Remote supervision via your hard hat might sound a little far fetched, but an Australian start-up company is paving the way with just such an innovation.
The eHat not only protects the wearer from impact to the head, but it also has video and audio equipment which can be used to wirelessly connect to the internet through a smartphone.
The idea is that anyone wearing the helmet can communicate with the experts in their field of work, to seek advice and supervision about performing tasks requiring a high level of expertise.
Managerial staff can connect to employees in the field to look at work in progress as it is performed, such geological sample logging, or minerals processing.
A supervisor could also use the helmet to check on a worker’s activity while completing paperwork in the office.
The eHat also provides the means to conduct training without employees ever having to leave the site.
For example, a trades assistant could be given new inductions by someone giving instructions and monitoring their progress through the helmet.
The eHat has a HD video camera in the peak, as well as a microphone and headset, providing a similar level of monitoring to systems already used by commercial divers.
Increased levels of communication has clear benefits for enhancing time management for valued experts required to consult in the field, but with the eHat they can provide valuable information from home via computer, never having to travel to site unnecessarily.
eHat Systems is based in Western Australia, and while it is still in the R&D phase, eHat inventor Terry Lancaster said he plans on having a functioning prototype released by November this year.
With further business development Lancaster said he hopes to have a product ready for market by March 2016.