Connected worker & industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution
A fast moving political, social and technological environment
Our world is more complex than ever, as well as the issues that we must face: worldwide fast growing population, climate change and its impacts, water supply and rare non-renewable natural ressources.
We are very close to singularity (i.e the time where machines would be close to humans) and nevertheless it looks like we have not used technologies to solve human issues. As an example, ads technologies are not only against the environment but useless for human basic needs. What a waste of time and expertise.
The challenges we are all facing as human citizens call for new way of thinking, designing, producing and delivering. 3D printers, open source and smart products are a few examples of what could be positive enablers for a better place to live on.
Strong security, data privacy respect and enforcement, low power consumption, immersive haptic products, small form factor allowing hidden modules as well as software efficiency are key enablers for true smart products providing services and data to users. Edge computing (a.k.a “Fog Computing”) will help to solve cloud issues (bandwith constraints, efficiency, time-based critical decision, …) by moving from a centric to a distributed paradigm. New software and hardware embedded technologies are required.
Lone worker protection services users are forecasted to be 2.2 million in Europe and North America by 2020 (from 0.7 million in 2013 to 2.2 million users by 2020 at a CAGR of 19%) according to the analysist firm Berg Insight. More globally, the overall industrial protective footwear market (safety shoes manufacturers) will be worth €4.1 billion globally by 2019 per Transparency Market Research (CAGR of 8.5% from 2013 to 2019). The lone worker market can be estimated at a 10% of the global industrial market, thus around €400 million by 2019.
According to PWC, German industry will “invest a total of €40 billion in Industry 4.0 every year by 2020. Applying the same investment level to the European industrial sector, the annual investments will be as high as €140 billion per year.”