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Newsletter "SEI NEWS" 2014

Home > Company Information > SEI WORLD > Back number > Vol.447

[Newsletter "SEI WORLD" Vol.447]

Field Link™

Field Link™

This article introduces Field Link™, which can be used to remotely support field works by linking images, voices and data between the office and a worksite.

■Product data
Release date November 2014
 

What is Field Link™?

Field Link™ is a hands-free system for sharing information among plants, construction sites and other worksites regarding their respective conditions so that they can help each other in solving problems or supporting tasks.

This system involves the use of hardhats with wireless cameras, Windows*1 tablets, and a mobile channel (LTE/3G)/WiFi *2 channel to exchange high-definition images and high-fidelity voices between worksites on a real time basis. This system is useful for various applications since it allows distant parties to share data. For example, a worker and an office can share the same drawing to check if a task is being conducted as planned.

*1 Windows is a trademark or registered trademark of U.S.-based Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

*2 WiFi is a trademark or registered trademark of U.S.-based Wi-Fi Alliance in the U.S. and other countries.

 

What are the advantages of Field Link™?

Since the cameras mounted on the hardhats are compact, lightweight and wireless, the hardhats are safe, eliminating such safety concerns as being caught by a cable during work. When inspecting a narrow space or fine point, the worker can easily remove the camera from the hardhat to take pictures of particular objects. In the course of development of Field Link™, we obtained cooperation from Elmo Co., Ltd, a camera maker, in developing a high-definition, 185° wide field angle camera that exhibits a high picture-taking performance even in dark places. A conventional camera with a narrow field angle proved ineffective in capturing the entire picture from camera images, causing the worker stress when analyzing the images. The newly developed camera captures a scene over a range wider than our field of vision, allowing us to check the worksite conditions as if we could see the actual scene in the field.

In contrast to a commonly used system that sends or receives data through a server, Field Link™ has been designed to directly exchange data between the terminals. Therefore, this product eliminates concerns that in-plant image data and other highly confidential information are routed through a server managed by an external vender, or that data may remain in the server. Since the Field Link™ encrypts all data, you can use it without any concern about the security of your data.

■Interview with the engineer in charge

Yasuhito Fujita Network System Division, Solution Unit, Sumitomo Electric System Solutions Co., Ltd.

What motivated you to develop this product?

When a problem arises at a production site or construction site, the responsible field worker contacts the office over the phone and sends pictures taken by a digital camera or other tool as needed. However, oral explanation of the problem is not enough for the staff in the office to grasp the details of the problem. In some instances, there is no picture of the key spot necessary for solving the problem. Finally, the engineer in charge is often obliged to visit the worksite. Hearing from our customers that they faced such problems motivated us to develop this product. Market needs for remotely checking the conditions of worksites by images and voices had been increasing before we started to develop this product. Although several worksite support tools have been commercialized, they are impractical since their image quality is low despite requiring a high-quality network and expensive auxiliary devices.

In the above situation, we developed Field Link™, which enables worksite monitoring and communication control on a real time basis, even in a mobile network environment where the line speed varies rapidly. To achieve the above function in practice, we further upgraded the performance of the video compression/communication control technology and the Adaptive LRR Technology used for TVcationTM, one of our existing products.

 
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