Opinion: A big hand for innovation


Improved glove design and an innovative touchscreen workstation are just two of the ways that technology is improving user comfort and convenience

Hilary Ayshford<br> Managing Editor

Hilary Ayshford
Managing Editor

Many years ago, when touchscreen technology was in its infancy, I went to the press launch of a biometric identification system based on fingerprints to make equipment used in controlled environments compliant with 21CFR Part 11.

Very clever – except that when I asked whether it could be used by someone wearing gloves, there was an embarrassed silence, some throat-clearing and a rapid move on to the next question.

HMIs have come a long way since then, and the innovative Blautouch interactive workstation from Laborial, designed specifically for laboratories and cleanrooms, marks another milestone in compatibility between man and machine.

A breakthrough could also be on the cards in the design of gloves. Ill-fitting gloves, like poorly designed garments, can have a serious adverse effect on performance across a wide range of jobs in various industry sectors. Just as the ambient temperature and lighting levels need to fall within an optimum range for a given application, gloves and garments that detract from wearer comfort will reduce productivity and efficiency, especially in tasks that require a high level of precision.

Designing gloves based on only two measurements is bound to result in a less than ideal fit for the majority of users. One size will never fit all, and while individual tailoring is impractical, at least gaining a better idea of what constitutes ‘average’ should enable a range of sizes to be developed that will offer an improved fit for many users.

Sign up for your free email newsletter

So let’s give a round of applause to Laborial and the Hohenstein Institute for their ‘handsome’ achievements.