Wearables – One Size Will Not Fit All

Marc Begg, Commercial Director at Peak-Ryzex

The BIG reveal

After months of anticipation, the Apple Watch has finally arrived. Fans, critics and everyone in-between are queuing up to sing its praises or do it down. Expect the phrases epoch defining, visionary, and the emperor’s new clothes to be trotted out with equal regularity over the coming weeks.

Whether wearable technology is a success will depend on whether people become reliant on it. Twenty years ago there were plenty of people who swore that they’d never have a mobile telephone. Most people are now so reliant on them that they don’t notice that they are using them. I expect a similar response to wearables.

From a business perspective, the potential is massive, whether it’s as a watch, a pair of glasses, something sown into the fabric of our clothes, attached to the soles of our shoes or (and this is quite likely) all of the above. Having something that can provide us with information while keeping our hands free could have massive benefit in terms of efficiency in all sorts of situations.

Reliance and reliability

If wearables do become the next thing that we become reliant on, making sure that they are robust and able to perform consistently in a variety of environments is going to be increasingly important. Finding the right tool and ensuring that it interacts consistently within a firm’s IT estate will also be key but it will also add another layer of complication.

Companies will also need to keep looking at their tech policies to ensure that they are capable of keeping up with changing employee needs as well as security and regulatory concerns.

Despite the challenges, the benefits will be massive. Analysed correctly, the data that these devices provide will enhance decision making right across a company. From the board, to procurement to transport and distribution, companies will be able to make better decisions based on accurate, real time data. The efficiency gains, and as a result the impact on a company’s bottom line, will be massive.

Much of the focus for wearables has been on health and wellbeing, and that will continue as they become more widely used at a company level. There are valid concerns about personal privacy, but the benefits for a company to know when a team member is overdoing it could be considerable, particularly when they are lone, remote workers working in challenging environments.

Behind the breathless headlines, there’s little doubt that the world is changing. Wearables are already well on their way to enhancing the way that business is done. There are massive opportunities, but the trick is going to be having the right technology, the right infrastructure and the right advice.

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