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A significant tailwind for IoT-enabled PPE is the possibility of integrating IoT together with complementary technologies such as cloud and big data. This provides significant incentive to manufacturers to equip PPE with IoT due to the possibility of further value-addition to the end-user. Developed economies are in the early stages of adoption of IoT-enabled PPE. This has been made possible by high receptivity to new technologies, particularly in high-risk industries such as oil & gas and mining.
The regulatory ecosystem has to evolve significantly in developing economies for IoT-enabled PPE to gain significant traction in the market. Additionally, further investments in networks are required to make them more suitable and advanced for supporting a large number of interconnected devices. There is likely to be stratification in the market with early adopters emerging in high-risk industries such as oil & gas and middle majority, late majority and laggards emerging in industries that are less risky and less safety conscious. Reduction in unit costs of hardware is driving the burgeoning rise of Internet-of-Things devices. Going forward, drop in hardware and bandwidth costs is expected to result in increased rates of deployment of IoT-enabled devices, including PPE.
Benefits that are likely to accrue from IoT-enabled PPE include location tracking, situational awareness and real-time monitoring of the environment in which workers operate. Millennials are likely to be early adopters of IoT-enabled PPE as they are more safety conscious than earlier generations. This, in turn, is expected to be a significant tailwind for the sector going forward. Workers employed in high-risk zones are likely to have a sense of empowerment from equipped with IoT-enabled PPE due to the benefits mentioned above.
IoT-enabled PPE is likely to gain traction in conjunction with the larger shift towards IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things). Participants in the ecosystem are likely to engage in collaborative partnerships—for example, traditional PPE companies such as 3M, Honeywell, MSA, Ansell and Kimberly-Clark Professional are likely to collaborate with IoT platform companies such as IBM, Intel, GE and big data analytics companies such as Microsoft, SAP, Oracle to bring to the market new solutions.
Solutions such as XOeye technologies, Daqri, Pro Glove have been introduced for the industrial market and are gaining increasing acceptance. Such technologies enhance human capabilities such as vision in tough, industrial environments. Additionally, these IoT-enabled PPE solutions leverage technologies such as augmented reality, virtual reality which work seamlessly with the natural environment.
Finally, the research service also examines the demand and supply side dynamics of the IoT-enabled PPE market.
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