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Wearable Technology Part 1 Blue Paper

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Abracadabra … introducing the magical world
of wearable technology!

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Wearable Technology Part 1 Blue Paper

  1. 1. Wearable Technology Part 1 4imprint.com
  2. 2. Abracadabra … introducing the magical world of wearable technology Do you believe in magic? Most people don’t, but you might change your mind when you see what can be accomplished using wearable technology. In some ways, it is even more entertaining than a magic show, because it’s actually real and anyone can participate. For example, what if a watch could translate foreign languages on the spot, both spoken and written? Or what if you could charge your smartphone as it sits in your pocket? How about taking a picture by blinking an eye or composing a text message by drawing in the air? Would these things change your mind? These are just a sample of the activities you can do using wearable technology, and while it’s not exactly magic, it helps you do mysterious things. No one will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to be impressed—wearable technology enables you to view the world through a digital lens—both figuratively and literally. We are clearly in the midst of the wearable technology revolution—companies such as Nike®, Apple®, Samsung® and Google® are developing products to satisfy growing market demand. In fact, in 2013, spending on wearables reached 4.6 billion in global sales.1 (Yes, that’s billions, not just millions.) Some researchers claim that 2014 will be known as the year of wearable technology, and considering the speed at which new wearables are introduced, that prediction might hold true.2 As new technologies are unveiled, wearables are becoming more commonplace, leaving consumers wanting more. According to a Nielsen® survey, 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of wearable technology and 50 percent plan to purchase some type of wearable technology in the near future.3 Currently, 15 percent of the population already uses some form of wearable technology.4 Of that 15 percent, 61 percent use fitness wristbands, 45 percent use smart watches and 17 percent use wearables for mobile health tracking.5 Although a 15 percent usage rate might not seem like much, it represents nearly 36 million people, and this number is expected to reach more than 100 million as the demand grows. Clearly, wearable technology is one of the hottest and most profitable trends— gaining traction daily and infiltrating markets at an unprecedented rate. 1 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 2 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. 3 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 4 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 5 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  3. 3. This Blue Paper® is the first of a two-part series that examines the realm of wearable technology and the impact it will have on the business world. This paper explores the basics of wearables and explains how it might transform the workplace and impact certain industries. You’ll also learn about real life examples that are mind blowing yet beneficial. Finally, it will provide a list of considerations to address if you’re going to use wearables in your business. So hang on to your magical hat and wand, because this is a show you don’t want to miss. What is behind the curtain: Wearables explained The history of wearable technology actually traces back to the 1970s, when it was used to cheat casinos by counting cards. Since then it’s moved from casino to consumer, gradually changing the world as we see it. Basically, wearable technology is the concept of gadgets, worn on the body, that do everything from monitor personal body performance or help you complete activities otherwise performed on a computer or laptop. A wearable can come in the form of many things—from eye glasses, clothing, watches and more. Using a wearable, you might be able to send and receive emails or take pictures with a single command or movement. You could even wear a shirt that could save your life. Yes, you read that correctly, a Life Shirt® is a wearable technology in the form of a shirt that contains sensors to monitor vital signs and 30 other important biometric readings for the chronically ill, elderly and others who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. If you’re still not sure about what constitutes wearable technology, BBC News® created a great video that explains wearable technology and summarizes the different types of technologies available. Wearables first made a big splash in the health and fitness arenas, and you’re probably familiar with some of the early devices that tracked steps-per-day or logged miles jogged. But today’s wearables take that concept a lot farther. For example, Fitbit® not only tracks physical activity, but it also automatically tracks sleep patterns, food intake and calories consumed. In fact, some say that wearable technology will revolutionize healthcare by assisting doctors in the operating room and providing real time access to electronic health records. You’ll also see a surge in technology that enables patients to monitor their overall health by wearing potentially lifesaving devices. Today’s wearable devices track everything from heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and oxygen saturation. By 2018, it is estimated that 130 million wearable devices will be shipped to consumers.6 Keep in mind that despite the convenience and wow factor, wearable technology will not replace existing devices—they pair with them. There will still be a need 6 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  4. 