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EyeSucceed: wearable technology and augmented reality

09 February 2018

NSF International, EyeSucceed and Glass explore the opportunities that the latest wearable technology can offer to on-farm and processing plant auditing.

IPPE 2018 (Jan. 30 – Feb. 1) brought together innovators in the meat production and processing industry from all over the globe, with the TechTalk stage highlighting some of the newest technology aimed at improving on-farm sustainability, and animal health and welfare. NSF International are one company that are exploring the solutions that wearable technology and augmented reality can offer within the auditing process and beyond.

The challenges you face…

As anyone involved in the auditing and inspection process - whether auditing or being audited - arranging and completing the audit can be a challenging task. It’s time-consuming, costly, and there are plenty of risks involved when someone new enters a biosecure facility.

When completing live animal applications on farms, there is a huge biosecurity risk – auditors move from farm to farm, sometimes crossing multiple state borders in one day, with the potential of cross-contaminating facilities with infectious diseases. Any equipment used during the audit, that is then taken along to the subsequent audit, could also be harbouring bacteria picked up at each facility – any computers, audit forms and writing implements, for example, present an opportunity for cross-contamination.

This is where EyeSucceed and Glass come into play…

EyeSucceed is a food industry technology company. The company brings together the power of augmented reality and wearable technology to transform how the industry addresses real-world challenges like high labour costs, employee training and consistent execution.

Glass is a hands-free, lightweight, wireless headset with two-way communication capacity, that can be worn anywhere. They look like ordinary workspace eye protection but have the capacity to do so much more.

Together with NSF International, EyeSucceed has developed software to be used alongside Glass to make any on-site inspection or audit a smoother, safer and more efficient process.

What does the technology do?

  1. The headgear allows the wearer to have two-way communication with a remote observer who can both see and hear exactly what the wearer is witnessing, whilst being able to verbally communicate with the wearer through the headset. This provides opportunities for remote audits and training which has multiple benefits, including having fewer people on site presenting a biosecurity risk; allowing specialist knowledge to be passed on during an audit or training session; and provides new training opportunities where either the trainer or trainee is on-farm and the other is completing the remote monitoring. This also means that, in the case of an auditor not being able to reach a site due to time constraints or biosecurity risks, site staff can use the equipment and complete the audit as conducted by an auditor remotely.
  2. The headgear can record video and take still images whilst being worn. This reduces the amount of equipment, i.e. cameras, being taken into a facility and provides opportunity for later analysis.
  3. The headgear can be removed and attached to other equipment and controlled remotely. When it is not safe for an auditor or member of staff to enter a particular area of a facility, i.e. in a processing plant or high biosecurity area, the equipment can still record and transmit sound and audio to the remote observer. This also provides an opportunity for closer evaluation of specific areas within a facility that can be dictated by the remote observer.
  4. My-Fi – continuous Wi-Fi connection. Using equipment that relies upon an internet connection can be difficult if on-site Wi-Fi is weak. The headgear has personal Wi-Fi so there should never be a problem with connecting to remote observers or to augmented reality documents.
  5. Augmented reality. There is a built-in viewer in the side bar of the headgear which can allow the wearer to view any documents, logs or checklists of things that they know they need to cover during the audit. Whether it is auditing or training, wearers can have reference material at-hand, without having to actually use their hands. This can also be remotely controlled by the remote observer.

Further capacity for use of augmented reality during audits and inspections

With the advance of other technologies within the animal health and welfare industry, the opportunities for collaboration of such applications is vast. Increasingly, attachable monitors are being used to observe and record both environmental conditions and animal physiology. Colloquially referred to as ‘animal fitbits’, these pieces of equipment can store data in electronic platforms for each area, barn and individual animal, on a farm, in transport or at processing.

There is then the potential to view such data in the augmented reality side bar of the Glass headgear, providing past and current data about the environment or animal that is being evaluated.

With over 300 pilot schemes being run over the last 2 ½ years, the true capabilities of the Glass technology and adaptable software are being explored with large brands, such as McDonalds, to provide accurate, efficient and safe auditing solutions that save both facility staff and auditors time and money.

Click here to learn more

 

Emily Houghton

Emily Houghton
ThePigSite Editor

Emily Houghton is a recent graduate from Cardiff University where she studied a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. Throughout her studies, Emily has worked within the agricultural sector, on farm, including dairy herds, sheep herds, equine studs and piggeries, and has also worked in husbandry of companion animals.

She has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species, including pigs, broiler hens and sheep.

She has a keen interest in the development of more sustainable, welfare-orientated and productive farming.

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