Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Enterprise wearables present tech challenges and management pitfalls

Al Sacco | July 25, 2014
Wearable technology experts share insights on the current hardware and software challenges facing the industry, as well as advice on how CIOs and IT can avoid the most common pitfalls associated with enterprise wearables.

Many of the same issues apply to smartglasses, according to Fitzgerald, who identified battery life, display brightness and power efficiency, and communications issues as the three major tech concerns for enterprise wearables.

From a hardware perspective, Fitzgerald says improvements will need to come in the form of quality, transparent display projection tech; high-power displays in small form factors, and low-power GPS and other sensors. Fitzgerald suggests that future wearable software may need to be hardware-agnostic.

"There has to be greater standardization of platforms, especially from an enterprise perspective," Fitzgerald says.

Aaron Salow, CEO of XOEye, which offers a number of different software systems for enterprise wearables, also identified the need for standardization across platforms during a "Wearables @ Work" panel. "Companies that are willing to work together will be successful," he says. "More collaboration will breed success."

Wearable Tech and Common IT Pitfalls
APX Labs' English says CIOs and IT departments need to be aware of a number of unique pitfalls when rolling out new wearable tech, specifically smartglasses.

First and foremost, there's a smaller margin of error, particular when it comes to user experience.

"Wearables raise the game for quality and experience for IT shops," English says. "A lot of them haven't been as focused on that as they need to be. Wearables require a whole new set of design requirements and user experience requirements that IT may not have exercised in the past.

The second major pitfall is trying to tackle too much too fast.

"It's easy to imagine the future. It's easy to listen to the marketing hype and imagine that you can jump into it now," English says. "It's easy to overreach, in terms of the scale of your first deployment."

The third pitfall relates to infrastructure readiness, English says: "You're going to have to harness [information or resources] that you haven't had the need access before."

Deloitte's Fitzgerald notes that, from an enterprise perspective, the value of wearables often relies on integration with legacy corporate systems.

"In some use cases, productivity gains are reliant on getting information from other corporate systems," he says. If the user has to wait, they might well as perform the task the old way, the way that they have been.

Finally, smartglasses and other wearables generally don't have keyboards for data input, instead relying on voice or other means of input, according to English.

"Legacy systems have been built to accept form based data entry by and large," English says. "The new systems you're harnessing and accessing, giving power to your deskless workers, their feedback back into the big system, is going to come in a different form."

CIOs and IT departments need to bridge the two worlds, English says, because there won't be a compelling case to rip and replace existing investments.


Previous Page  1  2  3  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.