As a newcomer to the safety industry, I used the show floor at the ASSE show in San Antonio as a window into the ways technology is becoming part of new products.
The most visible way technology enters any market these days is via mobile platforms, and safety is no different because, quite frankly, we are all carrying the most powerful computer we have ever owned in our pockets.
In tech ancient history, we always talked about adoption rates and how long would it take for devices to be deployed in the field. With smart mobile device use at close to 100% (for the working population at least), the barrier to utilize mobile apps is very low and, in my opinion, it is only a question of time.
So, out of 600 exhibitors at ASSE2018, what did I find?
There are two broad trends of technology adoption in safety you already know about - in training and reporting. This is because web-based training is ubiquitous now. This is a very training-centric industry and, like training, recordkeeping is the law so the ability to make these happen via applications is really a no brainer. Any vendor who isn’t delivering training or recordkeeping via a web browser or mobile interface is probably doomed.
Because of this, I decided not to spend much time looking at these two areas but find new and novel use of mobile apps that you should check out.
David Blaza is the managing director for Informa's power and manufacturing group.