When I was in the military, one of the problems we dealt with was the difficulty in communicating sensitive information. Multiple parties were involved and there was unnecessary complexity of obtaining information, which added undue stress and uncertainty. The speed and confusion in understanding what the next course of action should be could, unfortunately, result in dramatic failures.
I wanted to solve this problem. I didn’t want undue cognitive load and unnecessary mistakes to be made in highly sensitive environments that could lead to dire consequences. I wanted those who needed to get essential information to be able to do so directly, as opposed to sending it to a command post. Although this sounded simple, there were three key items that needed to be addressed:
1. Get the information to the person who needs to act on it
2. Filter the information to eliminate the noise
3. Simplify the data in a user-friendly interface to minimize cognitive load
We were able to develop a number of products aimed at improving this information transmission, but I realized there was another group of workers who were also seeing an undue burden placed on their work — the warehouse worker.
Once the pandemic hit, suddenly the front lines changed and made the ST1 HUD a necessity for our essential workers. The current crisis has resulted in an explosion of e-commerce, resulting in a year-over-year increase in sales by 139% — a 699% increase in warehouse workers alone. We’re seeing an already stressed system at the verge of breaking, and workers are burning out too. Today’s essential workers are doing the jobs of several people, which is causing them unbearable anxiety and stress, and ultimately leading to mistakes. If it wasn’t clear before, the pandemic plainly shows that the essential worker is now the frontline worker.
This is why Six15 Technologies developed the ST1. By applying the learnings from our military expertise, we were able to give the warehouse worker just the information they needed, while simplifying the data they were receiving to minimize cognitive load. The design draws from our military-approved hardware, which allows the HUD to last for years despite all-day-everyday drops, bumps, and spills. Incredibly easy to use, it’s compatible with all Android and Windows devices, allowing for seamless integration into existing architectures. It’s also flexible, ergonomic, lightweight and reliable, adding comfort while posing no additional health issues for the worker. There are also no additional batteries or staging, and with our software development kit and API’s, the ST1 can integrate into new and existing applications.
Through utilizing our product, warehouses have been able to increase worker productivity by 24%, while reducing training time by 90% simply because we have fundamentally altered the way these workers do their jobs. Workers can ramp up to full speed work quicker, while reducing the cognitive load — making training less stressful.
Augmented reality and head-up displays can ease the burden of our essential workers, no matter how much our frontlines shift. The goal of the ST1, and Six15’s mission in general, is to help protect lives, reduce cognitive load, and make these stressful jobs just a little easier, no matter what mission the workers are performing.