Wearable Tech World Feature Article
April 09, 2015

Wearables in the Workplace: Bring Your Own What?

Wearable technology has permeated our personal lives in a plethora of ways. Fitness trackers, smart sensors that help us stay awake on the road, and even small units that can predict bowel movements are all in the works. And while many of these innovations are nascent at best, research suggests that some of these devices will be infiltrating the workplace soon in a spinoff of bring your own device (BYOD) called bring your own wearable (BYOW).

According to a new study from Tractica, industrial and enterprise workspace may see the deployment of more than 75 million wearable devices between 2014 and 2020, officially prognosticating the birth of BYOW.  

The catchphrase, BYOW, was coined by Aditya Kauk, research director of Tractica. “The use of wearables in the enterprise will include devices that are part of the ‘bring your own wearable’ (BYOW) trend, as well as fitness trackers or smart watches provided by employers as part of their corporate wellness programs,” Kauk said “Wearables in industrial environments, on the other hand, will revolve around a different set of use cases altogether, including areas such as oil and gas, mining, aerospace, warehouse, engineering services, transport/logistics, field maintenance, and mobile workforce management.”

It makes sense across all industries that may require hands-on labor; for example, a remote engineer can receive a live video stream of a mechanical component on an airplane via smartglasses, allowing him or her to visually assess the situation and even provide instructions in real-time. Likewise, surgeons and other medical professionals can record video or stream live feeds to medical students as they conduct delicate procedures that require their full attention.

Other wearables might be more dedicated to doing a single job. The already mentioned drowsy driver device, for example, could be extremely effective for workers in transportation and shipping industries. Perhaps the bowel movement detector can help an older, slightly more incontinent business exec avoid nature’s call during an important conference. Maybe someday smartrings will help jewelers achieve more accurate size measurements—avoiding the potential of a very awkward marriage proposal. Only time will tell which innovations will catch on in the workplace, and which will lose steam. Nevertheless, the possibilities for wearables are literally endless.

Ain’t that the future for you?

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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