Wearable technology may not be as ubiquitous as smartphones just yet, but it's well on its way. In November 2016, Wall Street Daily reported that this category of devices was approaching peak adoption, with a 26.1 percent year-over-year increase in wearables shipping by the second quarter of that year. But wearables aren't all fitness trackers and smart watches: This technology has many more applications that could potentially apply to businesses across numerous industries.
We asked ten entrepreneurs to share one way they're optimizing their business for the wider adoption of wearables. Check out their answers below:
Studying How Consumers Use Wearables
My company focuses on fintech and wearables have started to get a lot of attention. It is still early days, but we focus on identifying how consumers can use wearables. This involves analyzing technology and hardware mediums and making predictions. The more important thing to note is that at the end of the day, it will be the consumer who decides what wearable solutions will be successful.
– Kasey Kaplan of Urban FT Inc.
Optimizing Healthcare Apps for Wearables
As everyday/preventative healthcare trends upwards, healthcare-oriented apps should look to enable their apps for the incoming wave of wearables. They can provide surprisingly accurate health data that can be extremely useful.
– Kevin Yamazaki of Sidebench
Ensuring Company Tech Compatibility
I'm in the payment processing business and offer features for invoicing and time tracking. I want to make sure that my customers can consider using their wearable products to do things like take care of these transactions, as well as monitor their time no matter where they are. This means ensuring my technology is compatible with what is used on these wearables.
– John Rampton of Due
Increasing Focus on AI and Data Science
As wearables become even smarter, we are focusing our attention to data science. You see AI (artificial intelligence) now in Alexa, Siri, Google Now and Cortana, and wearables like the smartwatch have integrated these capabilities. Analyzing this data that comes in from users is important for businesses to predict their next move.
– Humberto Farias of Concepta
Investing in Real Estate
It's a long way out, but we envision a world where real estate information is so easy accessible that you can stand in front of a property for sale and have all the information feed into your smart devices. A simple click of your watch can have a predetermined investment amount allocated to the property in front of you.
– Nav Athwal of RealtyShares
Harnessing Human Resources Data
While it's still early days, and the only wearables associated with activity tracking have more to do with calorie consumption and counting steps, I look forward to the day when it will be possible to integrate wearables into collecting data about how our teams work well. If we can use the data to make the work environment more conducive to efficiency, we can save time (and money).
– Cody McLain of SupportNinja
Gathering IoT Data
Wearables allow a company to be omnipresent in a user's life and stay top of mind. As a company, think of the information you can gain from users (e.g. locations visited, steps taken) and how to translate that into something tangible to share back with the user (e.g. through visuals, goal tracking, notifications).
– Adelyn Zhou of TOPBOTS
Making Our Warehouse More Efficient
By using wearable technology in our warehouse we are tracking our order picking team member's travel distance to make our process more efficient. Our warehouse team members carry a device that tracks the distances and frequency of visits to areas in our shelving units. Analyzing this data allows us to arrange our inventory in a way that reduces picker fatigue and increases the per-package speed.
– Diego Orjuela of Cables & Sensors
Speaking With Customers and Employees
Wearable tech is absolutely not yet ready for mass adoption by businesses and consumers. Thirty percent of people who use a smartwatch or fitness tracker aren't using them for more than a year. Before investing significant resources in what may seem like a great idea, you'll need to test and poll your audience. In most cases (excluding health and fitness) there aren't many real world, game-changing uses.
– Andrew Saladino of Kitchen Cabinet Kings
Smartphone-Based Beacon Technology
We are testing beacon technology right now that introduces digital conveniences into our product experience. It's not wearables — it's all smartphone-based. To us, wearables are redundant. If you think about the power and size of an iPhone, it would be unlikely that a wearable would have performance that would exceed it, so why use that medium?
– Christopher Kelly of Convene