Myant Inc., the pioneers in Textile Computing, and Helly Hansen, the global technical and safety apparel brand, are showcasing a connected safety shoe at CES 2020 (January 7-10, 2020 in Las Vegas) as part of Myant’s vision of creating a new industry by connecting people to their own body, other people, and their IoT-enabled environments in the context of work, home and play. The Helly Hansen connected safety shoe features sensors knitted into the shoe which provide continuous gait analysis, helping to track, predict, and ultimately prevent occupational same-level slips, trips and falls (STFLs) on both an individual and organizational level.
Beyond the obvious impact on worker well-being, STFLs have an impact on the bottom-line of a business as well. According to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (2014 Workplace Safety Index: From Research to Reality), STFLs were estimated to have collectively impacted the bottom-line of businesses in the United States in excess of $9 billion USD in 2014. The ability for an organization to track, predict and hopefully prevent such workplace accidents is an important objective. While monitors do exist to track STFLs, they are not always suitable in industrial applications where safety wear must be certified to meet industrial safety standards. Furthermore, monitoring systems can come in the form factors that feel unnatural to workers, impeding their performance or potentially even creating safety hazards themselves.
Recognizing these challenges, Myant has been working with the global safety wear brand Helly Hansen to apply textiles that sense and react to the human body to safety shoes that can continuously track slip and fall events, balance, strides, distance traveled, as well as geo fencing and temperature. The data generated by the shoe can be analyzed in the Myant Platform to perform gait analysis, allowing users to identify past injuries affecting gait that could create future safety hazards, and predict the likelihood of future STFLs to effectively prevent workplace accidents before they have a chance to occur. The connected shoes will be on display in Myant’s booth at CES 2020.
The safety shoes co-developed with Helly Hansen are just one manifestation of what is possible in a work environment where textiles meaningfully connect workers to their own bodies, to each other, and to the IoT-enabled work environment. Other developments that Myant is working on that are designed to transform connectedness at work include heated garments that dynamically optimize temperature and provide electronically-controlled moisture/sweat management to maximize worker performance, textile-based active luminescent safety vests that consider local environmental conditions and traffic conditions to dynamically adjust lighting patterns and enhance visibility for road workers, as well as workwear with integrated pollution and chemical sensors to keep workers safe in hazardous environments.
The optimization of work through connected textiles is just one of the many possibilities enabled by the Myant Platform, which provides a continuous and ambient connection between people and their bodies, their communities, and their environments across all aspects of daily life (i.e. home, work, and play). Myant’s presence at CES 2020 was designed to encourage others envision these possibilities, inspiring the world to challenge the way they see everyday textile and to reimagine the value that these objects can provide.