Wearable devices—from Google Glass computerized eyewear to Fitbit fitness-tracking wristbands—are all the rage among consumers right now. Next up: business owners.
J.P. Gownder, a business tech analyst with Forrester Research, shared his insights on business uses for wearables at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A corresponding report he released highlights the opportunities for business owners and workplaces. He explains how Bionym’s Nymi, an identity-authenticating wristband that relies on the wearer’s unique heartbeat, could be a ripe business opportunity for a high-end jewelry company that makes fashionable bracelets out of Nymis and gives them to its best customers.
Looxcie’s Vidcie head-mounted cameras could allow a cable technician to send live-streaming video of a customer’s problem to other technicians and get real-time feedback on how to solve it.
But those are just two examples. There are seemingly limitless ways that businesses can take advantage of wearables both in the workplace or in designing compelling and useful products for their customers. “Wearables 1.0 was about creating technologies; Wearables 2.0 is all about crafting rich business models,”Gownder writes, adding: “Wearables 2.0 will help enterprises provide value to their customers—a key technology benefit in the age of the customer.”
The evolution of the wearables industry will likely revolve around customization. Businesses will hire engineers and designers to build and adapt wearables to their unique needs, Gownder predicts. Instead of, say, just using Google Glass as it’s sold to consumers, a business might base its wearable on the same technology but add features specific to its own workers or customers.
“Wearables are a long-tail space,” Gownder told Wired. “It’s not like smartphones, that are one market. It’s all sorts of different sensors and solutions.”
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