Unobtrusive, sleek, and all-knowing: a piece of technology that has all these qualities and can be easily worn or carried sounds like something James Bond would have gotten from his gadget guru, Q. But in 2015, you don’t have to be Agent 007 to find the tech that delivers on what was once just a sci-fi and action trope. The continued growth and development of wearable technology has made these gadgets more and more powerful, and has brought them to the forefront of fitness and technology trends for the coming year.
But wearable technology has caught more than just the eye of the fitness-savvy consumer: it’s caught the eye of businesses, as well. According to Forrester Research’s Business Technographics Global Mobility Survey, 51% of business/tech decision makers consider wearable technology a moderate, high or critical priority. So how are businesses using this tech? The answers may surprise you.
Health & Safety – Wearable tech allows companies to use health and wellness data and to better tailor benefits programs, wellness initiatives and morale boosters for the workforce. This same information can provide insight into worker safety through metrics like body temperature, oxygen levels and heart rates. Ultimately, a healthier, safer workforce means higher productivity and lower costs in healthcare for a business.
Streamlined Service – Laptops, mobile phones and tablets have allowed professionals greater access to information on-the-go, but there are still great strides to be made in how businesses interact with customers. Arming customer service agents with wearable tech can give them customer information on-demand while still allowing them to interact face-to-face with the customer without a larger device providing a potential block or distraction. These devices can also serve up checklists, instructions and other data to help employees
Tracking Trends – How useful would it be to know where your employees are most needed and when? A glimpse at wearable tech data for a large retail location can offer total picture of peak times and peak locations within the store that demand customer attention. Not only can this lead to more efficient staffing, but also to a better understanding of customer behavior.
Employee Recognition – Retention and employee engagement are top concerns for many employers and managers, with recognition and reward programs playing a part in larger engagement efforts. Wearable tech topped many holiday gift guides this season, but it’s not just for the holidays—many forms of wearable tech are customizable with a company’s logo or message, and the high-tech perk has the additional benefit of encouraging employee fitness.
We’ve come a long way from little pedometers tracking a number of steps, and with wearable technology at the top of the trends list for the coming year, we’re looking forward to seeing the other ways businesses will start using this tech to make more happen for their employees and their bottom line.