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New collaboration to focus on powering wearable technology

10 February 2022

The power management of new wearable technology is set for further development thanks to a new collaboration with researchers in Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton.

Image: University of Southampton
Image: University of Southampton

UK construction technology company Mafic has signed up for its third project with the national SPRINT business support programme to optimise the energy management of its innovative Safeguard Internet of Things (IoT) solution.

Mafic will collaborate with SPRINT partner Southampton to design a suitable energy transfer and harvesting system for extending the battery life of the Safeguard solution. Safeguard is a wearable device that uses a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) sensor and captures location data from plant, materials and construction workers. It is aimed at enabling the real-time communication and analysis of data from remote locations to improve the productivity and industrial health of workforces.

The project will exploit technology developed by the University to increase the range at which the Safeguard devices can be charged, reduce their power consumption, enhance the wireless power transfer rate during charging and increase the alignment tolerance when being wirelessly charged.

The Safeguard devices can fit within hard hats, armbands or pockets. Using machine learning, the devices can recognise the unique movement patterns of users completing different tasks and record exactly what is happening. Combined with location to +/-20cm and data from environmental sensors, Safeguard can provide workforce-wide insight at a level of detail that has not been possible until now, detecting when and where hazards, activity, and opportunities are across an entire workforce and workplace.

This latest collaboration with the University will allow Mafic customers to be less reliant on a power source and deploy Safeguard into remote environments with minimal supporting infrastructure such as on-board commercial ships, in offshore environments, or in ‘not-spots’ or remote construction sites.

On the two previous SPRINT projects, Mafic collaborated with the University of Southampton on the development of the new machine learning Safeguard solution. As a result of the SPRINT projects, Mafic’s technology has now been incorporated into wearable devices worn by the workforce as well as positioned on vehicles and materials.

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