Wearable Device for Health and Safety

i4 Product Design was first approached by Reactec in 2016 to assist with some mechanical challenges the company faced when they launched their first wearable version of the hardware design. Naturally, i4pd were later approached with the challenge to undertake a brand new hardware design and associated industrial design for their next generation device.

The company had an aggressive development timeline and we're keen to utilise unreleased hardware components in order to provide the best technical performance from the wearable device. This was all whilst being in the middle of a challenging supply chain environment.

Here’s how we approached the design.

Beautiful designs with beautiful engineering that combined NFC, BLE and UWB, all in a tiny package.


i4pd were approached by Reactec to design the hardware and mechanical enclosure of the second-generation version of their HAVs monitoring device. The R-Link watch is a wearable device serves a multitude of purposes, but its main aim is to measure and warn wearers of unsafe levels of vibration experienced when using machinery. It integrates into the company's R-Link system of beacons and gateways were additional H&S data is also captured and monitored.


Weable hardware design
Wearable device straps

In addition to adding extra functionality of Ultra Wide Band for proximity detection, i4pd were tasked with improving the aesthetic, DFM and overall usability of both the wearable device and its separate charging dock. One key consideration is that the wearable itself had to allow for the “smart” module element to be removable from the strap to allow each user to have their own strap for hygiene reasons, whilst allowing the modules to be used by multiple users throughout the day.

Wearable Industrial Design ConceptsIndustrial Design of Charging Station

“Industrial design and general cosmetics of the product is excellent which was a key reason for the initial engagement. Electronic & mechanical design of product has also been very efficiently executed.”

Leif Anderson, CTO of Reactec Ltd.


Our experience in designing electronics for wearables meant we started with 2 stages to de-risk the hardware design as early as possible:

  1. First we produced a “large” sized PCB with all the functionalities and plenty of test points, modular connections for testing, many features to make testing easy. This provided a development tool for Reactec's firmware engineers to start working early, and also a hardware platform for testing and preliminary verification of high risk design blocks.
  2. Next we shrunk the PCB to fit in the space envelope of the wearable, introducing any changes we would have identified in the previous stage. At this point, debugging is extremely challenging as everything is very small, but the testing is a lot smoother as most of the design has already been validated previously.
PCB Assembly

Reactec's internal development team provided the initial detailed design specification for all parts of the system. The team participated in regular design reviews and supported the testing of the i4 Product Design team's output for the wearable device and charging station. In the background the Reactec team were busily building the embedded software to run on the wearable as well as the electronics for the beacons and other parts of the R-Link system.


The final product bridges the gap between consumer product aesthetic and industrial product level functionality. With a wearable that would not look out of place in the consumer watch market and a cleverly engineered docking station. On the technical side, the wearable now includes a good number of state of the art electronics components in a very compact, high density PCB assembly design. The compact stacking of battery, PCB, antennas and display were made possible thanks to i4pd’s electronic engineering team working closely with our industrial design team.

The release of this latest product is a sign of Reactec achieving their vision to help forward-thinking construction and manufacturing organisations switch from being mitigators of industrial workplace health risk to being preventers. The unifying ambition that drives their work is to actively protect workers health in smarter ways through the application of leading edge technology. The R-Link system brings together their collective understanding from electronics, software and data engineering to address exposure risks such as Hand Arm Vibration, dust, noise, proximity and lone working environments to produce that excels in form and function. 

We like to find new, better and efficient ways of doing things. Contact us to discover how i4 Product Design can solve your current design challenge and take your product to the next level.

Schedule a call today

It all starts with a conversation.
Let's make something amazing together.

We'd love to hear from you.
Book a Meeting

Leverage our #DesignInsights to shape your development.

Subscribe for our webinars, articles and reports.
Subscribe Now
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram