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Wearable computing for railway environments: proposal and evaluation of a safety solution

Wearable computing for railway environments: proposal and evaluation of a safety solution

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Railways provide a transport system which is regarded as efficient but which is not immune of risks. The railway environment is also subject to extreme weather conditions including high temperatures, constant exposure to the sun, rainfall and wind. In addition, since it traverses several regions where there is no mobile phone coverage, communication is not possible between trains and people through a central system. Thus, it is worth considering if the development of technological solutions to increase the safety of employees who do maintenance work on the railways, might be a research area of potential value. This is the context in which this study has been undertaken, where an attempt is made to describe a solution based on wearable components for the safety of maintenance staff on the railways. This study outlines some of the challenges that should be taken into account for the solution put forward with regard to aspects of usability linked to people's perceptions of tactile, visual and sound alerts. In addition, there is a description of the solution set out and an assessment of communication devices that are aimed at allowing independence for the network data providers and maintaining the operating system of the whole railway network.

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