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smart hard hat

A smart hard hat is a rigid protective helmet with embedded sensors. The hat provides workers in construction and related industries with additional safety controls made possible through technology. Smart hard hats and other smart personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment use an array of sensors to track and monitor conditions and employee actions.

Typically, sensors in PPE devices provide information about surrounding environments. In smart hats, bio data-related functions may also monitor the wearer's respiration, perspiration and electrical brain activity (EEG) to determine an individual’s fatigue level and health status. The hat may vibrate and/or issue an auditory alert to notify the user about conditions that should be addressed. The data may indicate, for example, that working conditions are unsafe or that an employee needs rest or is not using equipment properly.

If the smart hat is connected to the internet, data may be sent through a wireless local area network to a gateway, from which it can be distributed to managers and archived if necessary. Aggregated data from multiple employees can be used to discern and predict trends and guide future practices.

Some smart hard hats include augmented reality technologies that allow the user to access their own bio data statistics, read email, search for information or study blueprints and other images. AR in these helmets is typically provided through a transparent visor or mask.

This was last updated in January 2017

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