Wearable tech is the next big thing, or so the likes of Google would have us believe.
In an effort to tap into a new and potentially huge revenue stream, numerous tech companies are participating in a race to create the products that they hope will become essential parts of our wardrobes for years to come, both at home and in the workplace.
Google Glass and Smart Watches
Google Glass is probably the most high profile item of wearable technology we’ve seen to date. It is basically a headset with an optical display that allows the wearer to take photos, send messages, surf the internet and many other things, all via voice commands.
Watches, too, are another focus for smart tech companies. Apple, Sony and Samsung have all either released or are developing smart watches that offer some or all of the functionality of smart phones.
Other companies are also beginning to develop smart clothing which will make the wearable tech even more discrete.
Wearable Tech - Pros and Cons
The introduction of new technology like this often divides opinion. Ever since the Luddites tried to stop the introduction of machines in the weaving industry, people have been wary of this type of change, often with justification.
Many skeptics have real concerns over issues of security and privacy, particularly with reference to Google Glass.
Others dismiss these fears and believe that we are witnessing the start of a technological revolution that will change the way we all live our lives for the better.
Hopefully, the latter argument is nearer the truth. In fact, there is some evidence emerging that wearable tech may offer significant benefits to employers.
The Human Cloud at Work Study
According to the Human Cloud at Work Study, Dr Chris Brauer from Goldsmith’s Institute of Management Studies, London University, discovered that wearable tech lead to an overall increase in employee productivity.
The three-week study involved 120 volunteers who were each given one of three wearable devices to use. These devices monitored the way the participants worked by measuring their posture (Lumo Back) brain activity (NeuroSky headset) and motion data (GeneActiv).
Once all the data had been collated, the results from the study showed an overall increase in productivity of 8.5 per cent and also increased employee job satisfaction levels which rose by 3.5 per cent.
Interestingly it seems that some of the participants, perhaps skeptical at first, were pleased to see their performances improve over the course of the three weeks and this in turn led to the increase in job satisfaction.
Commenting on the findings, Dr Brauer said:
These results show organisations and employees need now to be developing and implementing strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the workplace.”
Wearable technology is arguably the biggest trend since tablet computing so it’s natural that employees and businesses will look to use these devices in the workplace.”
Given that companies are always looking for a competitive edge, it seems likely that these findings will encourage many to heavily invest in this type of technology.
So don’t be surprised if your boss presents you with an item or two of wearable tech on a Monday morning in the coming months. Welcome to the future!