Wearable Technology: Is It Good For Business?

Since the 1980’s, we’ve had access to mobile phones to connect one person to another. Whether that be for personal use, or for business: these tools have been the forefront for people to talk to each other. In the business world, this made business go from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, to a 24 hour, worldwide enterprise. As technology has got more and more advanced over the years, we’ve been introduced to more and more ways to be connected to the internet: the linchpin to modern day business. Without the internet, we as a civilisation would be stuck in the dark ages – we just wouldn’t be able to do the things we do today.

But the question still stands: as the technology gets more and more advanced, is it an advantage or would it become a hindrance?

Apple released the first iPhone in 2007 and revolutionised the phone industry, much like the first iPod did in 2001. It allowed us to browse the internet at our own leisure wherever and whenever we wanted to, allowing us to buy products and services through apps and internet while we sat on the bus, in libraries, in coffee shops, wherever! As the market grew, more and more smartphones have entered the fray and as the technology advances, we can do more with them. As it stands, we can buy our coffee in shops using either Google Wallet or ApplePay with our phones, not with cash. But it doesn’t stop there. Along with our smartphones, we are diving into the age where technology is being linked into our day to day lives. Yes the mobile phone is irreplaceable (I couldn’t live without mine!), but the call for making our TV’s and even our boilers connected is growing. Connecting our TV to the internet using a Chromecast can allow any computer to display anything on the TV with a simple click of a button – ideal for business meetings!

But the idea of having a super computer around your wrist is a debatable one in my mind. Yes, the idea of being notified of an important email while being in a meeting without getting your phone out is extremely useful. The idea of having a watch to display all your notifications from your phone on your watch without getting your phone out and physically looking at it, and having some business apps on it will expand the business world once again. Take the Moto 360 for example , it looks like a gorgeous standalone watch, yet it performs like a smartphone when paired with one. Apple has designed one too – the AppleWatch and it is set to be released next year.

But the watches themselves run on an operating system similar to the phones themselves. So, all of the apps depend on the system itself – if there is no app, then currently, the request cannot be done. Currently, on the Google Wear App List, there is no set ‘business’ apps yet, but I can guarantee that there will be. The system all depends on whether the products take off, and if they do, the apps will be made for personal and business usage. No doubt, once the AppleWatch comes to the forefront of the public eye, there will be a massive influx of interest and call for more wearable technology.

The only drawback from the technology today is the battery life. I can’t seem to go a couple of days without charging my phone, and yet I wouldn’t say I use it constantly. If the smartwatches are the future of wearable technology, then this is an issue that needs to be addressed from all the reviews I have read about them. Having this technology is great, and in time, it will expand and revolutionise the business industry yet again. But having a sub-par battery life on these gadgets is going to make them overlooked for traditional methods: the laptop. This has an endless power system and can be taken with me. Ok, I can’t surf the internet wherever I please, but with today’s WIFI hotspots in more and more places, I can get connected to anyone and everyone, therefore making business.

So in conclusion, I can foresee the wearable technology being a big success, but only if there is a demand for them. If the AppleWatch (which will only work with Apple devices) hits the shelves running with the right system for it, it can be an instant hit, much like the iPhone. The Android smartwatches that are out now are good, but the battery life on them (from what I have read) is relatively poor: a little over 24 hours usage and you are back charging it. But the fact still remains, the apps for them are key. If there are no business apps for them, then they can hinder you as they provide a distraction from your business day to day life. But, if the app market grew alongside the sales of the smartwatches, then the future is bright for all wearables.

If there isn’t a good solid base of apps for these amazing, new and exciting wearable watches, then they will be a massive flop. Up until all the major players have released the best models in the range, with a full and extensive app library, I think I will just stick with my Fitbit Flex to count my steps.

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