Wearables are relatively new and a bit exotic, but they are just miniaturized computers attached to new sensors, wireless communications, and smartphones. According to Gartner, the wearables market will grow at 18.4% in 2016 on top of 232 million units sold in 2015, and the market is still expanding into new sectors.
Wearables are now all the rage with NBA players monitoring fitness and enhancing wardrobes, doctors and patients tracking medical and physiological health, farmers tracking livestock, and adults opting for sex-enhancing wearable technology. And everyday objects including sleep monitors, thermometers, and clothes are being transformed into wearables that track information and spit out data.
Wearable Technology in the Workplace
With the usual constituencies covered, wearable technology is now on the radar of corporate management who believe tracking everything about their employees can help increase productivity and improve the bottom line. It is now believed, based on studies, that worker productivity can be improved by as much as 8.5% and worker satisfaction by 3.5% when tracked by wearables.
Soon, most businesses will require employees to wear certain wearables with information about the employee’s movements and activities constantly fed to a database where management can review individual and group dynamics. Talk about Big Brother!
It remains to be seen whether or not wearables will provide new opportunities for hackers and lead to security breaches, invade the privacy of workers, take away personal autonomy at work, and even lead to job loss due to what is found to be redundant and unnecessary work.
The following infographic explains the pros and cons of wearable technology in the workplace: