Next Big Thing

A Wearable Path to Efficiency Dec 17, 2014

Every year researchers and engineers dazzle us with faster microchips and technology that we can use to increase productivity and make our lives easier. Noosphere Ventures watches closely as new apps provide opportunities and quicker download times increase connectivity. Every year technology disrupts the way we view and interact with the world, such as smartphones have put the Internet in our hands. But now new wearables are taking it back out of our hands and putting it onto our bodies.

With the barrage of new wearable gadgets, from glasses and headgear to clothing, the wearables market seems to just be starting to warm up. IDTechEx reports that the new wearable marketplace could top $70 Billion by 2024 and everyone wants a piece of the action.

Never one to miss an opportunity to innovate, Apple is ramping up for their release of the Apple Watch in early 2015 which will bring with it a whole host of new apps to satisfy the geek in all of us. But it is more than just techies that are salivating over the chance to slap an iPhone onto their wrist. Many tech companies are eager to use the insight from these new devices to passively measure and improve workflow for their employees.

As Chris Bruce reported earlier, wearables will provide many organizations with valuable data about their employee’s daily routines which they can then use to increase employee productivity, satisfaction and engagement.

Many peoples first reaction to corporate issued spyware may be reservation, but a recent report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed that 77% of respondents to their study thought that making employees more efficient and productive at work would be one of the most important benefits of wearable technology.

By combining big data analysis with this added information, organizations will be able to see how people spend their time and find ways to optimize it. This may mean a gentle reminder when you have spent too much time at the water cooler or an alarm telling you to get up and walk around the office for a bit when your body posture and biometrics indicate that you need to take a break and relax.

One of the biggest problems that many tech companies struggle with is employee engagement: helping each individual feel like they are part of a team and that they understand and are committed to accomplishing the goals of the organization. New apps to help team members engage in micro interactions throughout the day can keep everyone on the same page and act as constant reminders of the organizations goals. They can also be used to help new employees quickly integrate into a new social group and provide on the spot training and instant access to manuals.

Wearables also have the ability to directly impact employee’s health. Existing applications like Fitbit and Samsung gear put the power in employer’s hands to create health initiatives to assist employees in achieving personal goals that would also affect their workplace performance.

Because wearables can function more passively, Noosphere Ventures thinks that they have the ability to become even more ubiquitous in the workplace than most other technologies. This passive integration between technology and humanity allows for a steady, two-way flow of information that builds and expands the Noosphere, a world we are welcoming and ready to engage with!