How B2B Wearables Could Transform the Workplace
In the past, smartphones were viewed as consumer-oriented products, and businesses issued their employees dedicated B2B mobile devices to help boost productivity and effectiveness. However, as smartphones and B2B apps grew more sophisticated, companies gradually adopted bring your own device (BYOD) policy, encouraging employees to use their own personal smartphones at work to perform business functions.
Unlike smartphones, we believe wearable technology will see much faster adoption in the B2B space, as wearables offer something that businesses have wanted for years from their mobile devices: at-a-glance access to actionable data and greater hands-free functionality.
A recent white paper published by IDG and Samsung Business, titled, Wearables Make Their Move to the Enterprise, highlights a wide range of prospective B2B use cases for wearable technology — from the ability to connect hands-free with e-mail, calendars and contacts, to more purpose-built productivity applications for training, collaboration and real-time notifications.
Demand for such technology has been growing. In a recent PwC survey, 77% of respondents saw benefits in wearable devices for boosting efficiency and productivity at work; and 70% of participants fully expect their employers to permit the use of wearable technology at work.
How will we meet this demand?
According to the latest IDC ConsumerScape 360 survey, Samsung Electronics is one of the most trusted wearable brands in the market. And, by leveraging our growing portfolio that includes the Gear S, Gear Circle, Gear Fit and Gear VR, we are actively working towards realizing the promise of wearable technology in the B2B space, integrating wearable technology with products, solutions and services targeted to the needs of specific vertical markets, including health care, education, financial services, retail/hospitality, logistics and transportation and government.
Although wearable technology is still in its early stages, we see tremendous potential. Here are just a few hypothetical examples that could employ a wide array of Samsung products and solutions:
- Hotel staff could use wearable technology to manually adjust a room’s smart thermostat, and send a list of local attractions to a networked printer. Meanwhile, kitchen staff could use their smart wearable devices to connect with smart refrigerators and see at a glance a full inventory of available ingredients.
- High school teachers could use wearable technology to remotely power up and control audio visual equipment in a classroom or auditorium, and select a pre-programmed lighting configuration for a presentation. Learning also goes beyond classrooms: with technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality, wearable tech can take field trips to a new dimension.
- Sales people in retail outlets could use wearable devices to connect with and control digital signage, enabling them to instantly switch and update promotional displays or call up store maps or images of specific products in inventory at the request of a customer.
- Nurses and caretakers can leverage vital sensors in wearables worn by patients, in order to monitor a patient’s vital condition, medical treatments, exercise programs, location in hospitals and any emergency situations. Patients can also be notified via messages about when doctors are on their way for appointments and check-ups.
- Logistics workers – many of whom already use Samsung wearable devices to help them conduct inventory, sort packages, and update shipping information – could someday also use wearables to unlock secured doors to allow access for deliveries, interact with automated storage/retrieval systems and adjust temperature and airflow in a smart storage environment.
There are certainly many potential, promising applications of wearable technology in the B2B space. The above examples are just the tip of the ice berg. By bringing wearable technology into the B2B space, those of us at Samsung hope to introduce a new generation of B2B products, services and solutions that will take productivity and efficiency to a whole new level.
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