While 2014 may have been declared the “year of wearables” by many technology journalists and bloggers, it is in 2015 when we will see wearables move towards mass market adoption, as well as starting to have a transformative impact on the enterprise. The potential impact on both consumers and enterprises will be profound.
On the consumer side for example, at the recent LeWeb Paris 2014 event, data was presented which suggested 45% of US and 32% of European adults were intrigued by the prospect of getting a wearable device. 42% were interested in getting a device for their wrist (and this data coming at a time when the Apple smart watch is predicted to sell anywhere between 10-25 million units in 2015).
Meanwhile in the enterprise wearables can help improve employee efficiency, communication, training, and lower barriers to decision making, as well as a range of other potential benefits. For example, in healthcare, Evena Medical’s application for Epson’s Moverio smart glasses helps nurses find blood veins. This means patients receive a faster, improved experience, as well as lowering the risk of infection.
But the real value of many of these wearable devices will come from the applications, software, and services which accompany them. Therefore in a recently published whitepaper Belatrix´s wearable experts examined the emergence of business applications targeted for wearable devices. Companies such as ClickSoftware have developed their “ShiftExpert” application which works on wearable devices to facilitate employees clocking in and out of their shifts. Meanwhile Proximity Insight developed an application which connects with in-store iBeacons to make the retail experience more efficient and personal. But creating these new applications for wearable devices creates a whole new set of challenges for developers. These challenges include:
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