4. for tablets, smartphones, laptops and computers; wearable technology works with these tools. Most wearables can be synced to an existing app or platform so you can do things like send and track email or review documents. Figure 1. shows what a typical individual might look like using multiple wearables and where they can be attached. It’s truly a fascinating world that stands on its own—magic is not required. Figure 1. Wearable technology from head to toe More than an illusion: Examples of wearable technology Wearable technology is not just an illusion, and as demand increases, companies are developing more ways to use and implement wearable technology. It’s safe to say it isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, there’s some disagreement on how much it will grow—some estimates claim there will be as many as 177 million wearable devices in use by 2018, jumping from an estimated 22 million in 2013.7 Last year, Google® introduced Google Glass®, which is the first wearable computer. With Google Glass, the user appears to be wearing simple glasses, but in reality, there’s nothing simple about them. Although they appear to be glasses, on the frame is a device that has all the characteristics of a smartphone—a processor, 16GB of storage, a Bluetooth® radio, Wi-Fi, speakers, a camera, a microphone and more. 7 “Get Ready for the Coming Wearable Evolution - in the Office.” BizTech. N.p., 28 May 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2014/05/get-ready-coming-wearable-evolution-office>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  5. 5. How does Google Glass work? There is a tiny screen about the size of your finger in front of the right eye that enables the user to view anything he or she commands. Think of it as a mini tablet in front of your eye—only it is commanded by voice, actions or through use of the frame that can be controlled using your finger. You can do things like surf the Web, check emails or take pictures and videos. In case you have a hard time picturing what the glasses look like, Figure 2. provides a visual example. Are you curious to know what you see when you are wearing them? Check out a video from ABC News® that gives you a peek into life behind Google Glass. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 2. Google Glasses Google Glass is controlled two ways: either by voice command or using a trackpad located on the right frame of the device. For example, you can tell Glass to take a picture simply by speaking aloud. Simply say “take picture” and it will. If you don’t want to use your voice, the arm of Glass is touch-sensitive—you can slide a finger to move through the interface and tap to make selections. It’s straight from science fiction, and as it gains in popularity it won’t be unusual to see people wearing them as you walk down the street. Google Glass is just the tip of the iceberg—there are many other wearable technologies that are flooding the market and are designed to make life easier and more convenient. There are some that can even magically transform reality. In fact, it would be impossible to mention all the wearable innovations in a single paper, especially considering it’s a moving target and more gadgets are introduced daily. According to ITPRO®, a technology news hub for IT professionals, consumers will soon see wearables explode in a number of areas and activities, including: • healthcare, • airports, • language translation, • extreme sports, • navigation, and • assistance for the disabled.8 8 Suleman, Khidr. “Google Glass: 10 Use Cases for Wearable Technology.” IT PRO. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 June 2014.
  6. 6. The paper already mentioned the impact of wearables to healthcare, but have you thought about the using wearable technology in airports? In February 2014, Virgin Atlantic® began a six-week trial of Google Glass at Heathrow airport. The airline provided concierge staff Glass to provide a more personalized customer experienced—Glass can assist with check-ins and provide passengers with information about their flight, weather, and suggested activities at their destination. Wearables also have the power to transform the way we translate languages. SIGMO®, for example, is a wearable technology that can be clipped to your shirt or worn on your wrist to translate 25 languages in real-time. It uses a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone and provides voiced translation services on the spot in your native tongue. It’s almost like having a translator at your side, and at an initial cost of only about $50, it’s almost more affordable than language lessons. What about using wearable technology for extreme sports? New technology can help athletes with training and gathering critical data to improve performance. By wearing a sensor-equipped headband, for example, athletes can track multiple biometrics such as temperature, heart rate and motion to improve their game. In soccer, it will become more common for athletes to wear shirts and shin guards with sensors that can track information and overall performance on the field.9 For example, the German soccer club TSG Hoffenheim is using wearable technology to improve by placing sensors in clothing and even the ball itself. In a single match, the club records 60 million positional records that can be streamed, analyzed and stored using the SAP HANA® platform, which is a data source-agnostic that allows customers to analyze large volumes of data in real time. The data is used to develop customized training plans based on the strengths and weaknesses of each player. It can even help reduce the risk of injury as it ultimately boosts levels of play. Data from sensors can be applied to individual and team movement profiles to track distances, speed averages, ball possession, player tendencies and more.10 Do you remember when the introduction of a Global Positioning System (GPS) was a big deal? Wearable technology will take the concept of GPS beyond simply providing directions and give pedestrians just-in-time navigation. It can alert those traveling by foot to upcoming crosswalks or human traffic jams as they 9 Renna, Alli. “How the Wearable Tech Industry Will Impact the Future of Sports.” SportTechie. N.p., 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.sporttechie.com/2013/10/25/how-the-wearable-tech-industry-will-impact- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved the-future-of-sports/>. 10 SAP Voice. “Wearable Technology, Spatial Analytics: Future Of Sport Is Now.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/09/26/wearable-technology-spatial-analytics- future-of-sport-is-now/>.
