How is Wearable Technology Continuing to Rise in Industrial Applications?

December 03, 2021 by Sara McCaslin

ECOM and Iristick have developed a new application for wearable technology in the form of smart glasses for workers in hazardous industrial environments.

ECOM Instruments specializes in safety equipment for hazardous industrial environments with a focus on explosion-proof equipment. Some industries that depend on their technology are mining, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and chemical.

ECOM Instruments and Iristick recently announced the development of smart glasses engineered specifically for use in hazardous industrial areas:  Visor-Ex 01.


Wearable Technologies

Wearable technology refers to electronic devices that are designed to be worn on or implanted within the body. Common examples include watches, rings, clothing, headsets, stickers, and wristbands.


The ECOM Smart-Ex 01 is a new advancement in wearable technology designed for workers in hazardous environments. Image used courtesy of ECOM


In some instances, their purpose is to monitor the condition of the users for devices such as fitness trackers, smartwatches, smart visors, or potentially even smart construction helmets. In industrial applications, wearable technology may take the form of augmented reality headsets or smart glasses, like those made by ECOM Instruments.


Visor-EX 01

The Visor-Ex 01 is wearable technology in the form of smart glasses for those who work in hazardous industrial areas. These smart glasses work in tandem with the Smart-Ex 02 smartphone, which serves as the central computing unit. The Smart-Ex 02 provides data transfer functions, and the ECOM Smart-Ex 02 smartphone provides image processing.


Cameras and Imagery

The Visor-EX 01 includes three integrated cameras, with one specifically designed to zoom up to 6x without compromising image quality and is designed for scanning QR codes and barcodes. The other two cameras are positioned to map to the wearer’s natural field of vision so that remote support can view things exactly as the user does.

An integrated laser bucket is used to show the user where the camera is pointed, and a red LED is installed next to the camera, so the user will know when it is in use. The camera includes a built-in LED flashlight so that visibility can be maintained even in dark environments. The effects of shaking are counteracted for clear image transmission through a gyroscope, accelerometers, and a compass.


Sound and Speech Recognition and Power and Data Transmission

Extremely clear sound transmission and verbal communication are made possible by four built-in microphones along with noise suppression and speech recognition. The Visor-EX 01 glasses can be operated by voice command as well as a touchpad on the side. 


ECOM’s Visor-Ex -1 weighs only 180 g and can be attached directly to the user’s head or a safety helmet. Image used courtesy of ECOM


For sound, this wearable technology includes an integrated loudspeaker and a 3.5 mm jack that can be used with an external headset.

The headset unit connects via coaxial cable to a pocket unit that attaches to the user’s body and can be attached to the Smart-Ex 02 smartphone via USB cable. These wired connections provide highly reliable connectivity even in extremely harsh conditions. The battery unit for the headset and pocket unit contains a replacement 4400 mAh battery.


Enhanced Safety in Hazardous Areas

ECOM Visor-EX 01 smart glasses provide users with hands-free operation, especially when used with the Smart-Ex 02 smartphone computing unit. For example, they provide an information-rich heads-up display, hands-free operation, voice command capabilities, and the ability to share images and video feeds remotely. Such features can be critical for technicians and operators working in hazardous environments.

The Visor-Ex 01 will have protection class IP68 and be certified according to NEC/CEC Division 1 and 2 and ATEX/IECEx Zone 1/21 and 2/22. Its operating temperature range is from -20°C to 60°C.

The ECOM Visor-Ex 01 provides a much-needed industrial application of wearable technology for use in hazardous areas. The industrial version will be available starting in December 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.