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Classifying the Applications for Wearables In the Enterprise

Written BY

Emily Friedman

May 18, 2015

As you’ve probably read in numerous articles, blog posts and reports, it seems as though the enterprise, and not consumers, is best poised to embrace and mainstream wearable technology. The bulk of the opportunity, or the greater range of form factors (device types), does appear to lie in enterprise, if only because enterprise has the power – by its scope & financial might – to drive acceptance and transformative use cases.

As we here at BrainXchange see it, there are three categories of wearables in the enterprise:

  • The first is behind the scenes, in back-end operations—imagine a warehouse in which pickers utilize smartglasses as a guiding tool, or a manufacturing plant in which wearable devices facilitate communication between operators and remote experts in the maintenance and repair of machinery (all hands-free).
  • The second category comprises employee-facing applications, including new corporate wellness programs which bank on data collected by fitness & other health-tracking devices worn by employees, as well as cases of employee monitoring and employee management via wearables.
  • The last category is consumer-facing applications—hotels issuing smartbands as both room keys and means of payment, or an airline employing smartglasses to process passengers for their flight.

In the consumer market, devices must be “one size fits all,” but wearables are not valuable as a uniform technology. This is why wearable tech is better suited to enterprise; not only are consumer wearable products as a whole not ready for “prime time” but enterprise has the ability to have existing wearable devices tailored or refined to specific business use cases or even to drive the invention of enterprise-specific wearables.

Further Reading