Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
1/28/2014
11:00 AM
J.P. Gownder
J.P. Gownder
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail

7 Ways Wearables Will Go To Work

Smartwatches, smartglasses, smart ID badges, and activity trackers will all find a home in the enterprise and change how we do our jobs.

The FitLinxx Pebble activity tracker
The FitLinxx Pebble activity tracker

Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 11:49:54 AM
Wearables -- Not All Rosy
J.P. presents many of the potential upsides of wearbles, but it's not all rosy. Track my footsteps around an office to measure collaboration? Good leaders model and inpsire collaboration.

Re the Disney item: Chris Murphy and I both wrote last year about the potential downsides of Disney's Magic Band plans. Personally, I expect they will use this to further segment guests' experiences based on how much you pay.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/28/2014 | 12:17:04 PM
Re: Wearables -- Not All Rosy
There's certainly a lot of potential for abuse with wearables, just like there has been with smartphones though - I wonder whether the average consumer would consider the recent privacy invasion revelations as overshadowing the benefits of increased connectivity?
GAProgrammer
50%
50%
GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Strategist
1/28/2014 | 1:27:19 PM
Really?
"Smartglasses allow them to use their hands to lift boxes and packages while gaining access to location data such as where to place the box within a large warehouse, or navigation data for delivering a package."

Really?

Warehouses are already organized and people know where they are putting a package. They can already navigate large warehouses because of - wait for it! - signs, labels, maps and training. You know, using their brains?!

Every article written about wearables (the latest fodder for tech journalists) is about two things - making people lazy and keeping them from doing any thinking, much less critical thinking OR about tracking so much metadata about individuals that it makes Big Brother look like a an idiot.

This is just another article hyping ideas, 90% of which will never happen due to human nature or legislation. I agree we have to dream and think out of the box, but ideas have to be grounded in reality or, like most tech trends, they never reach the goals set out by the dreamers.
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 4:50:24 PM
The problem with wearables
The problem with wearables is that the data seems to be intended to benefit the service provider rather than the wearer. Take location data. I generally know where I am. And when that's the case, location data is mainly meaningful for someone else. That isn't really a compelling value proposition.
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/28/2014 | 10:31:09 PM
Re: The problem with wearables
I agree with Tom Claburn...and if I had the sense my employer was tracking my every move, I'd be pretty hesitant about working there.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
1/29/2014 | 7:13:34 AM
Re: The problem with wearables
I'd get onboard with that philosophy. I'd find it very difficult to accept a position at any company that wanted to keep so close an eye on me - it doesn't exactly inspire confidence. 
WKash
50%
50%
WKash,
User Rank: Author
1/29/2014 | 9:20:42 AM
Re: The problem with wearables
On the flip side, look at the Go-Pro crowd and you can see a motivation for where people are willing to wear tech to capture what's important to them. So I think the trick for employers is, if it helps the employee, give them the opportunity to experiment w/out a lot of strings attached.  If it only helps the employer, the motivation wont' be there.

 
Susan Fourtané
IW Pick
100%
0%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2014 | 4:13:07 AM
Re: Really?
GAProgrammer, 

"Every article written about wearables (the latest fodder for tech journalists) is about two things - making people lazy and keeping them from doing any thinking, much less critical thinking OR about tracking so much metadata about individuals that it makes Big Brother look like a an idiot."

Are you sure you are blaming the right people for making people lazy and keeping them for doing their own thinking? This article is only reporting on what is already in use, or the wearables that could be in use at some point. 

Reporting about something doesn't mean telling people to be lazy, or keeping them from doing critical thinking. That depends solely on people. You don't have to do, or wear everything other people write about, do you? You can use your rational thinking to know what is good for, or what is not. 

I don't think tech journalists are the people to blame here. 

-Susan
SaneIT
50%
50%
SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
1/30/2014 | 9:04:54 AM
Where I would use wearables
"4. Wearables will revolutionize warehousing and logistics.
Hands-free technologies particularly benefit employees working in warehouses or in logistics positions. Smartglasses allow them to use their hands to lift boxes and packages while gaining access to location data such as where to place the box within a large warehouse, or navigation data for delivering a package."

 

This is something I've been thinking about a lot over the past couple of years.  I know that if I suggested a Google glass like wearable for some warehouse employees there would be talks of spying and micro managing them but if it could be activated with simple voice commands or eye movements this could help greatly for order fulfillment, scanning and taking inventory. It would also cut down on broken hardware since things like barcode scanners get worked hard, banged around and left in odd places.  The glasses would be much less likely to die due to a fall and wouldn't be likely to be placed on the back of a fork truck. 
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Building A Mobile Business Mindset
Among 688 respondents, 46% have deployed mobile apps, with an additional 24% planning to in the next year. Soon all apps will look like mobile apps – and it's past time for those with no plans to get cracking.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 27, 2014
Who wins in cloud price wars? Short answer: not IT. Enterprises don't want bare-bones IaaS. Providers must focus on support, not undercutting rivals.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Howard Marks talks about steps to take in choosing the right cloud storage solutions for your IT problems
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.