Interview: How 5G can advance inclusion in the labor market

5Apr - by KaWi-Fl - 0 - In 5G Inklusion 4.0

How 5G can advance inclusion in the labor market

Accor­ding to Artic­le 27 of the UN Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of Per­sons with Disa­bi­li­ties, peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties have an equal right to work. Ger­ma­ny is behind in imple­men­ting this right; as the sta­tu­to­ry quo­ta of 5 per­cent for the employ­ment of peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties is curr­ent­ly not being met. Whe­ther and how know­ledge-based assis­tance sys­tems can advan­ce inclu­si­on is the sub­ject of a 5G pro­ject that has now star­ted in the Iser­lohn work­shops. Pro­ject part­ners are the Gesell­schaft für Bil­dung und Beruf e.V. (GBB) Dort­mund, the Iser­loh­ner Werk­stät­ten GmbH and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Euro­pe for Appli­ed Sci­en­ces, Cam­pus Iser­lohn. spo­ke with Dr. Bär­bel Win­ter, Head of Rese­arch in Digi­tal Media at GBB, about the pro­ject, which has just started.

Which 5G-networked digital assistance systems will be used in the project?

Dr Baerbel Winter 5G-capa­ble XR glas­ses [1], tablets, smart­phones, and note­books are used in the Iser­lohn work­shops. We are con­ti­nuous­ly moni­to­ring the mar­ket of 5G-capa­ble devices,e.g., 5G-enab­led smart­wat­ches, and simi­lar toolst­hat are worn by or on humans. During the pro­ject, we will then also test other mar­ket-new digi­tal assis­tance sys­tems in a stag­ge­red man­ner. The­se sys­tems will be net­work­ed via a 5G cam­pus net­work and offer the poten­ti­al for decen­tra­li­zed sup­port for peo­p­le with impairm­ents through modern, com­ple­men­ta­ry know­ledge manage­ment systems.

[1] This refers to the com­pu­ter-based aug­men­ta­ti­on of rea­li­ty per­cep­ti­on. With the help of such glas­ses, fur­ther infor­ma­ti­on about objects in the real world can be super­im­po­sed in front of the eyes.

How can people with cognitive impairments benefit from this?

In this pro­ject, the pre­vious tech­no­lo­gi­cal limits of net­work­ed assis­tance sys­tems are  sur­pas­sed, and for the first time, syn­chro­ni­zed forms of know­ledge manage­ment are inno­va­tively con­nec­ted with intel­li­gent devices at decen­tra­li­zed work loca­ti­ons. I would like to illus­tra­te this using the exam­p­le of a pilot pro­ject that we are con­duc­ting in the area of assembly:
When a pro­blem ari­ses in the pro­duc­tion pro­cess, peo­p­le with cogni­ti­ve impairm­ents need the sup­port of a spe­cia­list or group lea­der who, for exam­p­le, assists with the work task. Howe­ver, this per­son is some­ti­mes not available in terms of space, so the work pro­cess comes to a standstill.
The pilot pro­ject is test­ing how 5G-capa­ble AR glas­ses can be used to estab­lish a con­nec­tion to the spe­cia­list or group lea­der. The spe­cia­list or group lea­der sees the assem­bly area map­ped on their 5G-enab­led smart­phone and aids the employee, while simul­ta­neous­ly see­ing how this per­son per­forms the task. Syn­chro­no­us feed­back occurs, and down­ti­me is redu­ced. At the same time, the digi­tal com­pe­tence of peo­p­le with cogni­ti­ve impairm­ents increases.

Why is 5G needed for this?

In pro­duc­tion envi­ron­ments in par­ti­cu­lar, for exam­p­le, online net­wor­king has hard­ly been pos­si­ble up to now. We need robust, sta­ble con­nec­tions to be able to trans­mit real images live. This is important, among other things, becau­se one goal is to place the­se peo­p­le in out­side jobs in the pri­ma­ry labor mar­ket. They need just-in-time help from their group lea­ders or other colleagues.

What are the challenges?

One chall­enge is cer­tain­ly to show com­pa­nies not only the tech­no­lo­gi­cal pos­si­bi­li­ties of 5G but in par­ti­cu­lar the asso­cia­ted social-inte­gra­ti­ve aspect. To this end, we are curr­ent­ly set­ting up a demons­tra­ti­on envi­ron­ment in Iser­lohn to illus­tra­te such aspects and enga­ge in an exch­an­ge with stake­hol­ders.

From the second quar­ter of 2022, if the pan­de­mic situa­ti­on per­mits, we will invi­te com­pa­nies, work­shops for the dis­ab­led, as well as repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from poli­tics and socie­ty to gain insight into our “5G Real­La­bor Inklu­si­on 4.0” pro­ject . It is important to remem­ber that we are car­ry­ing out curr­ent­ly a uni­que pro­ject in Euro­pe in the field of assis­tance for the dis­ab­led and are plea­sed to have recei­ved sup­port from the sta­te of North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia. And that we have found an inno­va­ti­ve prac­ti­cal part­ner with the work­shop for peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties in Iserlohn.

Where do you see the greatest potential?

In addi­ti­on to tech­ni­cal pos­si­bi­li­ties and oppor­tu­ni­ties to increase accep­tance, I see the grea­test poten­ti­al in the inte­gra­ti­on of 5G-based assis­tance sys­tems in other typi­cal work acti­vi­ties such as metal and wood pro­ces­sing, logi­stics, care, cate­ring, gar­dening and land­sca­ping, pack­a­gingand order picking, among others.

With this pro­ject, we want to con­tri­bu­te to the 5G tech­no­lo­gy and know­ledge trans­fer for the sta­te of North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia and bey­ond.

The­r­e­fo­re, our pro­ject is con­ti­nuous­ly eva­lua­ted by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Euro­pe for Appli­ed Sci­en­ces (Iser­lohn) and pro­ces­sed rese­arch results are trans­fer­red.

On the one hand, the­se will be pre­sen­ted to inte­res­ted com­pa­nies, work­shops for peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties, mul­ti­pli­ers, and stake­hol­ders in the 5G Real­La­bor Inklu­si­on 4.0, and on the other hand, we will also orga­ni­ze a sci­en­ti­fic sym­po­si­um to pre­sent, dis­cuss and reflect on our results in the field of rese­arch and development.

What collaborations are necessary for the implementation of this project?

Ear­ly on, we set up a pro­ject sup­port group con­sis­ting of around 20 mem­bers from com­pa­nies (users and pro­vi­ders), sci­ence, poli­tics, work­shops for peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties, cham­bers of com­mer­ce, and fun­ding agen­ci­es. This group regu­lar­ly reports on and dis­cus­ses the tech­no­lo­gi­cal pro­gress of the 5G Inno­va­ti­on Pro­ject from the per­spec­ti­ve of the par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on of peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties and sup­ports the trans­fer of know­ledge on the part of the members.

Within the frame­work of trans­fer events, we con­duct web­i­nars, among other things, in which we pre­sent the pro­ject “5G Know­ledge-based Assis­tance Sys­tems Inclu­si­on 4.0” and work on it under various focal points. Important coope­ra­ti­on part­ners are the Net­work Inclu­si­on 4.0 and its stake­hol­ders with exper­ti­se from the fields of digi­tal assis­tance and IT, user com­pa­nies and work­shops for peo­p­le with disa­bi­li­ties, asso­cia­ti­ons, and busi­ness deve­lo­p­ment, as well as the Mit­tel­stand 4.0 Com­pe­tence Cen­ter eStan­dards, which con­tri­bu­tes addi­tio­nal exper­ti­se on standardization.

Curr­ent­ly, we have also been asked by the Asso­cia­ti­on of Ger­man Cham­bers of Indus­try and Com­mer­ce to pre­sent the pro­ject as part of the 5G@Mittelstand roadshow.

Ano­ther important part­ner is the 5G.NRW Com­pe­tence Cen­ter, which mana­ges the pro­jects from the 5G.NRW fun­ding com­pe­ti­ti­on. The­se and our pro­ject are only pos­si­ble thanks to fun­ding from the Minis­try of Eco­no­mic Affairs, Inno­va­ti­on, Digi­ta­liza­ti­on and Ener­gy of the Sta­te of North Rhi­ne-West­pha­lia com­bi­ned with the pro­ject spon­sor­ship of For­schungs­zen­trum Jülich GmbH.

The ori­gi­nal inter­view is published in Ger­man under the title “Wie 5G die Inklu­si­on in den Arbeits­markt vor­an­brin­gen kann.” and can be read here: