Wearable Tech World Feature Article
July 17, 2013

Will Wearable Tech Have a Place in the Enterprise?

We have been reading a lot about wearable technology these days. Thus far, the lion’s share of the news is about wearable devices for medical monitoring or fitness. A few of them are for entertainment purposes such as gaming.

So this begs the question: Does wearable technology have any place in the enterprise?

Depending on how enthusiastic you are for wearable technology, you might say “yes,” or you might say “no.” Would a bracelet that displays your text messages without a need to fish your phone out of your pocket work during, say, long meetings? For many, it would be an ideal application. But beyond notification of incoming messages, what’s there for wearable technology in the enterprise?

Where most of these enterprise wearable technology discussions are going, however, is in the direction of Google Glass. Some companies have already banned the wearable device from workplaces, despite the fact that the gadget hasn’t even been launched yet. But how useful Google Glasses are in the workplace depends entirely on your type of business.

According to a recent IDG Connect article, at least one company has the construction industry in mind. Google applications developer Dito has already promised some enterprise apps for Google Glass by the end of this year or early next year. One of the company’s clients suggested that an app to enhance building information modeling (BIM) applications could help construction workers on building sites use the devices to check schematics and angles.

How about in the call center space? Imagine your average busy call center manager or supervisor, always roaming around helping people. When an agent is in need of assistance, Google Glasses could inform the manager of this. Think about the call queue statistics and key performance indicators usually displayed on a reader board in the call center. How helpful would it be for a call center manager or supervisor to have access to that dashboard at all times without having to pull out a mobile device?

Imagine the applications for stock brokers: a constant, running reader board of stock prices, or customized notifications of price changes that can be acted on without delay? Once the first generation of “smart” watches hits the marketplace, it’s likely they will be snapped up by fast-moving businesses that need data and intelligence now and not five minutes from now.

So while many enterprises may believe that that there is no real application for wearable technology in the enterprise, it’s probable that most of these nay-sayers simply haven’t thought hard enough about it.

Edited by Alisen Downey

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