Beyond the hype: Wearables in the workplace
Don’t let the hype around wearable technology obscure your view of just how much of a revolutionary force this is – it’s important to understand just how disruptive wearables are turning out to be, especially when it comes to changing the lives of field workers – from delivery drivers, security guards and police officers to washing machine repair personnel.
Too much volume? A year ago, I set up an ‘as it happens’ Google News alert for the phrase ‘wearable technology’ but recently needed to change this to a once-a-day roll-up, since the frequency of alerts was in danger of overwhelming my mailbox.
Sick of waiting at home for that service engineer to arrive? In future you’ll be able to track their progress on their route to your door – via your smartphone, thanks to an overlay for Google Maps. And wearables will make package delivery tracking even more precise, since wearable sensors – connected to the Internet of Things – will provide point-by-point updates as your package wends it way round the world into your hands.
By acting now to embrace wearables for the workplace, enterprises have the chance to be a first mover in the market – and can enjoy a Unique Sales Proposition. With its paid product Google Maps Coordinate, Google is already providing “a workforce management tool that improves the efficiency of mobile teams”. Add location-based data from field workers and you have the opportunity to further extend the ability to optimize service delivery. It’s either a Brave New World or the end of privacy as we know it – depending on your perspective, and whether you’re a “tethered” or “non-tethered” employee.
I’ll be discussing these issues – and exploring both the positive and negative implications for service desks – next month at a conference organized by the Service Desk Institute. The SDI positions itself as the leading professional body for everyone working in the IT service and support industry, and many of these people will be getting together in Birmingham, UK next month at the SDI Conference 2014.
If you’re interested in learning more, join my session Beyond the hype – Wearables in the workplace on Wednesday June 18 – the event agenda is here.