This transformative technology can also keep a benign eye on human workers.
It can, for instance, generate invaluable data testifying to how machine-operators inhabit their workstations. What physical motions or tics do they tend to repeat, in a way that could promote repetitive stress injury or hurt productivity? And to what extent do their physical environments condition these motions or ticks? Tech-generated answers to these questions can lead to changes in how we design workstations, with benefits for worker productivity — and health.
Data on the speeds at which workers walk a factory's aisles or on what doors they tend to use can drive changes in emergency evacuation protocols. They can also provide a basis for an indoor navigation system that directs workers where they need to go in the straightest, fastest way, via informational messages beamed to their smartphone apps or even via lighting clues built into the environment.
In addition, tracking tech can improve security by creating unobtrusive, foolproof means for keeping personnel out of restricted areas, or by governing who enters those areas and under what circumstances.
Or, yet still, by essentially keeping workers company in hazardous conditions. Consider miners, heirs to a historically dangerous profession. No longer will they have to disappear, alone, into potentially hazardous subterranean places. Tracking tech will keep a machine eye on them, and be ready to send help in case of an emergency.