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Fujitsu Lays Out Its Plan For The IoT

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Fujitsu Forum 2015 – From lorry drivers to cows, everyone can benefit from the Internet of Things

The world is becoming a smarter and more connected place, with thousands of items all around us being tapped in to the Internet of Things (IoT) each day.

Manufacturers are flocking to be the next to offer the widest range of products, services or platforms for the IoT, and Fujitsu is one of the biggest, supporting a multitude of developments across the whole technological spectrum

TechWeekEurope got to look at some of its next-generation IoT services at the recent Fujitsu Forum 2015 event in Munich, giving a tantalising glimpse into how the world can be transformed within the next few years.

Get connected

fujitsu_wearableOne of the primary advantages that the IoT can offer is the ability to reliably and (often) accurately capture regular, significant amounts of data, which can then be analysed and utilised quickly.

This means that the IoT can play a major role in the workplace, whether that’s in an office, or out in the fresh air.

Fujitsu showed off a number of industry-specific connected solutions at the show, including an entire platform that is able to track a whole group of workers in potentially risky or hazardous environments.

Using data taken from a sensor worn as a wearable device on the wrist (pictured above), workers can be monitored even if outside or underground. If temperatures get too high or too low, they can be sent an alert warning them of the danger, or rescue teams can pinpoint their location, a potentially lifesaving tool. The same goes for falls, as the sensor is able to detect if the wearer has gone down quickly.

Fujitsu-smart-ring helmetAs for the workers themselves, they can be equipped with smart helmets (seen right) kitted out with a camera overlaid, somewhat like Google Glass. This can then beam a live video feed back to a control room, where colleagues can offer advice or suggestions in case of breakdowns or outages. The camera can also take a photo of any particular location, which can be annotated or otherwise drawn away from them before being sent back.

Fujitsu is also developing a smart ring (also pictured right), which will allow workers to draw or write on a tablet’s screen simply by moving their finger, meaning there’s no need to be near the screen. The company says this could be extremely useful when teamed up with a heads-up display or hands-free input, with voice recognition often hindered in loud industrial or wilderness locations, and the ring also comes equipped with a shutter function to take images using the camera of any connected device.

Running wild

fujitsu connected vanConnected technology can even be taken out on the roads. At the show, TechWeekEurope was also shown Fujitsu’s ‘connected van’ concept, a normal vehicle equipped with the tools to make it smart and self-sufficient.

Targeted primarily at delivery drivers and engineers on call out, the van comes equipped with an RFID reader which constantly scans the inventory in the vehicle, to ensure nothing is ever missed. If something is lacking, the van is equipped with a smart router able to dial up to no less than four 4G routers, meaning the driver can always be connected.

However even if this fails, the van can also broadcast a network across a 250m radius surrounding itself, meaning the driver can move away from the vehicle without being cut off.

fujitsu eye scanningBut long drives can be tiring, and fortunately Fujitsu has the answer. The company has produced a drowsiness detector, that can alert drivers as to when they may be too tired to drive, with driver fatigue cited as one of the most common cause of road accidents in the UK.

Worn around the neck (or even built into clothing), the detector is paired with an infrared eye scanner (shown above) and also monitors blood pressure and pulse rate, meaning that if it notices any anomalies, the device vibrates, hopefully keeping the driver awake.

The company says it is confident that this kind of technology could significantly cut down on the number of fatalities on the roads, showing that the IoT really could be the difference between life and death.

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