See, understand and experience the work of the future

Wissenschaftsjahr 2018: Arbeitswelten der Zukunft
Foto: Ludmilla Parsyak © Fraunhofer IAO

 

Fraunhofer IAO to launch hands-on activities relating to the Science Year showcasing the “Working Life of the Future”

With events, projects, interactive experiences and a series of blog posts, Fraunhofer IAO will offer a diverse range of information, hands-on activities and support services relating to “Working Life of the Future,” the motto of Science Year 2018. Representatives of business and politics and the general public are invited to participate. The program will kick off with the Future Forum at the Im Wizemann concert hall in Stuttgart on February 1-2, 2018.

Will we soon be working hand-in-hand with robots? How can new technologies make our working life easier? What steps do we need to take today in order to take advantage of the opportunities of the working life of tomorrow? In Science Year 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO will employ a variety of digital and analog formats to answer these and other questions and offer insights into the “Working Life of the Future.”

The program will kick off with the Future Forum 2018 on February 1-2. Entitled “Making room for the future! New perspectives for work,” this event encourages visitors to personally become part of a new working life and work organization. A platform for inspiration and cooperation, it offers visitors the opportunity to share their current and varied experiences from innovation laboratories in the realms of both research and business, and to develop new perspectives for a new working life.

World of experiences will offer a hands-on look at the working life of the future

“Digitalization is changing how we work in a number of different ways. Everything is becoming more dynamic and volatile, and evolving at an incredible pace. We want to show how not just companies but each individual can take advantage of and shape this evolution,” says Professor Wilhelm Bauer, director of the institute, describing his goal for the Science Year. In addition to other events focusing on various facets of work of the future, such as human-technology interaction, Industrie 4.0, and management and qualification, Fraunhofer IAO invites the public to visit the Fraunhofer-Forum Berlin on October 9-11, 2018. There, visitors will find a “world of experiences” where they can not only see work of the future at several different stations, but also grasp it in the truest sense of the word. Exhibitions and vision films with a focus on production and health from throughout the world of Fraunhofer show how people at the intersection of human resources, technology and organization can respond to future challenges. In addition to this interactive exhibition, there will be discussions between politics and science to identify the key strategy areas for Work 4.0 in the context of digitalization and globalization, and to set an appropriate course.

Healthy work environment with entertainment value: smart seat cushion on board the MS Wissenschaft

Working in a way that promotes health and having fun in the process? Visitors to the MS Wissenschaft exhibition ship can find out how through the Fraunhofer IAO exhibit. A stool equipped with sensors and LEDs uses a color signal or an app to provide feedback as to whether, for instance, you’ve been sitting still too long. It can even specifically tell you to get some exercise, which you can do in a fun way right at the work station with a virtual ping-pong game that uses the sensors in the seat cushion. “We think of new technologies as making work more efficient or even relieving humans of it entirely. Our exhibit shows how smart sensors can help people not only stay healthier while working, but also have more fun. Ultimately, this fosters creativity and boosts our ability to concentrate,” explains Truong Le, who was part of the interdisciplinary research group that developed the interactive cushion. From May to September 2018, the MS Wissenschaft will call at various ports in Germany where, in addition to the on-board exhibits, it will host a variety of local information and discussion events.

Working life: from agile to Generation Z

The key research areas of Fraunhofer IAO on this topic are just as multifaceted as the working life of the future:

  • Management concepts, flexible work arrangements and agile organization
  • Qualification and skill development for Work 4.0
  • Work environments and supporting display and interaction technologies that meet future needs
  • Future production work and human-robot collaboration in Industrie 4.0
  • Human-technology interaction: from user-centered interaction design to the brain-computer interface

In addition to industry events for companies and organizations throughout the Science Year, Fraunhofer IAO, in cooperation with its partner Institute for Human Factors and Technology Management IAT at the University of Stuttgart, will also offer the general public opportunities to learn more about its research relating to work of the future: On June 30, 2018 at Science Day at the University of Stuttgart, for example, or at an open house at Fraunhofer IAO, where the labs and demonstration centers will also open their doors.

Further information

 

Research

Science Year 2018

An overview of the Science Year 2018 topics, events and projects can be found here (in German):