How Are Wearables Transforming The Business And Industrial Landscape?
After Taking The World By Storm, Now, Wearables Will Find Widespread Application In The Business And Industrial World
Innovation is an element that drives the influx of transformation. We are now are crossroads of modern disruptive trends that have the potential to make our lives better due to higher efficiency, reliability, and security. One of these technological advancements has blessed with the Internet of things (IoT), which is a network of devices that help us monitor things, collect information and also present us with possibilities and promises of a smart house in a smart city and have a smart future. The most exciting and widely used application of IoT is wearables.
Wearables: What is it?
Wearables or wearable technology is a field of portable smart devices that are worn on the body. They use Bluetooth based sensors (sometimes Wi-Fi enabled) to keep track of your health, achieve goals such as staying fit and active and many more. The wearable industry is set to reach a worth of US$5.4 billion in market value by 2023. This is because the sector has been under the radar since the launch of Google Glass and Apple Watch, along with reducing costs of the wearables.
History of wearables
The wearable age started from the invention of portable radios in the 1950s. In 1961, Edward Thorp and Claude Shannon created their version of wearable technology. It was a computer small enough to fit into a shoe with the function of predicting where the ball would land in-game of roulette. Then wearables went mainstream in the 1970s when in 1975, the first calculator wristwatch was released. The movie Back to the Future, further popularized it when Marty McFly wore it in the film. Then the later decades were famous for the Walkman and iPods till 2013 when Google Glass entered the market. The Apple Watch followed it in 2015, and the Oculus Rift Headset in 2016. These devices led to an explosion of the wearable market in the previous decade. Now, wearables is one of the fastest-advancing sectors of the broader technology industry, outpacing the development of smartphones.
Wearables in Business
Although individual uses of wearable devices are already widespread, this disruptive technology is set to counter the business world too. Yes, you heard it right; wearables will now be used to enhance the overall organizational efficiency. And this rising trend is already being felt from both the consumer market and business settings. Some companies develop business-oriented wearables too. E.g., Theatro. This company uses a voice-controlled “intelligent assistant” to operate a SaaS-based mobile Internet of Things (IoT) devices that let even hourly workers use the existing enterprise apps, as well as the company’s own collaboration apps. The main objective is to allow hands-free communication for retail workers.
Wearables in the business ecosystem offer many benefits. Some of these are:
- Instant Access to Data
- Supervising Employee Behavior
- Foster improved communication
- Improves Workplace Productivity
- Plays an essential role in keeping track of employees’ health and safety.
Applications of wearables vary industry to industry, customized to the sector requirements and interests. Let us see some of the use cases:
- Manufacturing: General Motors uses Google Glass to provide better interactive training to their employees directly in their field of work instead of a theoretical approach common in onboarding and training. When used with augmented reality tools like the HoloLens, project members can do predictive modeling and project designing and planning. This enables them to visualize the next steps in a building or assembly process with the overlay of digital content, seeing the final product before even physically completing it.
- Logistics: Indian-based smart glass startup GetVu uses Augmented Reality to optimize and speed up the picking process with high-level error reduction. With the help of scanning and on-time tracking, the glasses give tips in visual or auditory form.
- Aviation: Boeing uses head-up displays in cockpits so that pilots could obtain critical information without looking down at dials. It then applied the technology to its manufacturing operations, issuing the gear to wire-assembly experts to free them of the need to flip through instruction manuals.
- Travel: Carnival’s Royal Princess Cruise ship uses Ocean Medallion’s Token that can be worn on a wristband, chain or carried in a pocket or purse, and will be used for everything from checking in on the ship to paying for goods. This helps business travelers discreetly access information on unfamiliar locales without having to pull out their smartphones on every street corner.
- Retail: Pinnacle Response’s wearable cameras, provide retail workers who experience robberies or threats of violence with a way in which to record criminal interactions. This can later be used to identify the miscreants or track the criminals, illegal activities. These devices also alert the potential criminal that their actions are being recorded in an attempt to diffuse the situation.
Other business perks of wearables include using Google Glass for reading emails without the need to open the computer, Microsoft developing armbands that will project keyboards and displays onto wearers’ wrists, and many more.
It is evident that wearable technology has opened up the gate to new business opportunities. Businesses and companies can find ways to embrace and utilize these new technologies will often find a number of doors opening for them that can lead to expansion, growth, and profitability. Since it does improved productivity and customer engagement, businesses can employ wearables to tailor its services and functions for a seamless experience. The only trick here is to select the right wearables. This can be achieved by analyzing what the business goals are and what it needs in order to achieve growth. It will be interesting to witness how these tiny gadgets can shape the future of industries.