Over and above the number of connected people and connected mobile devices is the number of connected products. According to a separate report by HIS, there will be more than 8 billion Internet-connected video devices worldwide in 2017, outnumbering the projected global human population of 7.4 billion people. It is through such devices that businesses are able to connect with their customers in all new ways.
When customers opt-in, companies can then gather usage data, help improve customer experience, and solve problems as they appear. Supporting this future prediction, Gartner recently stated that by 2017, mobile users will provide personal data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day.
Finally, wearable devices and wearable-based applications are set to grow in the enterprise as they are often better suited to business than the smartphone, due to their less disruptive nature in the interactions between the businesses and customers.
Can you provide some potential applications of the wearables to illustrate its usability?
A simple example would be in the context of the tourism and hospitality industry - hospitality staff would, at a glance of their wearable device, have access to data that creates an extensive customer profile of a hotel or casino guest. This will empower them to anticipate needs and to even give customised, tailored-to-fit VIP treatment to any visitor.
The power of wearables can also provide for faster and safer service resolution, bringing about greatly improved customer service. Remote service technicians such as oil rig workers or medical device reps will be able to access live data, review plans for the equipment they are fixing and get real-time coaching from their glasses as they work. They may even share exactly what they are seeing with their colleagues in real-time, allowing further remote assistance to be rendered.
In your opinion, what do businesses need to consider before they venture into the wearables space?
In considering the adoption of wearables into the enterprise, businesses should anticipate demands in terms of data and device management. With these new smart devices, IT departments will have to be well equipped to handle a wider amount of data, stemming from pictures and videos.
With the rapid advances in technology that we are seeing every day, especially in the realm of hardware, we are confident that wearables will take to the enterprise sooner that one would expect, and that those who are forward-thinking enough to adopt it, will reap its benefits.
What is the current take-up rate for wearable technology in the US market, and how does it compare to the Asia region?
According to a 2013 study by Markets and Markets, the US accounts for more than 80 percent of the market, and is likely maintain this lead till 2018. However, the Asia Pacific market is set to grow rapidly. The APAC region has one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration and internet use in the world and it follows that wearables are set to take the market by storm.
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