  7. 7. make their way to their intended destinations—it will even reroute you to a less busy route if you prefer. In shopping malls, indoor mapping will not only provide guidance, but it will help determine things like which elevator bank will get you to your floor faster because it has the ability to track the location of other elevators. Depending on how busy the registers are at a given store, it will tell you which stores to visit first to minimize wait time.11 For people with disabilities, the rise of wearable technology means greater independence. For example, through the use of wearables like Google Glass, those that don’t have use of their arms can take pictures, answer the phone or respond to texts. For the blind, wearable technology can help guide them safely to their destination by identifying potential obstacles. These types of activities were previously impossible for some of the disabled—wearable technology lets them to do more and achieve greater self-reliance.12 Get ready to take to the stage: Where wearables will be prevalent You’ll probably start seeing more wearable technology in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, real estate, and travel, and it will become common to see more wearables being used on a regular basis. Retailers might suggest that customers use wearable wristbands to get a discount on purchases or use automatic checkout. In turn, customers may want to wear wristbands and allow companies to access data that will help them find what they need in order to expedite the shopping process. This will help stores track where customers spend the most time and what products and displays caught their eye and provide customers with a more enjoyable shopping experience. Even places like Disney World® are using wearable technology. Disney recently invested $1 billion on what its calls its MyMagic® program.13 Visitors are given wearable MyMagic wristbands that provide Disney unprecedented access to data about visitors—including where they are, what they buy, and ultimately what they may do next. Families can use the wristbands to place food orders and proceed to sit anywhere in a restaurant while the food is delivered straight to the table. It’s magical—even in a large restaurant; servers know exactly what table to serve. MyMagic bands can do even more, like secure Fast Passes and open hotel room doors. Not only does it provide Disney with insights on user behavior, but it enhances the overall customer experience. 11 Davies, Chris. “Looking Glass: The Apps for Must-wear Wearables.” SlashGear. N.p., 7 June 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.slashgear.com/looking-glass-the-apps-for-must-wear-wearables-07332528/>. 12 “Wearable Technology Enables People With Disabilities.” Scioto. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www. scioto.com/wearable-technology-enables-people-with-disabilities/>. 13 Della Penna, Michael. “A Week With My Wearable – 5 Reasons Why I Love My Smart Watch.” ClickZ. N.p., 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2341226/a-week-with-my-wearable-5- reasons-why-i-love-my-smart-watch>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  8. 8. In the manufacturing world, the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) is already in full force, but experts claim that smart wristbands and “toughened” smart watches might be used to monitor dirty or dangerous environments. Wearable technology will also help production workers report problems and get real time updates on inventory in areas where it’s impossible to use a PC or tablet. It could also have a huge impact to those in real-estate. Agents that are selling homes will be able to provide real-world tours without having clients visit all properties. Sensors can even be placed on a yard sign so that when buyers get close to a house on the market, they are immediately notified with information about the property. It will make the home buying experience more efficient, saving time for both the buyer and agent. As mentioned, Virgin Atlantic is transforming the travel industry by using wearable technology to improve customer service. As soon as a passenger arrives, technology delivers personalized information about individual travelers directly to an airline representative through Glass or a smart watch, thus providing a unique customer experience. From the traveler’s perspective, weather, boarding pass reminders, gate updates, reservations and other related information required for travel could be available on your wrist, thus making traveling easier. Obviously, technology companies will see a huge surge in profits from wearable technology. Companies like Google, Microsoft® and Apple® are coming out with more types of wearables almost every day as demand and market potential increases. Technology giants stand poised to realize incredible profits that will yield millions, if not billions. If you are interested in some of the key players of wearables, take a look at the top 20 companies that will benefit from the wearable revolution. Without doubt, it’s a booming industry that doesn’t seem to be losing momentum anytime soon. Technology companies will also continue to invent new and better wearables for almost anything imaginable. Is it just a disappearing act? The corporate benefits of wearable technology A good disappearing act will hold the attention of the audience, but does the success of the show depend on it? In business-speak, although it’s fascinating, is there a business benefit to using wearable technologies? The short answer is yes—research shows that not only does wearable technology make life easier, but it can also boost productivity.14 A study conducted by The Human 14 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.”
