This year’s AIHce is significant in that it marks 80 years since the first conference was held in Cleveland, Ohio. It’s hard to imagine what the forefathers of the industrial hygiene profession would have made of the measurement technology available today. It’s even harder to predict what the technological future holds for the next 80 years, but the trajectory is certainly based around the smartphone as a hub for voice and data plus a plethora of miniaturized sensors backed by “big data” analytics. That vision is perhaps closer to reality, even in hazardous atmospheres, now that intrinsically safe smartphones are more readily available.
Sensor fusion and further advances in wearable technology are the key to measuring multiple physical and chemical agents which is the underlying promise of the industrial internet of things (IIoT). According to LNS Research’s blog by Peter Bussey in March 2019, the connected worker emerged as a key pillar of industrial transformation along with connected operations and connected assets which are all recognized as essential aspects of an Industry 4.0 “Factory of the Future” approach. The benefits of a “connected worker” are wide ranging: