June 2018
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TD Magazine

A New Way to Watch

Friday, June 1, 2018

Stakes are high for workers on the floor of an industrial manufacturer. Among large equipment, sensitive materials, and moving parts, even a momentary lapse in focus can put people at risk. Training is obviously vital to safety, but how can experts teach a newbie how to do something when the task is so demanding that it doesn't allow for breaks in concentration?

Some organizations have turned to wearable technology, using it to document best practices on factory floors without interrupting expert workers and putting them at risk.


A recent study from Tobii Pro, a manufacturer of glasses built with eye trackers and video recorders, shows how one metal casings factory has implemented its technology to document best practices. Called Visual Performance in the Foundry, the report highlights how eye tracking enables the company to monitor where its best employees put their concentration during difficult or dangerous tasks, such as pouring hot metal, without having to stop them or ask them after the fact.

Leaders then use the firsthand perspective videos captured with eye tracking to show novices exactly how to perform each task and what they should be concentrating on when doing them. And, according to the study, the factory's leaders expect the technology to shorten what is normally a week of training for new employees by two days.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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