Wearable technology has become one of the most talked about topics in the tech world. Its potential and accessibility is displayed in most popular form via Google (News - Alert) Glass, Google's wearable head-mounted display that offers hands-free communication and computing. Ever since Glass’ prototype was revealed several years ago, tech companies have wondered just how lucrative the future of wearable tech is.
Deciding whether your company should develop wearable tech will involve some uncertainty, as the niche is just recently emerging. There are several arguments both for and against companies developing wearable tech now:
The future success of wearable technology seems imminent at some point, but the most oft-asked question is: when will wearable tech become a typical daily sight, as smart phones are today? Google Glass is still in beta, with the majority of the public still having tried the wearable tech. Also, some users of Glass have experienced nausea while using it, so mainstream acceptance is still very much in question for several reasons.
Regardless, several reports suggest optimism over the future of wearable tech. Juniper Research (News - Alert) projected the growth of the wearable tech market to rise from $1.5 billion by the end of 2014 to $19 billion by 2018. This projection seems to assume that privacy concerns will be alleviated, but it still shows the lofty potential of the wearable tech market.
Another reason to be wary of implementing wearable tech is the privacy concerns it can cause. Glass is capable of taking photos and video at crisp 720p HD quality. Unlike a phone or video camera, the act of recording is not nearly as obvious. Naturally, these can inspire privacy concerns, especially among those who detest having their picture taken without permission. Privacy concerns like these remain some of the largest obstacles in the pathway of wearable tech to become everyday staples.
Regardless of your company’s size, it’s highly unlikely they have the ability to compete with Google in the wearable tech vein. Constructing an elaborate wearable tech like Glass seems out of the question, but there are still some savvy wearable tech that companies can give a go. Smart watches and clothing doubling as phones/electronic gadgets are a few ideas that can attract an audience to your company, without competing directly with a giant like Google.
All This Aside, The Benefits Are Aplenty
While there are several reasons to be cautious of the wearable tech market, primarily because of privacy concerns and competition, businesses still have plenty of incentives to invest in their own wearable tech. Some ways wearable tech can increase the productivity and success of a business include:
- Wearable tech that identifies a specific customer based on the tech they’re wearing, effectively preparing employers for that customers’ specific needs or inquiries before the customer even speaks to them.
- Unparalleled customer support and team communication. Easier access to live data and collaboration will provide a more seamless work experience for employees of all types, from rehab drug abuse employees evaluating patient data to tech support having access to more detailed information.
- Clever marketing opportunities that take advantage of wearable tech’s portable interface. Detection of nearby consumers can accommodate targeted advertising and result in more leads.
- Wearable tech has the potential to replace conventional forms of data sharing. For example, a small smart watch can have the potential to display a spreadsheet presentation to an entire room of people, something that would previously require use of a bulky laptop.
Wearable tech has plenty of daunting prospects, from privacy concerns to goliath competition, but the potential benefits for considering wearable tech for your company are vast. From improved communication to highly targeted digital advertising, wearable tech has the potential to elevate forward-thinking companies throughout the next decade, as long as they anticipate some bumps in the road as the public grows more accepting of the technology.
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