  9. 9. Cloud at Work (HCAW) looked at the impact of wearable technologies in the workplace and found that not only do wearables improve job satisfaction by 3.5 percent, but they also improve productivity by 8.5 percent.15 The study looked at three different types of wearable technologies and in each case, wearable technology had a positive impact on productivity and satisfaction. The effort was spearheaded by Dr. Chris Brauer from the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and he concluded that “results show that organizations and employees need to be developing and implementing strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the workplace.”16 Overall, Brauer believes that wearable technology will play a major role in the competitive business environment simply because it helps employees be more effective. According to experts, there are several areas in which companies can benefit from this trend. Specifically, experts say it can help with: • tracking mileage and business expenses more accurately; • distributing business cards; • gathering biometric data; and • providing on-the-fly sales data.17 Think of how you currently track business-related mileage and business expenses; it’s a manual process that may or may not hit the mark on accuracy. But using a wearable technology or device that knows when you are travelling for business can help keep track of mileage and other expenses that could make the reimbursement process a lot easier for both the employer and the employee. Receipts for planes, trains and taxis may be a thing of the past— wearable technology can be used to track all business-related travel and quickly be turned into an invoice-ready data set. You might wonder why people are still using paper business cards, especially in the paperless age. In the near future, wearable technology can make swapping business cards a thing of the past as wearable technologies scan and record data from business cards, filing them immediately so they can be accessed whenever they are needed. Wearable technology will provide an easier, less physical way of trading business cards. 15 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.” 16 Ibid. 17 Purdy, Kevin. “4 Ways Wearable Technology May Soon Benefit Your Business.” Workintelligently. N.p., 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.workintelligent.ly/technology/trends/wearable-technology/>.
  10. 10. Wearables will also be able to provide on-the-fly data that can lead to improved sales. If a salesperson is wearing Google Glass, for example, rather than saying they’ll get back to the customer with an answer, he or she can find what is needed instantaneously. Sales teams can access a database of frequently-asked-questions or key statistics so that they never have to leave the customer at the moment when he or she is most interested in buying. This will help customer service representatives or sales associates bring in extra revenue simply by having access to information they need on the spot. Again, the ability to collect biometric data will be another corporate benefit, especially if your company is a healthcare or medical provider. Wearables can help target specific health problems rather than relying on a patient to describe how and when health problems occur. It takes the guesswork out of what’s happening and pinpoints problems using concrete data. Specifically, medical professionals will be able to diagnose patients more efficiently and quickly, thus reducing liability risk and reducing overall health care costs. If you think about it, the healthcare benefit makes perfect sense. Say for example a patient has knee pain when he or she runs. By wearing a wearable running suit, doctors can pinpoint knee pain to posture, stance or even diet. Sensors can even monitor glucose levels and food intake to see if there may be other causes to the problem. By tracking a number of factors, healthcare providers can determine exactly how, why and when knee pain is likely to occur and provide better medical care from the beginning. Forget trying to troubleshoot a diagnosis, wearable technology will tell you exactly what’s wrong and how it can be fixed. And it probably won’t stop there—wearables may even help uncover health issues you may not even know about, such as cancer or heart problems. What really goes on behind the stage: Using wearables in the office? Enough about the benefits—what is the practical application of wearables? How can you really use them in the office? Some say wearable technology will become so widespread in the workplace that organizations may soon wonder how they lived without it. According to a recent article in Forbes®, although it might take a few years before wearable technology is fully integrated, wearable smart watches, glasses, earpieces and tech-embedded waistbands could be part of the work wardrobe.18 18 “Will Wearable Technology Be The Next Office Tool?” Forbes Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/unify/2014/04/15/will-wearable-technology-be-the-next-office-tool/>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  11. 