Wearable technology can range from a Fitbit to an Apple Watch to Google Glass smart glasses. With an estimated worth of $51.60 billion USD by 2022, all the tech giants are getting involved. Having a presence in both the business and consumer world, the influx of wearable technology promises a more seamless and productive way of life.
Current use cases can be seen across industry sectors; construction workers use wearable technology to see inside walls and piping and retail assistants use it to get on-the-go order information. According to the Human Cloud at Work research, wearable tech in the workplace can increase productivity by 8.5% and increases employee satisfaction by 3.5%.
The head and eyewear product segment, especially smart glasses, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) glasses, is estimated to be the most popular form of wearable technology. Already we are seeing more of these types of technology filter into everyday lives. Quartz recently reported on how Walmart are taking on Amazon with a VR shopping experience: the technology would give home shoppers “The ability to browse through a virtual store, pick up merchandise, and instantly add it to a queue for home delivery.”
With this calibre of tech becoming more accessible, it makes sense for businesses to begin incorporating them in to everyday processes. In the hospitality sector, wearable technology could be a huge asset. Providing a lot of the benefits of a smartphone or tablet, a smart watch is a fifth of the size and therefore more appropriate for a customer facing role. Making communication between the kitchen and staff as simple as possible, a smart watch can notify employees when food is ready and alert them when they are needed for front of house duties – with nothing more than a glance.
Similarly, with the seamlessness of e-commerce, retailers are searching for ways to provide customers with the best in-store experience possible. Wearable technology can give sales assistants access to stock inventories, product information and allow communication with other employees. This allows shoppers to receive better customer service and have their queries answered promptly and accurately. According to Telecoms Tech News, smart glasses can be used with apps such as GoInStore to allow “Shop workers to connect to online customers, giving them the ability to demonstrate and describe all a product’s features, without requiring the customer to go to the store.”
The healthcare industry is also changing as a result of wearables. Giving doctors the power to look inside veins, and surgeons the ability to view X-rays without having to move an inch, wearable tech becoming part of the hospital uniform could have great advantages on level of care.
Connecting employees and giving them access to instant notifications results in a smoother-running business, whether it’s retail, hospitality, or any other frontline business. As well as helping the company run smoothly, they also have noticeable benefits on employee health and wellbeing. According to Talk Business “Studies have demonstrated that companies who have implemented wearable technology have experienced a drop in health care costs and fewer lost workdays due to sickness.”