The role of wearable technologies in enterprises

Saverio Romeo, principal analyst, Beecham Research

The recent news that the seven millionth Apple Watch has been sold raises critical questions for the smart watch community – and the wearable consumer device community more generally, writes Saverio Romeo, principal analyst at Beecham Research. Apple has shown once again that taking a multidisciplinary view of consumer products is key to transforming a nice piece of technology into a lifestyle item and that that ethos is at the heart of Apple. It is difficult to move from pure engineering to add sentiment and feelings – technology meets aesthetics – and it’s in that cross-disciplinary mix that lies Apple’s competitive advantage. 

That said, strong engineering design principles and profound technology know-how have also moved the world of wearable devices for enterprises into fascinating new territories. Over the last two years, many market sectors and individual organisations have looked at wearable devices – some of them with a mix of curiosity and scepticism and others with clear ideas on how those technologies can serve their strategic and operational objectives.

We at Beecham Research have also put a strong research emphasis on this area, the reason being that wearable devices are a key element in the wider Internet of Things (IoT) vision. If the IoT is aimed at creating intelligent and connected spaces, then it’s through wearable devices that humans will often engage with those spaces. And, as the transformative power of the IoT vision touches sectors such as logistics and manufacturing, we will see the presence of wearable devices enhance the roles of humans, their productivity, their creativity and the quality of their work.

By combining wearable devices with context-aware software solutions and Augmented Reality, it becomes possible to empower access to knowledge systems in complex contexts, optimise processes and achieve higher levels of remote collaboration. Head-up displays are already used in some manufacturing production systems to ensure the right job procedure; in collaborative product design and prototyping; in the remote assistance of distant specialised workers; and in surgical theatres to enable surgeons to access critical data without being distracted from their main activities. More immersive Virtual Reality (VR) displays too are finding applications in areas such as training and education in medical schools, industrial design schools and simulations for the emergency services.

If VR displays appear futuristic in this context, the public safety and security sector has used wearable devices for some time in the shape of wearable cameras and smart glasses.

The medical sector is experiencing a unique evolution. On the clinical device side, the development of medical devices now includes advanced solutions such as ingestibles, implantables, hearables and exoskeletons. On the consumer side, the proliferation of wellness and lifestyle devices – wristbands, smartwatches and smart sports clothing – provides users with a data-centric perception of their wellbeing. The vital data measured by these devices isn’t clinical as such in nature, but is increasingly being used in patient-GP engagements to increase patients’ awareness of their health condition and encourage them to adopt best practice lifestyles.

Those are just a few examples of what’s fast becoming a very dynamic space. Wearable technology for enterprises will continue to rapidly evolve, while also touching sectors such as agriculture. Beecham Research will soon be publishing research about the B2B world of wearable technology – business operations, public safety, and medical as shown in the map – and explore how these technologies are now becoming part of many companies’ IoT strategies.

Saverio Romeo runs research in the areas of M2M, Internet of Things, wearable technologies and smart solutions for vertical sectors. During the last six years, Saverio has focused his technology and market research on the evolution of the mobile industry, primarily looking at European mobile network operators. He has done extensive research and published in areas such as mobile healthcare, smart cities, mobile and wireless innovative services, data analytics in the mobile industry, wearable technologies, smart farming and M2M/IoT in technical and market terms.

RECENT ARTICLES

Building an intelligent IoT with edge fabric

Posted on: August 18, 2022

As the popularity of Edge technology and smart devices increases, we see that there is no bar when it comes to the quantity of data that companies can use to improve their decision-making process. Contrary to this opportunity, many organisations still limit the quality, variety, and extent of data that they can make use of

Read more

MQTT X CLI makes its debut executing MQTT operations has never been easier

Posted on: August 18, 2022

Morgan Hill, CA – EMQ, a global provider of open-source IoT data infrastructure solutions, this week announced the release of MQTT X v1.8.0 to the general public. This release carries significant improvements and strives to enable IoT developers to execute MQTT operations easily and quickly. Additionally, MQTT X v1.8.0 introduces two powerful tools aimed to

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more
IoT Newsletter

Join the IoT Now online community for FREE, to receive: Exclusive offers for entry to all the IoT events that matter, round the world

Free access to a huge selection of the latest IoT analyst reports and industry whitepapers

The latest IoT news, as it breaks, to your inbox