Will It Connect? The Apron and the B2B Internet Of Things

By on July 25, 2013
Lucy!  Did you forget to charge your apron?

Will the apron connect?

Will It Connect examines objects in both the B2B and B2C space through the lens of a practical application of the internet of things and big data.

From Lucille Ball to June Cleaver, the apron became a symbol of the stay-at-home Mom in the 1950s.  Certainly no one would have ever imagined that one day it could provide even more usefulness than protecting our clothes from Spaghetti Sauce.

The apron is a uniform for work

From Starbucks baristas to commercial painters, the apron is used as a uniform for the work-place.

Someone comes into work, they put on their apron.  When they leave, they take the apron off.

Because of this unique property (“what happens at work stays at work” ), the apron is an ideal object for employee productivity and attendance tracking.  This contrasts to a employee badge, for example, which you may leave at your desk or take home with you.  This object would also be less obtrusive than – say – Google Glass.

Additionally, jobs that require aprons usually consist of physical labor.  So, if the apron is moving, we know that the employee is productive.  And, if it the apron is static, than the employee is – well – just sitting around.

A connected apron tells us a lot

An apron armed with a network connection, an accelerometer, a temperature/humidity tracker can provide employers (and employees) very good data.  For example:

  • Is an employee on the job today?
  • For jobs with multiple sites, where is the employee working today?
  • What percentage of the time is the employee working? (track actual hours performed on projects, etc.)
  • Monitor working conditions (e.g., temperature, etc.)
  • Optimization of movement (footsteps, etc.)

Add a video camera and an employer can watch all the work an employee performs, without the employee fearing that the camera will follow them home.

When it comes to employee tracking, employers will be walking a fine line between spying and optimizing.  Connected objects like the apron may be a good place to start.

The technology for all of this exists today and in fact is being used in various applications.

When it comes to employee tracking, employers will be walking a fine line between spying and optimizing.  Connected objects like the apron may be a good place to start.

 

 

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