Wearable technology is an up-and-coming market for both consumers and enterprises. In a recent study, 81 percent of 2,400 CIOs surveyed believe that wearable computing devices will ultimately become common workplace tools, but only 20 percent think that will happen within the next two years. With significant advances in modern technology, many more progressive companies are considering the deployment of wearable devices such as head-mounted displays in order to empower employees with hands-free work and remote collaboration.
Gartner, Inc. predicted that head-mounted displays will begin moving toward general adoption for both consumers and businesses this year. The research firm predicts 1.43 million such devices to ship in 2016 and approximately 6.31 million in 2017. According to Gartner, enterprises will be the primary customer for head-mounted display sales next year, and by 2018, 26 percent of head-mounted displays will be produced for business use. Remote workers will be key candidates for these displays and other wearable technologies to help improve productivity and efficiency. Let’s take a look at these wearable tools and how remote workers can benefit from them:
Head-Mounted Displays (HMD) - This technology will help enable hands-free work and remote collaboration among employees, contractors, and customers. The HMD devices are not limited to location and can be used for video collaboration, document sharing, visual troubleshooting and data capture among remote workers. Additional applications are being developed constantly. Remote workers will gain productivity by saving time, increasing accuracy, and staying connected no matter where they are.
Smartglasses - Smartglasses, or Smart Glasses, depending on the manufacturing name, refer to most portable see-through displays. In reality, smartglasses are simply displays like miniature computer monitors or mobile screens. With smartglasses, an engineer can share video and audio with colleagues in real time instead of having to phone someone in order to explain what he or she’s looking at. When wearing the glasses, field technicians can get immediate support when servicing clients. Or if customers wear the glasses themselves, technical support personnel can solve problems remotely. These wearable devices make it easier for people to do their jobs, especially when they are remote, improving efficiency.
Smart Helmets - Oil-rig workers use smart helmets in order to connect with land-based engineers, who can view their work remotely and relay instructions specific to the issue at hand. These helmets are sturdy and are good for outdoors and rugged locations. Workers using these helmets can collaborate hands-free, allowing them to improve efficiency and save time.
Smartwatches - Warehouse managers can capture real-time performance data to a smartwatch in order to better oversee distribution and fulfillment operations. A warehouse manager can be in a meeting and view activity on a smartwatch and be able to make a decision immediately. Instead of having to leave the meeting to go to the warehouse, the manager has the appropriate information right in front of him or her in order to make the best decision. With a smartwatch, managers can also receive emails, voice mails, text messages, and notifications giving them clarity into distribution operations. This can increase efficiency in collaboration and enhance communication.
Like so many new technologies, wearables present new opportunities and challenges. But wearables in the workplace are closer than most people think, opening up a whole new world of productivity and efficiency. Value-added resellers can help customers translate the value of wearables to their organization, making everyone more productive and profitable.
Does your company use and understand the value of wearables, especially to remote workers? Please comment below.