11. Currently, the demand for wearables in the business realm is increasing almost daily. In fact, in a survey that looked at the impact of wearable technology on adults 18 and over, found that 61 percent self-described technology geeks said they would buy and wear a smart watch and 56 percent would do the same with smart glasses.19 Even more surprising, 37 percent of those that claimed to be less technically savvy were also interested in smart watches, while 35 percent were interested in smart glasses.20 In the future, perhaps you will hold virtual meetings using augmented reality to make it seem like everyone is in the same room. It might sound a bit sci-fi, but in reality, the possibility is almost here. Improved live data and video sharing technologies will also enable multiple groups to tackle problems and spread the workload. Once again, as seen with the advent of mobile devices, improvements to social collaboration will change how the business world operates—increasing connectivity and access. While you probably won’t see colleagues developing elaborate spreadsheets using smart watches, it might be common to check a document on a smart watch while you are on the phone with either a customer or colleague. How else might you use wearables in practical settings? Google Glass, for example, will let users execute complicated tasks like locating GPS-enabled smartphones, deleting files and dictating emails. Simple voice commands and hand gestures can help employees execute basic activities to increase efficiency. You won’t have to boot up a computer to access what you need, it will literally be somewhere on your person when you need it. Some also believe wearables have the ability to change day-to-day life in the office, much like smartphones and tablets did. Today, almost anything can be connected to the Internet. With the trend of ever-smaller and more portable devices, wearables could be the next big thing to change businesses. Magic is in the eye of the beholder: Why some companies avoid wearables Some organizations still believe that the benefit of wearables is only an illusion or a bad card trick—and that any potential benefits are outweighed by cost and risk. Indeed, only 6 percent of businesses are using wearable technology with staff.21 It could be due to a combination of factors—with expense as one of 19 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 20 Ibid. 21 Miller, Michael. “Wearable Tech Business Revolution.” BBC News. N.p., 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved <http://www.bbc.com/news/business-23579404>.
  12. 12. them. Wearable technology doesn’t come cheap because it’s still a relatively new phenomenon. Google Glass currently costs about $1,500, pricing many potential users out of the market. According to research from the U.S cloud technology company Rackspace®, 72 percent of users said they wish wearables were less expensive. 22 Moreover, companies might not adopt wearables simply because they don’t know how or what is available in the market. There are other reasons why companies are not using wearable technology. For starters, some say it’s less versatile than traditional technologies and smartphones. For example, even if you’re notified of incoming emails, you probably won’t want to compose or send an email using a wearable watch. Certain things, like making a phone call, will still be easier on other platforms. Also, interfaces with wearable technologies tend to be small and some consumers are turned off by this fact. It makes doing things like surfing the Web difficult and cumbersome, so chances are consumers will continue to use iPads and laptops for this purpose. On the flip side, some wearables can be too big, and users don’t want to walk around wearing a gadget the size of a smartphone. They also don’t want to look geeky, which is a common complaint with Google Glass. Keep in mind that not all wearables are widely accepted, and this can be another reason why companies are not using them. Wearable technology is not necessarily understood by the masses; until it becomes more prevalent, early adopters might be viewed as outcasts. Genuine privacy concerns are also an issue, since no one will really know if they are being photographed or recorded without consent. In addition, some companies are even skeptical of the value wearable technology brings to the market and shy away from using it. Overall, privacy is a huge concern and will be addressed in detail with part two of the series. Wave the magic wand … it’s time for the show! How to prepare for wearable technology A good magician is prepared for anything, and you might want to do the same when it comes to wearable technology. It’s a good idea to start preparing for wearable technology in case your organization or employees start using it. Information technology professionals are already concerned about how networks will cope with consumer-driven wearable gadgets if wearable technology becomes as commonplace as an iPhone®. It won’t be easy, and technology leaders say that implementing wearable devices across the organization will make the 22 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 77438>.
