Mobile technology is moving out of our pockets, purses and desks and on to our wrists and faces. The latest development in wearable technology – the Apple Watch – is only another step along a journey that began years ago, depending on one's definition. The Bluetooth headset, for example, was released back in 2000. But recently, wearable mobile devices have exploded with real applications for small businesses.
As this trend marches forward, companies that latch on now and integrate it with their activities will be ahead of the curve moving forward. Not only that, but such devices can help streamline the office and make employees' lives and customers' experiences much better.
Following the trends
According to a report from Juniper Research, wearable smart technology sales will exceed $53 billion in 2019, The Street reported. Tech companies will likely roll out wearable options in tandem with smart phones and tablets in order to push consumers to those products.
The new focus on wearables "will bring an explosion of devices into an already crowded market, as smaller companies focus on producing quality hardware without needing software expertise," the report stated.
As a result, small businesses should be aware that their consumers and their workforce will become increasingly exposed to devices like the Apple Watch and Google Glass, plus any other gadgets yet to be unveiled. Some employees may even bring their own wearables to work that they think will help them better use their time. Companies that embrace the onslaught of wearable technologies will find themselves better suited to navigate through a customer base that is always up on the latest and greatest.
Building an enhanced workforce
Wearable tech has applications both specific and broad. Certain industries may be able to take advantage of specific needs and uses, while every industry can help keep their employees more connected.
Biz Tech Magazine reported that hands-free devices can revolutionize the workplace for many individuals. Devices enabled with voice commands and camera function could enable a professional to multi-task more efficiently, doing research or collaborating with coworkers without stopping his or her workflow.
Surgeons can use Google Glass or similar devices to record surgery or even augment their view to highlight incisions or monitor vital signs. Healthcare providers can access more accurate information for their patients. Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow Airport in London unveiled a trial program in which smart glasses help the concierge to better serve VIP passengers. Offices and hotels of many varieties can use wearables to help check in clients or guests.
These uses are all possible now – but they do not take into account what may still come. Technology advances all the time and wearables are only just now gaining traction.
Biz Tech Magazine also envisioned a world of "purpose-built apps" that could be invaluable for some industries. For example, car mechanics could "[access] schematics, [scan] parts for signs of trouble and automatically [log] orders for repairs, all while under a vehicle." Construction workers and contractors might be able to view the exact tools and blueprints for a job while they build.
More and more, technologies are focused on consolidation and intuitiveness. Both of these traits apply to small business operations and could stand to offer significant work benefits as the devices become more ubiquitous, specialized and user-friendly.
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