. Smiths Interconnect has been involved

in the programme for more than 20 years, supplying hundreds of different interconnect devices including high reliability technologies, from RF components and high-speed/power/ density/filtered connectors to integrated microwave assemblies. “We proudly supply different connectivity

solutions to different customers that are destined for use in the F-35 aircraft,” says Paul Harris, president at Smiths Interconnect. “Our products and technologies are renowned to ensure the performance, reliability, safety and productivity that are paramount in this most

advanced multi-role fighter in the world.”

12 March 2021 Instrumentation Monthly

ll military programmes are valuable contracts to secure as they are typically long-term commitments

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