A new study by Deloitte suggests that innovations like exoskeletons and wearables could help workers perform their jobs even better, busting the myth that robots will take jobs, not save them

In the movie RoboCop, a crime-fighter is restored to life through technology. According to a new study by Deloitte, many real-life workers will be kept “alive” in the workplace as a result of the next generation of wearables. You may think about wearables mainly in terms of fitness, but their value is now rapidly expanding to the workplace, helping people work longer and faster, and preventing injuries.

The workforce is aging and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that by 2026, 37 percent of people aged 65 to 69 will be actively employed, versus 22 percent in 1996.

Big business is well on its way to “robotizing” its workforce. Companies like Ford, Lowe’s, and Audi are already using exoskeletons — bionic suits or extensions of human limbs — to help people lift and reach. GE Aviation has introduced smart glasses to their operations. Workers can get instant guidance, rather than having to check handbooks. Smart wrist wear is being worn by employees of Dayton Regional Transit Authority to monitor employee health.

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Some details from the report :

  • Older workers are participating in the workforce in greater numbers: By 2026, 37 percent of those aged 65 to 69 years will be actively employed, versus 22 percent in 1996
  • Annual workplace injury costs have reached almost US$60 billion in the United States3
  • Enterprises in the automotive, chemicals and materials, mining, and oil and gas industries are using wearables to improve worker safety while enhancing the quality and efficiency of their work
  • Wearables are also driving workplace productivity and well-being in nonindustrial settings such as healthcare, retail, travel, financial services, and real estate
  • Leading technology and industrial products companies offer a range of wearable workforce solutions
  • Venture capital investment in wearables startups totals around US$6 billion since 2014
  • The global market for enterprise wearables—including smart watches, smart glasses, hearables, and exoskeletons—is expected to grow 41 percent annually to exceed US$60 billion in 2022

read more in the original report from Deloitte .