Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
7/14/2014
09:06 AM
Shane O'Neill
Shane O'Neill
Commentary
Connect Directly
Google+
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

How Wearables & IoT Will Go To Work

Join Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder and InformationWeek editors on InformationWeek Radio to discuss how wearable devices and the Internet of Things are taking hold in the workplace.

Smartphones are alive and well, but there's a next big thing coming in mobile: wearable devices combined with the Internet of Things (IoT).

It may not be immediately apparent to consumers, but this dynamic duo is on the fast track. ABI Research expects 90 million wearable devices to ship globally in 2014 and IDC recently predicted that the IoT market would reach $7.1 trillion by 2020.

One major turning point for the market may be the expected launch of an Apple "iWatch" sometime this year. Samsung and LG have set the table with new smartwatch releases (Gear Live and G Watch, respectively) and Google has chipped in with a wearables-specific version of Android called Android Wear. Of course, the company's Google Glass wearable has also stirred up loads of attention if not a widely available product just yet, but no company can awake a sleeping consumer (and developer) like Apple and all eyes will be on an iWatch release this fall.

Yet wearables won't be driven solely by consumer interest. Smartglasses, smartwatches, fitness trackers that attach to clothing, and health monitors worn on the body offer big opportunities for businesses to improve worker safety and productivity, capture and analyze important data, and create a more rewarding experience for customers.

Still, InformationWeek readers remain divided about the state of wearables and IoT, with many wondering if wearables will be truly useful and if the flood of data brought on by wearables will be properly managed and secured. But probably the most pressing concern is whether activity tracking wearables violate personal privacy.

These are some of the topics I'll cover when I talk to J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, live on InformationWeek Radio on July 15 in a segment titled Beyond Glassholes: Why Wearables Have A Place In Business.

Other points we'll discuss:

  • What types of wearables and IoT scenarios should we expect in industries like healthcare, sports, manufacturing, retail, travel, and others
  • How to address worker concerns about personal data being exposed by always-on wearable devices
  • How mobile app developers should prepare for wearables
  • Predictions for how wearable and IoT technologies will evolve over the next five years

I'll interview Gownder live on Tuesday, July 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET (11:00 a.m. PT). Please register here to listen live on our site, and bring your questions, which you can ask us via our live chat feature. You also can catch the archive version. (On the registration page, if you're already an InformationWeek.com registered member, just click the login link at the top of the form. Once registered, if the audio player doesn't appear at first, please try refreshing your browser.)

I hope you'll join us on Tuesday, July 15, for the latest edition of InformationWeek Radio.

InformationWeek's new Must Reads is a compendium of our best recent coverage of the Internet of Things. Find out the way in which an aging workforce will drive progress on the Internet of Things, why the IoT isn't as scary as some folks seem to think, how connected machines will change the supply chain, and more. (Free registration required.)

Shane O'Neill is Managing Editor for InformationWeek. Prior to joining InformationWeek, he served in various roles at CIO.com, most notably as assistant managing editor and senior writer covering Microsoft. He has also been an editor and writer at eWeek and TechTarget. ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Brian.Dean
50%
50%
Brian.Dean,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 6:28:28 PM
Re: Wearable wish list
@Shane, agreed, the ability to gain extra information from a watch will help increase its utility. I like the idea of having a heart sensor in a smart watch, since during sleep, heart rates drop by an average of 8 percent, overtime an individual will be able to determine whether they are gaining the recommended 7 hours of sleep per day. However, sleeping with a watch on would be difficult.
GAProgrammer
50%
50%
GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 4:44:22 PM
Re: Nike was smart to get out of the way
Ironically, your point about the hardware is counter to this article, which was about WORK. Wearables, with very few exceptions, are all about the consumer market. Even half of this article talked about the consumables.

