Come to think about it: the wearable technology that we are surrounded by today, is it a consumer fad or a strategic business phenomenon? The rising buzz around Google Glass, Apple smartwatch and various fitness tracking devices, have made consumers extensively aware of the burgeoning technology. With a majority of consumers incorporating wearables into their daily lives.
But, this is not all. There are much bigger, larger opportunities for deploying wearable technologies. There are, in fact, business cases with enterprises which could save billions of dollars, specifically for targeted industries and certain types of workers.
To start with, these wearables, if deployed strategically, have immense capacity to boost employee efficiency by providing real-time data access while freeing the hands to hold tools or equipment.
Such wearable displays have the ability to enable a powerful new level of video collaboration, for example, by connecting field workers with more experienced colleagues, who are able to see exactly what the field worker is seeing, sitting hundreds of miles away in a controlled environment.
And, these wearables make it faster and easier for enterprises to take rapid, well-thought business decisions. With wearables, data can be accessed in real-time, all the while coming up with solutions then and there. By this compression of time between intention and action to literally seconds, productivity and cost-efficiency can sky-rocket for a company.
However, enterprises need to be vigilant with the trade-offs that come with wearables and develop strategies to address those. One such consideration is ‘Screen real estate’.
There are a few tasks that are better suited for desktops with large screens; while others for wearables with tiny screens that provide instant notifications, contextual information and unmatched portability.
In order to gain maximum benefit out of these investments, many businesses will have to bloat the wireless networks ensuring Wi-Fi connectivity for remote workers. Companies also need to pacify the privacy concerns of employees about being monitored constantly.
To sum it up, these are minor obstacles in a major new wave of mobility, a wave showcasing that wearables are disruptive, transformative and here to stay. In order to succeed among the tough competition, enterprises have begun testing the most promising use cases and determining which type of wearable work best for each situation arising on their check and premises.
Choosing the right Wearable device for the job
Immersive: Taking a feather out of Epson’s cap, their smartglass Moverio, is one great example of an immersive, truly augmented reality display with a fuller visual field. Such displays are highly suited for manufacturing plant or shop floor environments, or for industries where the workers have to identify parts or follow step-by-step instructions.
Wrist-worn: One such example of wrist-worn gear is the Samsung Galaxy Gear. Since these Smartwatches are strapped on and thus are harder to lose and less fragile than with a tablet, they are easy to carry around and work with. Additionally notifications are easier to spot than with a smartphone, which is usually stashed in a purse or back pocket.
Monocular: A great example of Monocular display is Google Glass. It provides an at-a-glance information in the upper right-hand part of a wearer’s ‘field of view’. One simply needs to tap the bezel and speak simple commands. Workers can use Google Glass to search the Internet, take pictures, get directions, send a message, make a voice call and record a note, all in real-time.
In order to interact and manage with everyday manufacturing, field workers and factory operators need to touch and feel the product. But in cases where speculation is needed, instead of imagining or visualizing things on screen, AR/VR has brought three dimensional figures right on the table for workers to become more immersive with their on-paper product.