The trend of Wearable Sensors encompasses sensors that are worn on or close to the human body with the purpose of tracking body movement or vital functions. Depending on the type of information to be captured, different sensors like gyroscopes and accelerometers are integrated into wearable products, from badges and wristbands to smart glasses and clothing.
For many individuals, it is hard to imagine doing sports without a fitness tracker or smart watch to track performance via built-in sensors. While annual unit shipment of these devices continues to grow and is expected to hit 280 million in 2024, many companies, including those in the logistics industry, have started to recognize the value of such data for industrial applications, particularly in the realm of employee health and safety. As such, many logistics organizations have begun procuring various forms of smart wearable devices and setting up supporting wireless communication infrastructure, like Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Wi-Fi, or even ultra-wideband (UWB) if a real-time locating system (RTLS) is needed, in their facilities.
The trend of Wearable Sensors has moderately low impact on the logistics industry. Although valuable data can be collected from employees, making working environments safer and more efficient, the overall organization and operation of supply chains will remain generally similar to today. However, we here at DHL expect wearable sensors to be realized relatively soon – many products and services for various applications are now readily available and are starting to be implemented along the supply chain.