How wearables can improve enterprise operations


Even as the Internet of Things (IoT) gains traction, wearables are causing quite a stir amongst consumers and businesses. The all-pervasive smart phone culture coupled with innovative technology is the key factor behind the buzz created by wearables. With bands that track your fitness levels or glasses that can be used to click pictures, it’s easy to see why the consumers are excited about welcoming them in the markets. However, if used appropriately, these have the power to change the dynamics of the business.

Why are businesses excited about wearables?

Increased productivity of employees, safer work environments, and efficient workflow schedule are some of the on-going goals for any organization.  As a part of the trends for 2016, Gartner predicts that wearables have the potential to bring the organizations much closer to these goals. These can be instrumental in ironing out operational glitches and enhance customer satisfaction levels by adding layers to Big Data analytics and intelligent prediction. Furthermore, wearables are flexible and simple in the sense that they can fit seamlessly into any business model.

Let’s see the top five ways in which this can be achieved.

  1. Tracking inventory efficiently:

While GPS can work well outdoors, there’s a need to efficiently and accurately track and monitor the movement of goods within the warehouse. Wearables can empower the logistics industry by playing the role of an IPS or Indoor Positioning System.  Sensors or tags eliminate the need for manual intervention to scan and track goods. These can improve connectivity and communication while also giving the workers a hands-free experience. Firms like OHL confirm that wearables have increased the productivity levels by 25% when compared to handhelds.

  1. Providing safer work environments:

High-risk industries like the mining, construction, oil and gas are forever grappling with issues like employee health hazards and safety during work hours. Fatigue and lack of sleep can cause many a fatal accident at the work place. Wearables like Smartcap uses a combination of EEG and technology to warn the employee in real-time about his/her alertness levels.  Especially relevant for transport businesses, firms can even centrally monitor their driver fatigue levels and ensure intervention in real-time. Google Glass is being used by Boeing engineers to assemble the wiring harness efficiently, eliminating the scope for human errors.  Japan Airlines uses Google Glass in its cargo unit to create records that get reviewed in the central office.


  1. Increasing sales:

Reports predict that around 180 million wearable units would be sold in 2018. With such a deluge, it is anybody’s guess how popular these devices are going to be with consumers. Likewise, it’s a huge opportunity for businesses to blend the consumer wearables into their marketing and sales strategies. A potential customer can be easily identified and tracked in real-time. The shopping experience for a customer can be improved by creating a hands-free shopping journey using RFID and mobile payments. The companies can remain connected with their customers at all times, predict their preferences and needs, and drive sales at the right time. And, the benefits accrue in both ways. A customer representative can simply touch the wristwatch or smart glass to check data in real-time and take the necessary steps to leverage the insights.


  1. Making operations smoother:

Wearables can help in streamlining operations at various events and conferences. Getting rid of paper tickets or long queues can be a matter of great concern for event organizers. Enter RFID wearables that carry a multitude of benefits for organizers apart from eliminating the risk of ticket fraudsters. They can be used for cashless payments, thus saving up precious time that goes out in carrying out the transactions.  RFIDs have far-reaching benefits like being able to control and plan the traffic movement around the event area.


  1. Improving the health of employees:

Healthy employees mean higher productivity leading to a healthy organization. 45% employees say that they would continue to work in their current organization if it could take care of their wellness program. Wearables like Fitbit are already popular among fitness freaks. Companies like Walmart and Apple have their own wellness programs because they realize the far reaching benefits to the organization through healthier and happier employees. Through wearables, the businesses could find the right program that fits their employee model and set the basis to increase health awareness among the workforce, improve employee productivity, and create a healthy culture.


As with any advancement in technology that involves data mining, there will be concerns of privacy impingement. On the other hand, the convenience and flexibility brought in by wearable technology to the consumers and the business opportunity it presents to the enterprises makes it a worthy force to reckon with.


Have you adopted the wearable technology yet in your organization? Share your thoughts with us.

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Author : Uma Chellappa Date : 07 Mar 2016