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Wearables will reshape the way enterprises work

J.P. Gownder | Nov. 19, 2013
Though wearable computing receives a great deal of publicity today, relatively little has been said about the prospects for wearables in the enterprise. That's surprising, because the enterprise could be where wearables really take off.

The Bionym product achieves uniqueness by measuring heart patterns with an electrocardiogram (ECG) — a completely individual identifier that is something you are. It offers persistence because the ECG is taken via a wristband — something you have -— so that once authenticated, a worker remains authenticated, on all devices and applications, until the band is removed. Something you know comes into play when the user accesses the Bionym application on a registered device.

New forms of employee collaboration
At their best, enterprise wearables enable new usage scenarios. Some of the most interesting of these involve collaboration among employees.

Sociometric Solutions offers smart ID badges with a difference: They track employees' locations within the office and then correlate that data to track collaboration with peers. The badges also capture social signals (for example, is the employee listening to peers, or interrupting them?). Company managers receive aggregate reports on trends, and individual employees can learn how they compare to peers. For example, say that successful people in your role spend 25% of their time collaborating with the R&D department, but you only spend 10% of your time doing so. With this data, employees can work to improve their performance.

Vidcie by Looxcie employs head-mounted cameras to empower real-time video-based collaboration. For example, field services worker in manufacturing, telecommunications and other technically complex fields can stream videos of their current project and receive real-time input from peers. In the best cases, repeat visits can be avoided through this input.

Ultimately, both IT professionals and business leaders should embrace enterprise wearables as an opportunity to increase worker productivity, create loyal customer relationships and drive business process reinventions for their companies.


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