Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 30, Issue 8, pp 2853–2869 | Cite as

Industrial wearable system: the human-centric empowering technology in Industry 4.0

  • Xiang T. R. Kong
  • Hao LuoEmail author
  • George Q. Huang
  • Xuan Yang


The Industry 4.0 program and corresponding international initiatives continue to transform the industrial workforce and their work. The service-oriented, customer-centric and demand-driven production is pushing forward the progress of industrial automation. Even though, it does not mean that human can be fully replaced by machines/robots. There is an increasing awareness that human presence is not only one type of manufacturing capability, but also contributes to the overall system’s fault tolerant. How to achieve the seamless integration between human and machines/robots and harness human’s full potential is a critical issue for the success of Industry 4.0. In this research, a human-centric empowering technology: industrial wearable system is proposed. The aim of this system is to establish a human–cyber–physical symbiosis to support real time, trusting, and dynamic interaction among operators, machines and production systems. In order to design a substantial framework, three world-leading R&D groups in this field are investigated. Five design considerations have been identified from real-life pilot projects. The future trends and research opportunities also show great promise of industrial wearable system in the next generation of manufacturing.


Industrial wearable system Human–cyber–physical symbiosis Industry 4.0 



This work was supported in part by Zhejiang Provincial, Hangzhou Municipal, Lin’an City governments, ITF Innovation and Technology Support Programme of Hong Kong Government (ITP/079/16LP), HKSAR RGC GRF (No. 17212016; No. 17203117) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 71671116; No. 71701079).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Transportation Economy and Logistics Management, College of EconomicsShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.HKU-ZIRI Lab for Physical Internet, Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems EngineeringThe University of Hong KongPokfulamHong Kong

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