This is an article by our Editor Helen Duval
With smartwatches, Fitbits and VR becoming as much much a part of our wardrobes as shirts, shoes and coats it is taking no time at all for wearable technology to be adapted into our lives to make them a lot more simple. It would seem that opportunities abound for the business sector too as increasingly companies are evaluating and introducing new ways to improve services and working methods via inventive smart technology. Headsets, smart tokens and the good old VR headsets all being evaluated and adapted to create a better service for customers or patients.
Looking at Apple, as a company we have seen revolution and evolution turn into a meteoric rise as regards to innovation, that most of us cannot live without today in our every day lives.
We can now dash through train stations and airports with tickets and boarding passes on our phones or for more an even simpler life, on our wrists! The battery charge on an electric BMW can be checked and charged with a quick tap on a screen.
Daily fitness nudges and our heartbeats can be included in our technological diaries with subtle buzzes pushing us as reminders that we need to move away from our desks in order to stay in peak physical fitness or to ensure our blood circulates regularly.
For those with disabilities Apple has been working hard to create gadgets and apps that will simplify life, helping people to maintain independence. Those with sight and hearing difficulties can still be part of the evolving digital world. For example, communication is everything for those with sight or hearing impairment with digital technology that has been designed to communicate specifically at the touch of a screen as it helps people to be part of the digital revolution. Take a look at
Molly Watt – such an inspiring woman who has worked with Apple on just this type of technological development. The team is so inspired by her that we will be supporting The Molly Watt Trust as one of our Champion Charities. http://www.molly-watt-trust.org/
It is not just Apple that has been progressing technologically as Android Wear has provided superb alternative options for those who use Samsung, Sony or LG smartwatches that offer similar technical features. Google Wear also is keeping pace by offering up solutions to keep us in touch with the ever-fluctuating communications cloud.
For our personal lives we can track our pulses, plan our diets, schedule meetings, protect our homes and organise health regimes with a quick scan of our wrists. One thing that flickers through my mind is the guarantees regarding security with software now so readily available and open to attack, do we have more cyber vulnerabilities?
Linking that into business it would seem that there is huge scope for growth with VR, headsets and smart tokens being incorporated into everyday business life. Email messages, meeting notifications and regular message updates that are sent directly to a gadget on your wrist will save a substantial amount of time wasting during office hours. This type of investment would appear to be extremely attractive in relation to business and business expenses with everything becoming traceable at the touch of a button.
Being completely confident with online and offline security will become so important, particularly given the cyber attacks that have occurred during the last 18th months. Can information be safely stored for individuals? How much protection is provided by encryption and passwords? Is all our highly personal and sensitive data easily accessible to hackers?
Yet wearable technology is exciting and there are numerous business sectors already that can benefit from wearable-technology investment which will be a joy to explore in future editions.
Hands-free headsets with associated display technology could be perfect for emergency crews, search-and-rescue teams or surgeons with VR headsets. Those in the field could access locations, carry out life-saving procedures, or even inspect terrain without having to actually carry a device.
Looking closer to home at the architectural and construction industries, this type of technology is already beginning to revolutionise these sectors. Creating rooms with a view is just part of the service being offered by some estate agents for example, with VR platforms being introduced to allow potential buyers the opportunity to view properties from their own homes. This takes 360 degree tours to a whole new level with the possibility of being able to walk through a house using VR headsets – an idea that has the potential to eliminate first time viewing.
It is obvious that there are many advantages to explore through wearable technology and by adopting this into our everyday lives it will make us all so much more productive. For example Tesco has used wearable technology since 2004 to track movements of staff and adapted some of its procedures accordingly.
In the future, wearable technology will become a huge factor in business development undoubtedly – it is a successful product in the making; one that provides security, health benefits and statistics that will combine well with Industry 4.0, even if that does leave a slight chill under the skin. At the moment we can all sleep safe in our beds certain that wearable technology is a prompt for you or your body to wake or move according to your own schedule – for now. It can also tell the time!