"A person may wear one or more devices networked together integrated with a smartphone app. The challenge remains battery life," he says. "The service provided will not be feasible if the person will be weighed down by batteries for each device."
The potential benefits of wearable technology to businesses are obvious, according to Gary Calcott, technical marketing manager at Progress Software. It could enable forklift truck drivers to access real-time updates on stock in a warehouse, leading to a more integrated and efficient approach to managing the entire supply chain process, for example.
But he warns that if you delve deeper and look into the back-end that enables applications on wearable devices to run, you'll find that it will almost certainly be running on either a smartphone or a tablet.
"Almost all of the heavy lifting will be done by the smartphone, not the wearable device," he says. Calcott adds that the real value that a wearable device could add may well reside with third-party independent software vendors.
"The ability to design and adapt smartphone applications that are capable of greater processing power, and serve them up to an end-user who is 'wearing' one of these devices should not be underestimated," he says.
Business users will increasingly demand access to greater volumes of data on wearable devices, such as databases, designs and diagrams, and other data-intensive documents. "Put simply, Google Glass and its imminently arriving cousins will not replace smartphones for the business user. What they will instead be able to provide is the ability to work with them to enhance the experience for business end-users," says Calcott.
It looks very much that wearable technology might gain some ground if the right use cases present themselves. But these use cases are still thin on the ground at present, so mass adoption of such technology may be a long while for business until a convincing argument for it comes along.
- Now why not read 7 Google Glass apps we can't wait to use
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