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Wearable Technology 
Part 1 
4imprint.com
Abracadabra … introducing the magical world 
of wearable technology 
Do you believe in magic? Most people don’t, but you might change your mind 
when you see what can be accomplished using wearable technology. In some 
ways, it is even more entertaining than a magic show, because it’s actually 
real and anyone can participate. For example, what if a watch could translate 
foreign languages on the spot, both spoken and written? Or what if you could 
charge your smartphone as it sits in your pocket? How about taking a picture 
by blinking an eye or composing a text message by drawing in the air? Would 
these things change your mind? These are just a sample of the activities you 
can do using wearable technology, and while it’s not exactly magic, it helps 
you do mysterious things. No one will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to be 
impressed—wearable technology enables you to view the world through a 
digital lens—both figuratively and literally. 
We are clearly in the midst of the wearable technology revolution—companies 
such as Nike®, Apple®, Samsung® and Google® are developing products to 
satisfy growing market demand. In fact, in 2013, spending on wearables 
reached 4.6 billion in global sales.1 (Yes, that’s billions, not just millions.) Some 
researchers claim that 2014 will be known as the year of wearable technology, 
and considering the speed at which new wearables are introduced, that 
prediction might hold true.2 
As new technologies are unveiled, wearables are becoming more commonplace, 
leaving consumers wanting more. According to a Nielsen® survey, 70 percent 
of U.S. consumers are aware of wearable technology and 50 percent plan to 
purchase some type of wearable technology in the near future.3 Currently, 15 
percent of the population already uses some form of wearable technology.4 Of 
that 15 percent, 61 percent use fitness wristbands, 45 percent use smart watches 
and 17 percent use wearables for mobile health tracking.5 Although a 15 percent 
usage rate might not seem like much, it represents nearly 36 million people, and 
this number is expected to reach more than 100 million as the demand grows. 
Clearly, wearable technology is one of the hottest and most profitable trends— 
gaining traction daily and infiltrating markets at an unprecedented rate. 
1 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 
2 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. 
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. 
3 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. 
Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 
4 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. 
Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 
5 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. 
Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
This Blue Paper® is the first of a two-part series that examines the realm of 
wearable technology and the impact it will have on the business world. This 
paper explores the basics of wearables and explains how it might transform the 
workplace and impact certain industries. You’ll also learn about real life examples 
that are mind blowing yet beneficial. Finally, it will provide a list of considerations 
to address if you’re going to use wearables in your business. So hang on to your 
magical hat and wand, because this is a show you don’t want to miss. 
What is behind the curtain: Wearables explained 
The history of wearable technology actually traces back to the 1970s, when it 
was used to cheat casinos by counting cards. Since then it’s moved from casino 
to consumer, gradually changing the world as we see it. Basically, wearable 
technology is the concept of gadgets, worn on the body, that do everything from 
monitor personal body performance or help you complete activities otherwise 
performed on a computer or laptop. A wearable can come in the form of 
many things—from eye glasses, clothing, watches and more. Using a wearable, 
you might be able to send and receive emails or take pictures with a single 
command or movement. You could even wear a shirt that could save your life. 
Yes, you read that correctly, a Life Shirt® is a wearable technology in the form 
of a shirt that contains sensors to monitor vital signs and 30 other important 
biometric readings for the chronically ill, elderly and others who suffer 
from life-threatening illnesses. If you’re still not sure about what constitutes 
wearable technology, BBC News® created a great video that explains wearable 
technology and summarizes the different types of technologies available. 
Wearables first made a big splash in the health and fitness arenas, and you’re 
probably familiar with some of the early devices that tracked steps-per-day or 
logged miles jogged. But today’s wearables take that concept a lot farther. For 
example, Fitbit® not only tracks physical activity, but it also automatically tracks 
sleep patterns, food intake and calories consumed. In fact, some say that wearable 
technology will revolutionize healthcare by assisting doctors in the operating 
room and providing real time access to electronic health records. You’ll also see 
a surge in technology that enables patients to monitor their overall health by 
wearing potentially lifesaving devices. Today’s wearable devices track everything 
from heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and oxygen saturation. By 2018, it 
is estimated that 130 million wearable devices will be shipped to consumers.6 
Keep in mind that despite the convenience and wow factor, wearable technology 
will not replace existing devices—they pair with them. There will still be a need 
6 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. 
TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
for tablets, smartphones, laptops and computers; wearable technology works 
with these tools. Most wearables can be synced to an existing app or platform so 
you can do things like send and track email or review documents. 
Figure 1. shows what a typical individual might look like using multiple wearables 
and where they can be attached. It’s truly a fascinating world that stands on its 
own—magic is not required. 
