From Google Glass to Samsung Galaxy Gear and now the Apple Watch, wearable technology is clearly disrupting the tech space. Predictions suggest that wearables will soon move from novelty gadgets to designated business enablers. While no one yet knows the extent to which it will impact enterprise, the opportunities to harness wearable tech for productivity gain and operational efficiency are imminent.
If you look beyond the novelty hype and consider that giants like Microsoft, LG, Sony, Apple, Google and Samsung have either released or are set to release some form of innovative wearable, you can imagine that they have conducted market research beyond the impact on today and have greater plans in the pipeline. This is the goal of disruptive IT and we’re being challenged to keep up (read more about the pace of change here).
How then will wearables enter the business world? Industries most likely to benefit include insurance, property development and construction, finance, retail, health, manufacturing and logistics. It will be particularly useful those who require the use of both hands to carry out complicated processes, such as the equipment assembly or surgical procedures.
- Insurance: accessing client data on the go, documenting photographic evidence for claims, interacting with financial institutions to gather policy information
- Construction: collecting data on the status of construction projects, drilling deep into the make-up of a building without having to consult floor plans or blueprints
- Finance: the next step after online banking is mobile payments
- Retail: scanning bar codes for product details, contacting suppliers from the floor, accessing stock data for customer queries
Health: secure access to lab results, treatment plans and medication requirements while consulting patients or doing ward rounds, hands-free communication emergency workers and paramedics as well as track and trace functionality for rescue teams
- Manufacturing: hands-free communication while carrying out production line tasks, instant communication with headquarters, on-the-go access to troubleshooting
- Logistics: enhancing storage process efficiency, quick reference to stock location, logging entry and exit of stock, confirmation of delivery and communication with customers
In reality, anyone who needs instant access to data and collaborative communication can benefit from business-enabled wearables. Ask any lawyer, real estate agent, police officer, personal assistant, C-level executive or financial advisor and they will likely be able to envision how hands-free tech will help them work smarter, faster and more productively.