This year we have seen announcements with technology that communicates with tools, such as the Dewalt Bluetooth, but is this really a big deal or just another over sold idea?  So here is my take.  While I still don’t fully understand the Dewalt Bluetooth and really don’t see the benefit, the Milwaukee ONE-KEY is entirely different.

Why is this technology different and exciting?  Easy, it will change the way you use cordless power tools.  You can look at this technology just as you would your pick up truck.  Manufacturers have to balance a tools’ torque and speed.  You can get a lot of torque, but the speed can decrease  Same as with your truck and how a truck company has to balance fuel mileage, torque and speed.   The difference being is that with my truck, I can hook up a computer and gear my truck differently because I tow more.  Or maybe I drive on the highway and don’t tow.  Well I can change my truck settings and make it designed for better gas mileage because I don’t need the torque.  This is pretty much what the Milwaukee ONE-KEY is except with the truck, I void my warranty.  With Milwaukee they want you to change your tool and design the tool around what work you will be doing.

Not only can you control your tools, but you also get inventory management and reporting features.  So you may be asking how would I use this technology?  Easy, say you’re driving sheet metal screws while framing walls.  We all know that you really need to start your screws out slow and then drive them home.  In the past, you had to control everything with the trigger by slowly pressing the trigger and then you can drive it home. Now you can change the tool settings with your phone.  You can tap into the tool and set the speed by telling the tool to start out with “X”: amount of speed and then increase the speed.  So now instead of throttling the trigger, you can just press the trigger all the way in and the tool will adjust the speeds automatically.

So when does this all start?  In September of this year, you will be able to have inventory management.  In October 2015, you will be able to start tool reporting on the Force Logic utility crimpers.  In January 2016 is when you will be able control the tool with the new M18 Fuel products.  This is when you will be able to match your fasteners with your material.

While this technology platform won’t be beneficial for everyone, it certainly will be beneficial to a lot of people and remember, this is only the beginning.  So to answer the question from above as to whether this is truly a beneficial technology or just another over sold idea, I think this is truly a benefit to the tool industry.  This is a game changer and brings a whole new level of not only excitement, but a true customization of tool use.