GuardHat manufactures a smart hardhat as a part of system that continuously transmits, processes, and analyzes vast amounts of incoming data in near real time.

Business Challenge

In 2016, more than 4000 workers died on the job in the US, and there were nearly 3 million private-sector work-related injuries. Yet a key component of workplace safety, the protective hardhat, has remained largely unchanged over the past 60 years. GuardHat Inc. aims to save lives and prevent injuries with a smart hardhat – a wearable, Internet of Things platform in an industrial hardhat form-factor.

Each helmet continuously transmits data to a GuardHat safety control center for monitoring and rapid response. Because the system collects information from each GuardHat multiple times each second, it generates vast amounts of data. The challenge for the safety control center is to process and respond to this torrent of incoming data in near real time.


GuardHat quickly realized that HPCC Systems could simplify and speed development. It’s an integrated solution, making it easier to learn and use, and GuardHat doesn’t need to spend time bolting together components from multiple sources. “I call it ‘batteries included’” Sengupta says. “Everything that you need is right there. We actually got up and running with HPCC literally over a weekend.” Another key advantage was HPCC Systems’ ECL language: “ECL is a system language across the whole HPCC Systems solution, which obviously plays in as a positive for overall implementation,” Sengupta adds. “We don’t have to learn multiple languages.”

HPCC Systems also meets GuardHat’s other key requirements. The HPCC Systems unique architecture, combining the ROXIE and Thor platforms, fulfills GuardHat’s needs for real-time complex event processing together with big data analytics, Sengupta says. In addition, the solution can scale easily and allows flexible deployment models, with a mix of cloud-based and on-premises systems. Finally, HPCC Systems is a proven open source solution, with great support and a vibrant community, Sengupta says.

Benefits of
HPCC Systems

End-to-End Configuration

All components are included in a homogeneous platform. No additional third party tools are required which simplifies and eliminates complexities.

Real-time Analytics

Ability to handle massively diverse amounts of real-time data combined with built-in analytics libraries for Machine Learning.

Scalability and Rapid Development

Massively scalable data platform supports rapid development from a growing set of real time data sources.

Ease of Use

ECL is highly efficient and accomplishes big data tasks with far less code, yet is flexible enough to be used for both complex data processing.

Integrates Multiple Data Types

Supports multiple data types out-of-the box, including fixed and variable length delimited records and XML. Data model is open without the constraints imposed by strict-key-value store models.

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Anupam Sengupta shares how GuardHat uses open source big data technology to create an industrial wearable that uses IoT and wireless communications systems to protect and empower industrial workers.

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Anupam Sengupta discusses the beginnings of GuardHat, the fascinating technology behind the revolutionary product, and his vision for the company in the next 10 years.