In 1571, Queen Elizabeth I of England received a unique gift: the first wristwatch in recorded history. In the 1600s, the Qing Dynasty introduced a wearable abacus ring, and by the 1800s, watchmakers began making better wrist- and pocket-watches. By the end of the 20th century, digital watches offered multiple capabilities including calendars, stop watches, calculators, and more.
Historically speaking, wearable tech has been mostly confined to luxury items marketed toward high-end consumers. However, with the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables are on the verge of disrupting the business world as we know it.
Tame the Squirrel Effect
We are a distracted society. The ding of the phone sets off an involuntary response to “squirrel” to our screens no matter what we’re doing. Once we have our device in hand, our priorities take a back seat to playing catch-up with social media and the latest headlines. This Pavlovian effect is an epidemic that spans both our personal and professional lives. Mobile device distractions are at best a threat to office productivity, and at worst, a serious hazard to workers who operate vehicles and machinery.
Wearable technology can help tame the squirrel effect. Smart watches like the Samsung Gear and the Apple Watch provide color-coded alerts that prioritize and filter incoming messages, alerting based on the user’s customized needs. Because the wearer is only alerted when necessary, the impulse to access extraneous phone features decreases. With fewer bells ringing, employes are less likely to be distracted throughout the workday, resulting in higher productivity and faster responses to the most important incoming messages.
Enable Hands-Free Efficency
Many jobs require more hands than we as humans were born with. Wearable technology in the form of glasses, headbands, wrist devices, and even clothing already provide hands-free, voice-activated recording and displaying features for consumer-focused activities. When coupled with your business needs, you can provide your employees with the freedom to access data, record information, and use their hands to complete jobs all at the same time.
Google Glass might not have hit it off in the consumer market, but they have retooled the “smart glasses” concept for business purposes. Imagine a fully immersive world where building schematics overlay on a wall just by looking at it. Picture a doctor who can “see” inside with MRI and X-ray images displayed over the patient’s body. Now, think of the ways these devices could revolutionize your business, because smart glasses can be tailored to your exact needs with custom wearable application design.
Improve the Customer Experience
One of the most frustrating experiences for the consumer is not being able to find something that they know is most likely in stock. That frustration is compounded by customer care associates who also can’t find the item while they’re insisting that it is, in fact, in stock. Enter smart inventory systems and wearable product location assistance devices.
Using GPS technology, smart inventory tags provide the ability to pinpoint the location of any piece of tagged inventory. Smart stores also provide associates with immediate access to sales data, trends, and customer history through heads-up glasses, smart earbuds, and even internet-capable lanyards. Your in-store associates can provide the most complete, best service for a customer, including personalized care based on instantly-accessible information no matter where they are in the store.
Change the Face of Consumer Products
Anything you wear can become a wearable device. There are t-shirts and shoes that track exertion levels against fitness goals. There are rings that double as emergency locator beacons. VR goggles immerse you in your favorite fantasy video game, and your wristband can track your blood pressure and heart rate. From health to fitness to safety to fun, wearable technology connects us with our world in news ways, and it’s changing daily.
That’s where your business comes in. Do you have a great idea for a new piece of innovative technology? The world-wide maker movement encourages anyone and everyone with an idea to jump on board. Sites like IndieGoGo and KickStarter help innovators fund new ideas every day. The IoT arena is anyone and everyone’s game. If you have an idea, you’re going to want to get moving. You never know if your concept is the Next Big Thing unless you get out there and try!
Whether you want to harness current wearable technology for increased efficiency, or you have a revolutionary idea that could disrupt the business world or shake up the consumer market, you’re going to need a good team of engineers to help you harness the disruption. Welcome to Gate6: our cutting-edge crew of expert designers and developers can help you capitalize on wearable technology. Have and idea for how to harness wearable tech? Give us a call. We’d love to talk to you.