November 22, 2013

Wearable tech in the workplace?

Written By Martin Sandhu

Company mobiles are now smartphones and tablets replace laptops for presentations and work when employees are on the road. They have allowed businesses to be more flexible, but they’ve also extended the working day for many leading to the current ‘always on’ culture.

The app industry has in no small part helped to ingrain mobile technology in the workplace. Anywhere email access, productivity apps and bespoke business apps have made working possible from pretty much anywhere. But will wearable tech have the same impact?

The current state of wearable tech is very-consumer focused, with fitness bands leading the way. Health and fitness is a key target for wearable tech, proving to be a particularly fruitful one too. There are already a few cases of employers giving their staff fitness bands as part of an employee care package, but there is little opportunity for such technology to filter further into the workplace. However, research shows that already 6% of employers are providing wearable devices to workers and a third of employees say they would use wearable devices if offered to them by employers.

Google Glass is the talk of the Internet and it’s technology like this that could be the next big thing for businesses. Whilst it’s not likely to happen overnight, uptake of wearable technology in the workplace is inevitable, particularly when it can be used for a variety of different tasks.

Facial recognition technology could be useful as a security feature or simply in meetings when you can’t recall someone’s name! And the ability to translate languages ‘in front of your eyes’ could prove essential to multi-national businesses, reducing the need for translators and lessening issues caused by communication breakdowns.

The technology also offers huge opportunities for businesses to gain greater understanding of their customers, allowing them to offering a more tailored and personalised service.