Text and images by Roberto Tedesco – Researcher at POLIMI; Sara Comai – Associate Professor at POLIMI

The WorkingAge system is composed of sensors, computers and smartphones. The goal is to provide the worker with personalised advices, on the basis of the measurements collected from body and environmental sensors.

Figure 1 shows how the WAOW Tool converts raw measurements into advices. Basically, we have three sensor typologies:

  • Connected to the Edge Cloud by means of Wi-Fi. These sensors send raw measurements to the Edge Cloud, where specific software evaluates them. For example, sensor “X” could be a microphone collecting the workers voice (step 1); recordings are then analysed into the Edge Cloud and each utterance is associated with an emotion; finally, such emotion (which is the high-level information derived from the raw measurement) is sent to the worker’s smartphone (step 2 in the figure) where it is passed to the Decision Support System (DSS).
  • Connected to the smartphone by means of Bluetooth with lightweight elaboration. For some of these sensors (sensor “Z” in the figure), the WA App directly elaborates raw measurements, passing the resulting high-level information to its DSS module.
  • Connected to the smartphone by means of Bluetooth, with heavy elaboration. For other sensors (sensor “Y” in the figure), requiring power-hungry elaboration software, the raw measurements are first forwarded to the Edge Cloud (step 1’), which sends back the corresponding high-level information (step 1”) to the smartphone and thus to the DSS.

Figure 1 – WorkingAge main components

Once a new piece of information reaches the DSS, running into the WA App, it is categorised and stored, leveraging the ontological model; then, a ProbLog engine performs reasoning. As a result, an advice can be generated and shown to the worker.

Such architecture permits to:

  • Save power: the smartphone battery lasts longer as heavy computation is off-loaded to the Edge Cloud.
  • Preserve privacy:
    • No information leaves the WorkingAge private Wi-Fi network.
    • Any communication is encrypted.
    • The Edge Cloud processes worker’s measurements for a brief time interval and then stores the results, in an encrypted form, for future review.
    • The DSS and its storage (which contains a “description” of the worker) are keep on the worker’s phone
  • Adopt computational-intensive approaches, as they are executed on the Edge Cloud.

To avoid data loss in case the smartphone is lost, stolen or simply broken, a Cloud-based backup is performed on a regular basis. Data is encrypted so that storing them on a Cloud infrastructure is not an issue.

Mixing smartphone, Edge Cloud and Cloud, the WorkingAge architecture aims at exploiting the strengths of such three pillars.    

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