After Samsung has announced the release of its Galaxy Gear smartwatch, do you think wearable tech will be a fashion success or a runway flop?
The Internet is currently buzzing with the idea of smartwatches, and wearable tech in general. Google Glass is gaining hype, with a whole bunch of other smartwatches already on the market. Even Apple is rumoured to be making its own version of a smartwatch.
The new Samsung Gear will be released on 25 September in conjunction with the Galaxy Note 3, and global smartwatch shipments are anticipated to surpass five million units during 2014.
But it looks like wearable tech will not only be offering the consumer new technology, but also be offering businesses a brand new model to conduct affairs to.
Nathan Pearce, EMEA product manager at F5, offers a view on why he thinks wearable technology will be a success for both parties alike:
"The benefits that Google Glass and other wearable technology (like watches which monitor your movements and even food intake) can offer business are starting to emerge. And Google's patenting of an 'eye gaze' system, allowing the glasses to track what wearers are looking at, suggests Google itself sees the technology to be a business tool rather than a consumer product."
"Much like the first phase of BYOD, Google Glass could allow us all to work more flexibly and remotely than ever before. We'll be able to read emails while walking to work, browse the internet when making breakfast and run apps when on the bus, all with the flick of a finger. Think of a salesman on the road - he'll be able to bring up info about his customers or prospects right in front of his eyes."
Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, expands on how wearable technology will play an important role in not only consumers lives, but the advertisers too:
"Imagine someone is walking along the street and their watch, or even clothes, are interacting with advertising banners and shops they pass. Not only are they getting the latest offers, but they're also being told the weather forecast, getting email, text and social media alerts, taking images and even receiving video calls; taking the "always on" generation into hyperdrive. The opportunities are endless and have the potential to create mutual benefits for advertisers and consumers alike.
"The practical impact of all that new digital content will feed the explosion in cloud storage solutions and encourage new applications to help us then manage it all. But it's really only the start. With the ability to push alerts and message more directly into individuals' consciousness, there is great potential for this to become a business tool - reporting, scheduling communicating directly with the corporate cloud and central CRM systems. "
However, the security aspect of wearable technology, especially the BYOD concerns it will raise, is also a hot-topic that has to be raised before we dive straight in.
"App developers are racing to create new apps for Google Glass and tweak existing ones to fit the new infrastructure. But to truly maximise the opportunity presented by Google glass, context is vital," says Nathan Pearce.
"The reason we all want to try out Google Glass is for the user experience it offers. There's no point swiping the side of your Google Glasses 20 times to get to the bottom of a web page that's been designed for a PC.
"Failure to appreciate the need to get this right every single time will costs businesses money and customers...and even tiny factors can have a massive impact.
"This is where context comes in. When it comes to accessing data through wearable technology, there must be a level of intelligence that allows the delivery of the right data to the right user at the right time, quickly and securely. If users receive an iPad version of an app on their Google Glass, the user experience is ruined and the point of wearable tech is undermined. Understanding what kind of data it is, who is accessing it, from which network, and from which device is key to its secure delivery.
"Wearable tech is about serving up the right application every time, without exception. It's up to Google to make glasses cool but it's up to us to deliver the intelligence that creates the perfect user experience; that's the really cool bit."
Matthew Finnie adds "With information flowing to and from the device, it's not a huge leap to see how this could benefit continuous health monitoring, or enable our ageing population to be cared for remotely at home rather than in a care home. Wherever this development leads, one thing is for sure: it's going to mean that a hell of a lot more digital content will be looking for a home in the clouds."
Absolute® Software specialises in technology and services for the management and security of mobile computers and smartphones.