The Wearables`are the IT crew! No, it’s not a band. Clothing line, neither. Hmm, some new brand of contact lenses? No. But it sure can help you with your vision. Business vision. Enough enigma, we are talking about wearable technological devices such as smart watches, VR headsets, tokens and similar tiny computers developed not only for leisure activities, but for business improvement, also.
Wearable devices are like shrunken computers, which don’t need to be hand-held, and are somewhat more competent for navigation, remote picture and calculation than mobile phones or tablet computers. They are mainly connected to the Web or a mobile device via Bluetooth. The Wearables must be able to constantly operate and interact, meaning it will work when the user is in motion and when the users hands are busy – to be always on and available, but controlled by the wearer. It should become an integral part of the users clothing, like a fashion detail of minimalistic design, without distracting the person wearing it. Smart and fashionable.
Wearable technology applications are numerous, and its popularity is increasing at such a pace that predictions say there will be 185 million wearable devices by 2021, which will cash in $16.9 billion in revenue. It seems in the future everybody and everything will be smart. Not fun! Let’s get back to business.
Wearable applications and business space
Individual-oriented uses of wearable devices are already widespread, however, a big number of companies started to see the potential of wearables in enhancing the overall organizational efficiency. This branch of technology can improve the way consumers, employees, and tools interact and manage many challenges when it comes to automation processes. The point is that wearables make the job easier for employees and provide better customer experience, adding value to companies.
We’ll go straight to examples.
First one is a specific one. If you find yourself on one of the Carnival travel company cruisers, you’ll get an Ocean Medallion. A token replacing your smartphone, credit cards and personal ID while you are on the ship. Everything you need is that tiny piece of technology you can wear on a chain, on a wristband, or in your pocket, and use in numerous ways – from paying products or services to checking in and out of the boat.
For the employees it provides useful information about the guests, such as the time guest has left the room, so they can clean it. Or the info about when the guest is approaching the restaurant, in order for the waiters to prepare the order, provide a seat and personalized welcome. The token makes you VIP.
Other wearables, like VR glasses, have been embraced by some real estate companies to enable its customers to view a property of their interest from their own home. So, you are sitting at home on a rainy day feeling ill, but you need to go meet an agent and take a look at your dream house 50km away. Oh, wait! You have some stupid smart goggles your husband bought and it says on the company’s website you can use it to virtually see the real-estate you want. Thank God, and Apple, and Google, and HTC, and my husband! You’re lying in bed having VR goggles on, looking at the bathroom tiles of your potential future home. Highly convenient.
Another significant smartglasses application could be useful to factory workers such as technicians, needing a manual or an important info while making repairs or assembling. They get what they need instantly without needing to move additionally. The same use can be applied to doctors operating, having all the patient’s data constantly available without distracting.
VR headsets can have an important role in training by simulation of different situations, giving us the opportunity to monitor, learn, and experience in a way. On the other side, the practical part is manufacturing companies don’t need to build prototypes when they can virtually test the products. Lower costs, quicker and safer.
While smartglasses won’t make you prettier, the smartwatch can make an outfit up to date. Fashion aside, this form of wearables is highly practical and efficient. It can help doctors, law enforcement or firefighters by sending crucial data at the right time, again without the need for the physical intervention of the wearer. It can track a patient’s vitals, show the fugitive’s criminal history or warn when the air temperature is too high. Smartwatch can alert you by vibration and/or sound about the meetings, important events from the calendar, calls, e-mails, and everything that you program it for. Such a powerful and handy invention.
Another innovation in wearable technology could be the method of buying, selling, paying without talking to anybody, nor touching money, credit cards etc. Namely, it will be possible for a customer wearing a smartwatch to enter a shopping mall, take what they want, and go out. The device will scan the taken stuff and calculate the costs; seller’s network will receive the info about the registered buyer’s shopping, and the money will be automatically taken off the customer’s bank account. Also, retail companies could use these smart devices as a promotion tool to send sale offers to registered customers when they enter the mall, thus gaining their attention.
What is beneficial for the companies whose employees wear smartwatches is the intranet connection and communication across all levels. Sending pictures, documents, notes, managing work hours, scheduling your break and ordering a meal is extremely easy with this one. The uses for improving work efficiency are endless. And have you seen the variety in the design? Everybody can find a favorite and match it with the dress code or personal style.
We went through just a part of The Wearables repertoire when it comes to them serving the business industry, both customer and employee-oriented. It can be concluded: The Wearables are one of the mightiest applications of the IoT, with huge potential of enhancing the way we run a business. Wearable technology is still a novice in the industry, that’s not a secret, so companies and organizations will have plenty of time to decide whether such an innovation can bring betterment to their organizational and financial sectors.
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