Wearable technology benefits both IT teams and end users alike and can help the overall security, productivity and confidence for organizations whose employees require the use of both their hands, carry heavy equipment or can benefit from the aid of wearable technology.
When most people think of wearable technology they automatically envision smartwatches, which capture most of the wearable market with wearable volume expected to double each year and reach 411 million units shipped by 2020. While this is true, there are a variety of wearable technologies that enterprises can utilize including, eyewear, tokens, clip-ons, jewelry, hearables, wearable cameras, wristbands and more.
Although I believe any industry can benefit from the use of wearable technology, I want to highlight certain industries I believe will be the early adopters of this technology:
Although the statistic above is very subjective, it shows that end users have a lot of faith in the future of wearable technology and the effect that it will have on our lives, especially for senior citizens, post-surgery recovery and individuals battling chronic illnesses.
Wearables enable both patients and healthcare professionals to go on about their day with a hands-free connection to each other:
•If an elderly patient falls at home, they are connected to a remote monitoring center that will get them help via the smartwatch on the patient’s wrist, notifying both emergency services and their medical staff. This allows senior citizens to be more independent and helps them live in their homes longer than previously possible.
•During post-surgery recovery, patients can be at their home, recovering in their own beds. The wearable device (most likely a watch at this point and time) can send push notifications reminding them to take their medicine, asking them how they slept and if their pain level is being well managed.
•For individuals with chronic illnesses such as a heart problem or diabetes, wearable technology can help them monitor their illness while allowing them to live their lives without holding themselves back. This technology can also help minimize the amount of visits they need to make to the doctor’s office.
Many retailers are starting to develop better in-store experiences and Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
The way that customers shop has changed significantly over the last decade. Today, consumers list convenience as one of their top priorities, whether they are in-store or online. With employees that need both their hands to complete frequent tasks, having a mobile device can sometimes hinder their productivity.
Wearable technology can help a grocery store be more productive with real-time alerts sent right to the employee’s wrist:
•When a shipment arrives at a store, management will be sent a push notification that alerts them of the arrival time for the delivery truck as well as an inventory list of all the items that are being delivered. The manager can optimize their time by knowing exactly when shipments will arrive and what items are being delivered.
•In a large grocery store, it is often difficult for management to know in real-time where each employee is and understand where there might be a need for additional staff allocation. With wearables, staff and management can easily send notifications to communicate with one another about where help is needed. For example, if there is a long line at the cash registers, management can send a push notification to an associate alerting them that their help is needed at the front of the store.
•Another difficult part of successfully running a grocery store would be employee break management. Wearable technology makes this complex process as simple as possible by alerting associates when their break begins and ends. Additional enhancements can include allowing the employee to clock in and out of their shifts.
Management is looking for IT to address improving business processes by more than 72% compared to the all-industries average, they place a higher priority on improving business processes, increasing operational efficiency and saving costs.
Manufacturing plants need to balance between productivity and safety in everything they do. Management needs to ensure that their staff is safe and the line is being as productive as possible all while monitoring the mechanics of their plant in real-time.
Wearable technology gives this industry a unique advantage by allowing line workers to have access to both their hands, while being continuously connected to their machines and management simultaneously:
•Wearables help all employees create a safer environment by alerting them to malfunctions and issues right on their wrist. This technology can also lead them directly to an issue on the line using GPS location, helping them identify and solve issues as fast as possible.
•A manufacturing plant’s top goal is to streamline their productivity and avoid anything that could cause them to underperform. With wearables, line workers can be as productive as possible with alerts sent right to their wrists notifying them about the line’s performance, needed maintenance, shift changes and more.
Among many challenges associated with this industry, and like some of the others we have spoken about here, individuals in the law enforcement industry (police, fire fighters, EMT, etc.) need access to both their hands throughout the day. They cannot be held back by handheld devices that can hinder them from time-sensitive issues.
Wearable technology can help keep these individuals remain up-to-date on mission critical information with notifications sent right to their wrists:
•Health and safety risks are a daily concern with individuals in this industry, often times law enforcement is put in dangerous situations where help may be needed and response time is vital. Wearable technology can monitor an individual’s heart rate and send out an alert if the BMP falls below or exceeds a certain threshold. Once an alert is sent out, help can be sent with an exact GPS location.
•While responding to certain reported incidents, GPS tracking may not be useful because the event is happening away from a marked road. Wearables allows individuals responding to this type of event to use of both their hands while also leading them directly to the incident, regardless of where it is in the world.
Enterprises within the hospitality industry are being faced with challenges that did not exist very long ago. With the proliferation of mobile devices came a unique environment that allowed for the real-time judging and sharing of pricing, services, and facilities.
Wearable technology empowers hospitality employees with hands-free notifications sent directly to their wrists:
•With BYOD devices, wearable technology can monitor employee shifts and breaks without the need for them to physically monitor their own shift times. When an employee enters the building, the technology will enables the option for an employee to clock in and out of their shift.
•Another issue that enterprises within the hospitality industry face is the fact that guests are used to streamlined responses when it comes to their requests. Wearable technology allows employees to respond to requests in real-time with notifications sent right to their wrists.
In conclusion, it is not a matter of if wearables will penetrate the enterprise and consumer space but a matter of when. Enterprises who embrace this technology in its infancy will be seen as forward thinking and an early adopter.
In addition to the benefits for customer and end user experiences, wearable technology can help multiple industries when it comes to monitoring safety, improving communication and enhancing the overall productivity of any team.
For more information on each of these use cases please head to our website www.samsungsdsa.com
Gabriel Murphy is a Business Development Manager at Samsung SDS America and a mobile security and management enthusiast.