The wearable industry started off as a small movement, but currently, it is generating huge interest among consumers. Investors and visionaries are flocking to this space, driving the market for wearable devices in various directions—one of which is leading to the workplace. Many organizations consider wearable as a technology focused more towards individual users. However, for companies with a substantial number of workers on the ground, wearables could be highly beneficial.
Wearables at work
With the outbreak of wearables among individual users, it is only a matter of time before it becomes a familiar tool in the world of enterprise. Wearables are likely to help employees do their jobs efficiently, just like mobile devices do now. Experts believe that as soon as organizations realize the potential of wearables, it will be adopted by industries across different verticals. The importance of smartwatches or smartglasses to organizations goes well beyond computing functions or location tracking. “Augmented reality” through wearables could assist workers in performing tasks efficiently, bringing communications to places where conventional computers or mobile devices are not practical.
Advantages of wearables at workplace
Wearable technology raises the productivity of employees, for example, it allows users receive calls, manage their emails and notifications on the move. It helps them in communicating with clients and co-workers in a hands-free manner, and help reduce their reliance on mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. For example, in the medical sector, while consultations, instead of recording descriptions like “puffy” or “inflamed,” physicians could capture such interactions in real-time with smartglasses. Another advantage of wearables at a workplace is the ability to have enhanced security with human authentication. For example, wearables can be used as a strong alternative to using pins and passwords.
Hurdles to wearables at workplace
There is no doubt about the immense potential of wearables in enterprise, but there are multiple challenges associated with the introduction of wearables in the workplace:
- Most companies do not have the right systems in place to integrate wearables.
- Incompatibility is another issue because of inconsistent standards with different groups working with wearables. A uniform standard is required to let the innumerable connected devices work parallelly, in an industry setting.
- Training and support to employees are also vital for an adoption of wearables to ensure that they are fully prepared to operate the technology. This is a big challenge considering the huge cost and limited expertise needed to educate all employees.
- The biggest concern to be addressed relates to privacy and security. A device management solution will be needed to keep track of all wearables and to ensure that they are not misused.
- The absence of policies that outlines how information gathered from wearables could be used is a potential hurdle to the introduction of wearables at a workplace.
The time may soon come when phones and tablets are a thing of the past for employees trying to enhance their productivity. Mobile devices may well be replaced by smart wearables that sit innocuously on our bodies, as inconspicuous as clothing, yet substantially more valuable to our businesses.