Power On Your Wrist

The industry is set to double by 2021, according to IDC, with smartwatch shipments alone soaring from 71.4 million units in 2017 to 161 million units in 2021.

It’s easy to dismiss wearables as merely a trend. However, businesses can’t risk ignoring how wearable technology is disrupting industries.

There are many compelling applications for wearable devices, with the potential to touch every industry, from retail to government and healthcare.

Moreover, as technology advances, wearables will predictably become a superior communication tool, potentially replacing smartphones.

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“Opportunities exist for developers and channel partners to provide the apps, services, and distribution that will support the growing abundance of wearables. From a deployment perspective, the commercial segment stands to benefit as wearables enable productivity, lower costs, and increase ROI in the long term.”

Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, IDC

Enterprise Wearables

While fitness trackers are exciting, the enterprise and business aspect of wearables is probably even more so. The latest forecasts predict the enterprise wearables market will top $60 billion in revenues by 2020.

And it’s not just about extending existing mobile applications to iWatch. Employers in many verticals are already testing and deploying many wearable applications.

Doctors and nurses are using smart eyewear to access patients’ medical records. Oil rig workers use smart helmets to connect with land-based experts. Warehouse managers capture real-time performance data on their smartwatch to better manage operations.

Among other benefits, wearables improve productivity and decision-making by delivering information to workers without causing an interruption in their tasks.

However, the most important aspect of this new technology category is using it to transform and support the business in ways not available before.

“The wearables transformation isn’t about transferring the same information from a laptop or smartphone to a smartwatch or eyeglass display. It’s about finding ways to use wearables to ‘augment, enhance and amplify’ business processes.”

Bill Briggs, CTO at Deloitte Consulting

What Are Wearables?

On a broad scale, wearables are part of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) technology shift where connected devices communicate with each other.
The most popular ones are smartwatches and fitness bands, but the ecosystem is much larger, creating immense opportunities for consumers and organizations looking to enhance their business processes and improve their bottom line.
Smartwatches

Combined with sensors, smartwatches not only take over many smartphone features but also provide a way of solving problems or delivering benefits that cannot be done any other way.

Fitness Trackers

VR/AR sets, like Oculus Rift, are a standalone category with limitless potential use cases in basically every industry.

Head-Mounted Displays

VR/AR sets, like Oculus Rift, are a standalone category with limitless potential use cases in basically every industry.

Smart Clothing

A broad category with many possible use cases. Most likely, fitness trackers will merge into the smart clothing category.

Smart Jewellery

These are fashion accessories. The most common use case is to discreetly notify the user of texts, calls or emails when their phone is out of reach.

Implants

These are devices surgically attached somewhere under the skin. This might be for medical reasons, like insulin pumps, or for contraception.

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