3 Innovative Uses of Mobile Tech


We’ve seen how the rise of smartphones and mobile devices have streamlined industries like field service, and departments such as sales and human resources. But what are some more edgy uses of mobile tech beyond a tablet screening video or an app to centralizes work? Here are three innovative instances of mobility redefining a field:

Smartphones to Improve Factory Conditions: Labor Link, an initiative from nonprofit Good World Solutions and Fair Trade USA, is using mobile phones to survey factory workers in developing countries on the health and safety conditions of their work environments. Oftentimes poor working conditions are covered up when auditors arrive on the scene, so companies concerned with corporate social responsibility need a way to attain honest information.

“Workers use a voice-based platform that asks the survey questions in their local language,” Ariel Schwartz at Co.Exist reports. “The initiative hands out instruction cards to workers, who place a missed call to the Labor Link number and get a free call-back. All data is aggregated on Labor Link’s servers, analyzed, and made available to partners.”

So far, companies like Patagonia and Eileen Fisher have used the program to reach out to 15,000 workers in multiple countries. Read more.

Wearable Computers for Field Techs: If you’re a repairman, your hands are often full or busy fixing a problem when informationabout a part or fix is needed. Enter the wearable computer, a device to be released later this year from Motorola that technicians can put on their head. It features a screen that can pull up maps, schematics or any other information that a smartphone could.

“A camera next to your ear shoots video of what you’re looking at, while a display just below the eye broadcasts images that appear to the eye like a 15-inch screen. The computer responds to head movements or vocal commands,” writes the SmartVan. Read more.

Reducing Food Waste Through the Cloud: Forbes reports that 25% of our fruits and vegetables goes to waste every year at a cost of $35 billion. This is largely because transportation companies can’t track and control temperatures to keep the produce fresh. Now, a company called Intelleflex makes it possible.

“The system uses RFID tags and a cellular reader that includes a global positioning device (GPS), to help identify a case of tomatoes sitting at the airport, for example,” writes Beth Hoffman. “But beyond that, the tags also now record temperature and time data and immediately sends all the information to a cloud-based network.” Read more.

Read more: How to Reduce Mobile Waste