  13. 13. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation seem like child’s play. You might recall a previous Blue Paper on BYOD Trends that you might want to revisit to obtain key pointers that can help with wearable implementation. Overall, those that tackled the challenges of BYOD will find they are at a huge advantage and may be able to leverage some of the policies and security issues already addressed with BYOD. Part two of this series dives into detail and covers everything that needs to be considered when adopting wearable technology, and how functions like human resources (HR) will have to adapt. You’ll also find tips on how to establish and enforce guidelines and usage policies. But for now, there are three simple ways to get ahead of the wearable technology revolution. First, according to Forbes®, companies should start designing explicitly for wearable devices. If you recall, it took a while for companies to understand what it meant to design for mobile instead of a traditional mouse and laptop experience. The same will hold true with wearables—companies will need to modify how they think and design to accommodate wearable technologies. Just like you couldn’t leverage a traditional website for mobile devices, you’ll need to develop new ways to serve up business content. Wearables will have a new set of practices, challenges and constraints. According to Bill Briggs, chief technology officer at Deloitte Consulting®, wearables will require a significant shift in thinking. Briggs notes that “we can learn from the transition from desktop to Web, and Web to mobile, to accelerate the process, but ultimately companies need to learn a completely new paradigm.”23 In order to be prepared for the wearable revolution, experts suggest that companies should move forward instead of waiting for standardization. It will be quite some time before standards are developed around technologies, and wearables present a snooze or lose opportunity. It’s not a good idea to wait for the market to settle, especially if you want to gain a competitive advantage. Finally, to make sure you aren’t blindsided by the wearable storm, companies should be open about privacy and security. Privacy and security are the two most common concerns surrounding wearable technology and organizations should be fully transparent on what is being done to protect employee information. Likewise, the security and privacy concerns of the organization should be considered. Since you won’t necessarily be able to tell when someone is taking a photo or recording events there must be stringent rules as to when and how employees can use wearable technology in the office. 23 CenturyLink Voice. “Three Ways To Get Ahead In The Wearable Tech Race.” Forbes Magazine, 22 May 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2014/05/22/three-ways-to-get-ahead-in-the-wearable- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved tech-race/>.
  14. 14. The list below provides other tips to consider when implementing wearable technology: • Prepare for an increased data flow. Many gadgets will access networks via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and could slow down the network. For this reason, just as you did with mobile devices, you need to make sure that networks are able to handle capacity and security issues. • Create usage policies. Some say it’s only a matter of time before businesses are forced to embrace wearable technology, so address clear policies early on, outlining the parameters of bringing wearables into the workplace and connecting to the network. • Review security. This point bears repeating; wearables will impact the IT network and require access and endpoint security. Nowadays an employee may have only a few devices accessing the network, but this number could jump to as much as 15 to 20 per employee in the upcoming years.24 From a security standpoint, the ability to establish oversight and data management that infiltrates the existing network will be the biggest challenge. Determining what devices can access the network or what information being transmitted is critical. And don’t forget that the surge of different devices seeking access will leave networks vulnerable to malicious attacks in the form of viruses and other cyber threats. How about a round of applause for the magician? Now that you’re well versed in the magic of wearable technology, it’s time to consider whether or not your organization will be leading edge and take the show on the road. Even if you’re not completely ready, since the wearable trend is not slowing down, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you will prepare. If you have a bit of stage fright, the second part of this series is a must-read. It will examine implications of wearable technology, particularly what it means to the workplace and human resources (HR). It will also give HR professionals tips on how to establish and enforce guidelines and usage policies. So, stay tuned, because the show is not necessarily over—there’s an encore to learn even more. 4imprint serves more than 100,000 businesses with innovative promotional items throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Its product offerings include giveaways, business gifts, personalized gifts, embroidered apparel, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it Notes, custom calendars, and many other promotional items. For additional information, log on to www.4imprint.com. 24 “The Effect of Wearable Technology on the Corporate Network in 2014.” TechRadar. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/future-tech/the-effect-of-wearable-technology-on-the- © 2012 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved corporate-network-in-2014-1207314#null>.

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