Can wearable technology benefit businesses?


In a recent blog I read on The Guardian website it was said that over eight million people in Britain use some form of wearable technology. So, it is no surprise that businesses have readily grasped the concept of melding computer and human – and this has nothing to do with the forthcoming RoboCop remake!

Wearable technology enables users to have access to real-time information while performing a multitude of other tasks and in the business environment, according to the article, this means that employees are becoming more efficient with over 37{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of employees saying that these technologies have helped their career development. As devices such as Google Glass, Apple iWatch and Samsung Galaxy Gear appear in the market, the need for several devices has disappeared. These multifunctional technologies can make phone calls, keep your schedule, provide GPS mapping and have a live video feed feature. But where do the benefits actually lie?

Currently only 6{20156fe61baea400d2663eb990f17abdabeb6ef183a2129287a793abd8ac1d8a} of businesses have provided these types of devices to their employees as there is still an ongoing debate as to their benefits, in terms of cost and practicality. Arguments have also been made against the adoption of wearable tech focusing on users becoming over reliant on it, and, dare I say it, lazy.

Not only that, but as wearable tech is adopted more widely, concerns will inevitably grow about hackers accessing personal data. The inclusion of fingerprint verification on the new iPhone 5S, is a prime example of combating this growing concern.

With all the advances in technology, the underlying question must surely be, do you trust it? Consider the Supershoes, designed by MIT’s media lab that guide where you walk. A Smartshoe app is installed on your telephone, notes your likes, dislikes and moods, and then seeks people in the area with similar interests. The Smartshoes then vibrate – either left or right – indicating which direction you should walk. Imagine what this could do for businesses in terms of networking – you could enter your particular interest into the app and the soles of your shoes could direct you to a potential client prospect!

In the last 10 years, technology has developed at such a rate that people are hesitant to take the risk and adopt it for their businesses for fear that it will soon be outdated. But, as a business, if you don’t take that risk, you could end up being left behind. That, however, will not be the case for Generation Y and beyond. With schools integrating technology into learning through the use of iPads, smart boards, and children being exposed to more technology at an earlier age, walking down the street wearing the latest wearable technologies might just become the norm and the future of our success.