The Imminent Rise Of Wearable Tech In Enterprise

InnovationMobilityWearable Tech

Keytree’s Will Powell tells TechWeekEurope why enteprise apps for wearables could be a game-changer

Wearable technologies such as smart glasses and smartwatches in the consumer arena have been met with a flat response so far. However in the enterprise space these technologies have the opportunity to provide real benefit in areas requiring speed, safety and working with large amounts of data that consumers are not typically exposed to.

For enterprise the process benefits will far outweigh the fashion factor of wearable devices. Where we once saw bring your own device (BYOD) driving mobility into enterprise, wearables can make an impact to key business operations first.

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Enterprise app developers are now rapidly expanding the possibilities of wearable technology for enterprise applications. We recently publicly demonstrated an application in this space that allows a sales manager equipped smart glasses to merely look at a product for it to overlay the latest advertising campaign and a full 3D globe of sales team data, with the added ability to interact with that data natively, using only their hands.

This is one of many examples of what is now technically possible. Devices existing out of the corporate user’s pocket (such as a smartwatches) are easily accessible with a glance and have the ability to sense and examine the user’s environment. With no need for a device to be opened or unlocked for data entry, information can be actively pushed to the user’s specific focus of attention at specified times or conditions.

Successful wearable technologies in the enterprise space will be about understanding the user’s environment to leverage the value of the wearable device to its full potential using functionality such as Augmented Reality, GPS, gyroscope or compass abilities to be relevant to the user.

Those that are adopted quickly will also focus on doing particular tasks very well. For example by improving the productivity of a warehouse item picker or service engineer which SAP, one of the largest enterprise software providers, recently released.  Adoption of wearable apps will also be rapid: where consumers require a more versatile device for different aspects of their lives, enterprises can justify the investment in the technology purely on the basis of cost savings and or productivity improvements.

Enterprises will also soon make use of virtual reality within the wearable technology domain, using the likes of the Samsung Gear VR and customer headset constructions like the Keytree Rift. The use of VR in enterprise offers a new and highly effective dimension for applications that involve data visualisation, training, product design and much more. It could also provide huge enterprise savings in that a single engineer, for instance, can virtually travel to any site across the country in seconds visualising data from the IOT connected devices with call outs reduced purely to those that are high priority.

We are currently working with partners and clients to bring a wide range of enterprise wearable applications to market. They cover everything from mobile application wearable assistant apps akin to the Apple Watch methodology to HMD applications with the likes of Vuzix hardware. We have even been working with wearable sensors such as brain wave (Muse) and muscle motion detectors (MYO).

With the technology already in place to offer tangible and impressive ROI, it won’t be long before board rooms start to see the potential value that wearable can provide to their business.

Will Powell is head of innovation at Keytree

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