As with any technological advances, there are going to be some setbacks along the way. For wearable technology, Google’s Glass is a prime example. Whether it was too expensive, too awkward or introduced too early, the tech-savvy giant had to go back to the drawing board with Glass and now is hoping its 2.0 version will be more widely accepted. However, another wearable technology is catching on quicker, including in the workforce. The following industries are leading the way to show how wearable tech is changing the workplace:
Not every wearable tech device has suffered the same fate as Google Glass. One of the most popular wearable gadgets right now is the smartwatch. For example, the Samsung Gear S has immersed itself into the fitness industry. With 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, this reinvented watch can do everything a smartphone does, including sending and receiving text messages and calls, using apps for navigation and tracking workouts.
The beauty of a wearable device like the Samsung Gear S is that its enhanced S voice-activated feature lets you complete tasks hands-free. This makes it valuable to those enjoying a Sunday bicycle ride or a run on the treadmill because they don’t have to stop and or be interrupted. The same goes for employees; in fact, research from Goldsmiths, University of London has shown that wearable technology can increase workplace productivity by as much as 8.5 percent.
Wearable tech has already made a splash in the sports industry with the GoPro wearable video camera. A Chinese shoe company also is rolling out some bold new tech. Li-Ning is teaming up with mobile giant Xiaomi to create a smartshoe, which NBA superstar Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat has already sponsored. Fitted with microchips, these smartshoes gather data that can be ported to other mobile devices.
Although these are some exciting advances in wearable tech, it has the potential to go much further. Imagine being able to see exactly what NBA superstar LeBron James sees when he goes to the basket for a thunderous dunk or what NFL quarterback Peyton Manning sees when he delivers a pass to an open receiver. Perhaps wearable technology can assist referees and umpires with replays right on the field. Anything is possible.
Wearable tech has been breaking new ground in many other fields as well. Here are just a few examples:
- Medical: A wearable device is in a trial stage in Australia to locate veins underneath a patient’s skin by using near-infrared technology.
- Retail: PayPal has launched a new app for Samsung Gear 2 where retail employees need only to push a button to accept payments.
- Police: Body cameras are already a growing trend in military and police forces to help rectify or solidify reasons for procedures in cases where there are accusations of mistreatment of suspects. One police department in California using wearable cameras was able to cut down the number of complaints filed by 88 percent in a 12-month period.