Kinetic Uses A.I. To Monitor Workplace Movement - But It Isn't Aiming To Be Big Brother
Haytham Elhawary thinks that wearable technology is fantastic — but that it’s application hasn’t been equal across all fields. “Traditionally, we’ve made technology for all types of populations, but industrial workers have been left behind. I think it’s because the technical people and entrepreneurs who build these things aren't exposed to those environments.” But he’s happy to acknowledge that that’s starting to change.
Elhawary is the co-founder and CEO of One Million Metrics Corporation, doing business as Kinetic, which makes a wearable device called the REFLEX, designed to reduce industrial and warehouse workplace injuries. It attaches to a wearer's belt loops and vibrates when it detects unsafe body positioning or movement, like when a person bends over too quickly or twists his or her back incorrectly. It uses sensors and artificial intelligence to create a map of the user's body which measures angles, changes in height, and hip movement to estimate how one's back is moving. While Elhawary doesn’t have personal experience working in a factory — he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Harvard Medical School before working in robotics and artificial intelligence with various startup organizations — he does have personal experience with workplace injuries from a source close to home: his mother.