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Inspiring Student Innovation: Blackline Safety's Tech Supports Award-Winning University Project

Blackline Safety June 22, 2022

A group of 4th year University of Calgary students worked to reimagine safety – and won an award for their efforts -  at the UofC’s 2022 Captone Design Fair, placing first in the electrical & software engineering category. Their project – Development of a Software Solution for Safety Visualization and Analysis – was sponsored by Blackline Safety.

blog-capstone-connected-safety-softwareCapstone design projects are the culmination of four years of study—a year-long assignment where students are asked to find solutions to real-world industry challenges or to create their own invention. Students are encouraged to apply the knowledge they’ve acquired throughout their studies to propose an innovation, from design through to fabrication, that will benefit the industry.

The winning group collaborated with Blackline Safety to create a web application similar to the Blackline Live software portal that would make the raw data from G7c connected wearables easier to comprehend and use, with attention to aesthetics and customization as core features.

Interactivity and customization foundational to user experience

To start their project, the group of six students first needed data. They each took the wearable devices everywhere they went with them for a two-week trial period, including as far as Canmore, Drumheller – and even Seattle – to test the devices’ range.

“The hardware was super easy to use and we appreciated that we just simply had to turn them on, carry the G7s with us, and accurate and comprehensive data would flow from literally anywhere,” said U of C student and group member Owen Troke-Billard, who was the backend technical lead on the project.

Following the field trial, the group got to work developing SafetyWare, the name they came up with for their web application. Their objective was to visualize the safety-related data from their trial – plus some historical data provided by Blackline Safety to supplement their field data collection--from locations, gas readings and incidents. They then built out the following core features as part of their web application:

  • Customizable dashboard—would allow users to personalize their information gathering tailored to their specific needs. The dashboard included a summary of recent events as well as widgets to display the most relevant data.
  • Incident-based visualizations—visualizations that indicated information relating to various user incidents as well as a bar graph showing incident frequency. The information could be used to identify which incident types are most prevalent and where they happened.
  • Location-based visualization—visualizations that indicated information relating to various locations, including user travel history trail as well as a heat map showing incident frequency by location to identify problem areas.

Comprehensive data filtering by date, incident type and users involved were also core to the web application as was easy accessibility via both both computer and mobile browsers. 

Lone worker safety software

Sample reports generated by SafetyWare.

“The utility of the raw data from Blackline Safety’s devices is limitless. A platform like SafetyWare makes that information simple to comprehend, and easy for organizations to transform into valuable insights that can help streamline their safety operations and save lives,” added Troke-Billard.  

New events including gas readings, location updates, and incidents, are also shown at the top, giving safety personnel easy access to the most recent activity. All this data is easily digestible, as SafetyWare presents the information in an intuitive format. Users can easily navigate the application to find data that is pertinent to their safety objectives, enhancing both safety and efficiency for the organization.

“As a global leader in safety technology, Blackline Safety is constantly looking for new ways to innovate,” said Sean Fleming, Director, Software Development, Blackline Safety. “We were thrilled to be able to contribute to this Capstone project and support student learning and growth at the same time. Congratulations and thank you to Owen and the rest of the Capstone team for their work and their ideas for how we might improve the customization and interactivity of our software platform and dashboard.”

 

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