Mining Technology: Wearable Technology Valuable for Training
Many technology companies believe wearable technologies are the future. Products have been created to track your fitness and to remind you of your daily appointments. Google is among the first to take advantage of these new technologies. They developed wearable technology called Google Glass, which is functional in real life. The headset has received a lot of positive attention. It is even creating a community of people, who are amongst the first to be invited to wear it. Google Glass frees its users from their smartphones, laptops and desktops. It has many features, including the ability to give and receive video and audio, as well as display web content. Users are capable of doing anything with Google Glass that a typical computer accomplishes.
We believe that the mining industry could benefit tremendously from Google Glass in the following ways:
Training Delivery: Mining companies could use the technology for training their employees. The glasses have 12GB of usable memory. When synched with Google’s cloud storage, it allows users to access large amounts of content. This means that training courses could be delivered anywhere at any time. Training classes, and other materials, can also be stored directly on the device for students to communicate wirelessly with a Learning Management System (LMS). Trainers would be able to track a student’s progress with the LMS. This allows miners to learn on the field instead of in the classroom. They a will also have quick access to important information that may be otherwise forgotten. The benefits include a shorter training cycle, which in turn translates to fewer mistakes made.
Coaching: The glass has the ability to record videos and take photos hands-free by using voice commands. This would allow the trainer to watch their employees in real time. Trainers can be anywhere, while still talking them through a task or answer their questions. By seeing exactly what the students see, the trainer has the opportunity to guide the students during job procedures that may involve complicated dangerous equipment. Trainers could also record videos themselves, so students can watch exactly how a task is done.
Since the trainer would no longer have to be by the trainee’s side, this type of real-time coaching is perfect for training miners. Mining companies can record videos for their employees to show them how a certain task needs to be completed. The trainer can also speak to the trainee in real time, possibly eliminating hazardous situations. Google Glass can help with safety training, which is vital in the mining industry.
Intelligent Assistant Software: The Google Glass software can help in training. If miners have a question, they can ask it out loud and the software will pull up relevant resources, such as a step-by-step video on how to solve the problem. It is a possibility that Google Glass could help companies, where language is a barrier. Mining companies are international and are located in remote regions; therefore, language can become an obstacle. It would be hard to communicate key concepts and lessons if the trainer and the student do not speak the same language. By using Google Glass, real-time translation can be implemented, which would help overcome any language barrier.