It’s been said that wearable technology, or wearable computing, could be the next big consumer technology trend. Visiongain has forecasted that the market for wearable technology will reach $4.6 billion by the end of 2013, with other analysts predicting the sector to be worth $30 billion to $50 billion within five years.
But its applications aren’t just for style-setting gadget lovers: Despite the ruckus caused by the impending release of Google Glass (many companies have already banned the device’s use in the workplace), the business world could soon be taking wearable tech under its wing, too.
But how could your business benefit from the new technology revolution?
- Immediate data intelligence
Sensors of decreasing size can track data in real-time and in ever-increasing detail. For businesses which need detailed information as soon as possible, wearable tech could mean the difference between success and failure.Imagine the implications for a hugely interactive, fast-moving workplace environment such as a call centre. A device such as Google Glass could inform supervisors when and where their help is required, and display a rolling ticker of call waiting times and key performance indicators before their very eyes, and all hands-free.Could such wearable tech enhance even the world’s best multi-tasking workers; stockbrokers? Surely a constantly updated and customised view of price changes and stock prices on Google Glass or a smart watch would make the trading floor more efficient?
- Real-time location tracking
The paper name badges used in workplaces offer us very little, but wearable tech could change all that. Companies could not only display and promote up-to-the-minute content, but also keep track of the location of individuals wearing it – ideal for meeting health and safety requirements alongside a host of other benefits.PAULEY’s wearable tech in-built screens with connectivity for industrial clothing can be fully customized to clearly mark information such as the names of visitors, VIPs, and stakeholders, as well as displaying advertisements, branding, or important notices.Sensors already on the market can embedded into a variety of workplace objects and locations to create a RTLS (Real-Time Location System) data network capable of complex analysis. Fitting one into office chairs, for example, would allow the monitoring of occupancy rates at work desks and in meeting spaces. Applied to a moveable piece of equipment, such as a hospital trolley, work tool or laptop, such devices could use GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth to send details of its location back to the network.
- Enhanced sales & branding
Wearable tech devices and apps could enable retailers and businesses which need to demonstrate physical products to use a variety of emerging technologies, such as augmented reality. Digital eyewear could help sell and market products by allowing potential customers to try on, customise and interact with them.In terms of branding and marketing, wearable technology could encourage the use of social media, placing it in context on the clothing of staff members, and by instantly uploading promotional material to the internet with ease.It’s also likely that retailers will need to adapt to the idea of their customers paying via wearable tech: no wallets, no cards, no cash.
- Precise information modelling apps
Many businesses are currently overloaded with data already, but wearable tech could make the structuring and analysis of such information easier. Devices will need to come with add-on apps which can be customised to suit the business, and will require less time investment, rather than more.Google app developer Dito has already started creating business apps for Google Glass, for example. One is said to enhance construction firms by providing building information modelling (BIM) — a tool which would help site workers confirm those all-important angles and review schematics.
- Employee health tracking
A vast sector for the early uptake use of wearable tech is in monitoring health and fitness. A recent survey found that 63% of U.K. respondents and 71% of U.S. ones said wearable tech had improved their health. There are already businesses using this to reduce the health insurance premiums of its employees.The FitBit device wants to be at the forefront of this movement. Containing a tiny gyroscope and altimeter, it tracks how many stairs you climb and steps you take. Like a pedometer, it has the added advantage of being the size of a USB memory stick, with Bluetooth networking.
We can help!
We are working at the forefront of digital technology — wearable tech included. At PAULEY, we’d love to help you create solutions, improve your company’s productivity, and dip your feet in the wearable tech waters.
If you’d like to find out more, we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on +44 (0)1908 522 532 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.