Can you imagine the outcry when employers force their employees to wear these devices, all in the name of cost-reduction for the (already gov't mandated) health insurance? Who wants their every move and now their bodies and health status tracked? Forget about your credit report, it will pale in comparison to the problems that will arise if they ever develop a "health report".
GAProgrammer
50%
50%
GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
7/14/2014 | 4:40:04 PM
Re: Wearable wish list
Apparently I am Debbie Downer today....that list sounds great until you bring reality in. Do you want your car doors to unlock when you approach in a darkened garage, allowing a mugger into your backset? It only unlocks the driver door? Great, now you have to MANUALLY unlock the door everytime you have passengers.

Turning on devices as you walk around the house sound cool? Sure, till you go get a glass of water and turn off your spouse's TV program. Then you are in for a whole other level of problems!

People need to start engaging their brains and actually THINK about a subject beyond the 5-second point (which is also usually not very well thought out). The media today has only made this phenomenon even worse. To that point, I agree that there are lots of other issues that people jsut don't consider when they talk about "the future".
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 3:40:56 PM
Re: Wearable wish list
Good wish list. The reason people don't wear watches as much is because watches are boring and only do one thing: tell you the time. A smartwatch will give you at-a-glance access to all sorts of info: directions, to-do lists, incoming text messages, calendar reminders, weather reports etc. it will be a completely different experience from the conventional wristwatch, which has long overstayed its welcome if you ask me.
Laurianne
50%
50%
Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 3:31:20 PM
Re: Wearable wish list
Lorna has a point here. And there may be a lucrative new market for people with pleasant speaking voices.
D. Henschen
IW Pick
100%
0%
D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 3:15:18 PM
Nike was smart to get out of the way
The hardware game is expensive and low margin. With all these devices coming down the pike for iOS, Android and other platforms, it's pretty clear that Nike was smart to plan its exit from the wearable devices market. Better to focus on building apps for the most popular platforms.

Despite this future plan, I can report that I'm a happy Nike device owner. For four years I've been using the same Nike SportBand. It's dead simple, inexpensive and a reliable old standby. Unfortunately this model has been replaced by the Nike FuelBand (with which I have no experience). I also have a Nike+ GPS Sportwatch, but to my dismay it recently fogged up (due to sweat) and then failed. I read a bunch of Amazon customer reviews and found out this is a common complaint. Fortunely, one customer detailed how to contact Nike and send the device back.

I was pleased and surprised to learn that this two-year-old watch was still covered by the warranty. I sent the failed watch back and a new one arrived in the mail within one week. I'll be sure to wear a sweat band just above the watch so it doesn't fail again. By the time it needs to replaced a second time, I'm sure I'll have a plethora of wearables options that will be compatible with my Nike+ online running log.
dty
100%
0%
dty,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/14/2014 | 2:50:02 PM
Re: Wearable wish list
Interesting topic, not sure about where it will go. Not sure about the watch since not many even wear a watch. Remember the black calculator watches from back in the day. The glass is never going to go anywhere since being seen in public would make you a target. Plus who knows what damage is caused from experimental devices that work so close to the eye. Also noticed that s3o instruments has an IoT project for the blind and people who cannot hear. The watch thing would mean writing old code again and not much advancement, just a smaller device doing the same thing as the other. Smart locks maybe interacting with a wearable to open doors and turn on other home automation devices automatically when walking into/leaving a room or car. Privacy is a big thing and securitry is another. Devices need to be designed from these two points first. The world still cannot get this under control even today so I would stay away from health data. Devices that interact with Services agragating data to display on a device. Collapsable displays, visual projection. Device interactivity. Wearable data syncing. Plugable extendable wireless hardware modules. Automated worker task automation scheduling and reporting.
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 9:45:59 AM
Re: Wearable wish list
Audio would overcome a main problem with wristwatches -- failing eyesight in people of a certain age!
Shane M. O'Neill
50%
50%
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 9:36:50 AM
Re: Wearable wish list
I don't think an audio-only ear-based wearable is too far off. In the movie "Her" the main character has one that reads him emails, calendar reminders, weather reports etc. 
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 9:30:45 AM
Wearable wish list
Was thinking about what could drive me to buy a wearable. I'd love a tiny Bluetooth earbud that would be controllable from my phone and read me incoming texts from people I select. 
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 Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
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.