Posted by:Richard Smith January 5th, 2015

Wearables in Workplace: Where? How?

Even in the era of machines every company is looking at employee productivity and efficiency. With improvements in technology, we have seen drastic changes in the output that workers are able to deliver. Without a doubt technology is a facilitator of this reduced cost and hgh efficiency.

Businessman using smartwatch.

Wearables  are next in line. Today while still in its baby steps, wearables are changing the workplace for good. There are innumerable applications where these wearables will be of use. Here are certain segments that will see definite changes. But nobody is stopping you from innovating new places where they can be used! Indeed, remember all those sci-fi movies with the cool gadgets? Well they are close to reality now!

As a business it is very important that you provide the best possible work environment for your employees. Within this environment, employees will be able to perform their responsibilities better which in turn will benefit the organization. Also remember that employee safety is of critical importance in many high-risk situations.

Thus when you are investing millions of dollars on your human resource ROI is a must for every organization. Wearables will not only act as a facilitator of productivity and efficiency but also act as a monitor to safeguard your employees.

Well, where they can be used?

Early adopters are in the world of sports. Every year you hear about athletes  being picked up for millions of dollars making one wonder if they made the wrong career choice! But this is not a game of luck today. With advancement in sensor technology,earning those millions of dollar overnight is not that easy. It’s almost a science. Today sensors are capable of observing movement of even a single muscle in the body; hence providing sufficient reasons as to why the particular sportperson was selected. Today, sports is not just entertainment, but a thriving business as well.  After all wouldn’t you love to know how Usain Bolt is able to run so fast!

Risky work environments is the second workplace where wearables will continue to see new applications. For example, when you board a plane, in a way, your life is in the hands of the pilot. That being said, it is not uncommon that you hear a pilot was caught sleeping in his cockpit with four hundred people aboard! Thus with a wearable it is possible to monitor what the pilot is doing and in case of falling sleeping, an alarm can be set off. Every year more than 1500 deaths happen on US roads because of driver fatigue causing $12.5 billion in monetary losses. In most of these cases unintentional sleep is the culprit. Wearables which can monitor body metrics can definitely be a great way to avoid these unfortunate accidents.

The biggest benefit from Wearables is going to be for situations where employees will be risking their lives and need constant monitoring of their wellbeing. Armed forces, Law and order, Fire fighters or employees working in chemical factories, nuclear reactors, and atomic research labs will be the obvious beneficiaries. They can be used as a tracker of their moments and as a constant overseer of their health.We have already seen actual usage of Google Glass  in Buliding construction, Advanced military units with highly advanced Commmunication, Vision , Weapon control units are good examples of what is in store for Us! Adidas micoach,Nike FuelBand are good examples of Wearables for sportsmen and Fitness enthusisasts.These with advancement in innovation and technology can be used for various other purposes.

Another common problem in most work environments is that of access control in the workplace. Wearable can definitely help avoid any mishandling of data. Wearables themselves can be used as an Access card. A wrist band which will be automatically scanned when you reach your office takes care of your logging in, opens all you email, to do list, switches on AC and automatically sends a ping to restaurant for your coffee! Isn’t that amazing! Well it is going to happen!

Wearables and Enterprise IT:

The new gadgets in office are definitely a challenge to Enterprise IT. They are new, need training and maximum utilization, synchronization with the existing technology and supervision. Thus the enterprise has to prepare to this tsunami of data that they are going to create and a systematic way to analyze these data. Analysis of this massive data can give great insights about workers’ productivity and habits .This could be a scientific way to optimize the work place to maximize output.

One thing I can say for sure is that there is no limit for imagination and creativity. There are multiple avenues and limitless opportunities through which wearables can help the workplace. Is there any other sectors which will benefit from the wearables or they are just another fad? I look forward to your comments.

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