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Manufacturers find value in wearable IoT

Manufacturers are investing in industrial internet of things solutions to drive quality, according to a recent survey which identified wearable technology as a primary target for IoT investment. More than half the manufacturers surveyed by Zebra Technologies as part of it Manufacturing Vision Study said they would adopt wearable technologies by 2022.

More than one thousand worldwide purchasing decision makers were surveyed during the first quarter of 2017. Industries covered inlcuded automotive, high tech, food and beverage, tobacco and pharmaceuticals.

Companies surveyed said wearable technology will help to decentralize decision-making and streamline processes. Almost two thirds of the respondents said they are still using pen and paper to track the manufacturing process, but within five years just 20% expect to use non-digital tracking methods.

Wearable solutions will be used to monitor both workers and physical assets. Maunfacturers said they expect to deploy barcodes, radio frequency identification tags, and real-time location systems. Zebra Technologies, which commissioned the study, is a maker of scanners and barcode printers.

Among the larger companies that responded to the survey, voice-activated IoT solutions were a key priority. 55% of the companies with more than $1 billion in revenue expect to be using voice-activated solutions by 2022.

Service providers recognize the value of voice for industrial IoT solutions and are gearing up to provide this for their customers. Verizon recently demonstrated voice on its LTE Category M1 network.

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