Figure 1. Wearable technology from head to toe 
More than an illusion: Examples 
of wearable technology 
Wearable technology is not just an illusion, and as demand increases, companies 
are developing more ways to use and implement wearable technology. It’s safe 
to say it isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, there’s some disagreement on 
how much it will grow—some estimates claim there will be as many as 177 million 
wearable devices in use by 2018, jumping from an estimated 22 million in 2013.7 
Last year, Google® introduced Google Glass®, which is the first wearable computer. 
With Google Glass, the user appears to be wearing simple glasses, but in reality, 
there’s nothing simple about them. Although they appear to be glasses, on the 
frame is a device that has all the characteristics of a smartphone—a processor, 
16GB of storage, a Bluetooth® radio, Wi-Fi, speakers, a camera, a microphone 
and more. 
7 “Get Ready for the Coming Wearable Evolution - in the Office.” BizTech. N.p., 28 May 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. 
<http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2014/05/get-ready-coming-wearable-evolution-office>. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
How does Google Glass work? There is a tiny screen about the size of your 
finger in front of the right eye that enables the user to view anything he or she 
commands. Think of it as a mini tablet in front of your eye—only it is commanded 
by voice, actions or through use of the frame that can be controlled using your 
finger. You can do things like surf the Web, check emails or take pictures and 
videos. In case you have a hard time picturing what the glasses look like, Figure 
2. provides a visual example. Are you curious to know what you see when you are 
wearing them? Check out a video from ABC News® that gives you a peek into life 
behind Google Glass. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
Figure 2. Google Glasses 
Google Glass is controlled two ways: either by voice command or using a trackpad 
located on the right frame of the device. For example, you can tell Glass to take 
a picture simply by speaking aloud. Simply say “take picture” and it will. If you 
don’t want to use your voice, the arm of Glass is touch-sensitive—you can slide a 
finger to move through the interface and tap to make selections. It’s straight from 
science fiction, and as it gains in popularity it won’t be unusual to see people 
wearing them as you walk down the street. 
Google Glass is just the tip of the iceberg—there are many other wearable 
technologies that are flooding the market and are designed to make life 
easier and more convenient. There are some that can even magically transform 
reality. In fact, it would be impossible to mention all the wearable innovations 
in a single paper, especially considering it’s a moving target and more gadgets 
are introduced daily. According to ITPRO®, a technology news hub for IT 
professionals, consumers will soon see wearables explode in a number of 
areas and activities, including: 
• healthcare, 
• airports, 
• language translation, 
• extreme sports, 
• navigation, and 
• assistance for the disabled.8 
8 Suleman, Khidr. “Google Glass: 10 Use Cases for Wearable Technology.” IT PRO. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 
June 2014.
The paper already mentioned the impact of wearables to healthcare, but have 
you thought about the using wearable technology in airports? In February 
2014, Virgin Atlantic® began a six-week trial of Google Glass at Heathrow 
airport. The airline provided concierge staff Glass to provide a more personalized 
customer experienced—Glass can assist with check-ins and provide passengers 
with information about their flight, weather, and suggested activities at 
their destination. 
Wearables also have the power to transform the way we translate languages. 
SIGMO®, for example, is a wearable technology that can be clipped to your shirt 
or worn on your wrist to translate 25 languages in real-time. It uses a Bluetooth 
connection with your smartphone and provides voiced translation services on 
the spot in your native tongue. It’s almost like having a translator at your side, 
and at an initial cost of only about $50, it’s almost more affordable than 
language lessons. 
What about using wearable technology for extreme sports? New technology can 
help athletes with training and gathering critical data to improve performance. 
By wearing a sensor-equipped headband, for example, athletes can track multiple 
biometrics such as temperature, heart rate and motion to improve their game. In 
soccer, it will become more common for athletes to wear shirts and shin guards 
with sensors that can track information and overall performance on the field.9 
For example, the German soccer club TSG Hoffenheim is using wearable 
technology to improve by placing sensors in clothing and even the ball itself. In a 
single match, the club records 60 million positional records that can be streamed, 
analyzed and stored using the SAP HANA® platform, which is a data source-agnostic 
that allows customers to analyze large volumes of data in real time. 
The data is used to develop customized training plans based on the strengths 
and weaknesses of each player. It can even help reduce the risk of injury as it 
ultimately boosts levels of play. Data from sensors can be applied to individual 
and team movement profiles to track distances, speed averages, ball possession, 
player tendencies and more.10 
Do you remember when the introduction of a Global Positioning System (GPS) 
was a big deal? Wearable technology will take the concept of GPS beyond simply 
providing directions and give pedestrians just-in-time navigation. It can alert 
those traveling by foot to upcoming crosswalks or human traffic jams as they 
9 Renna, Alli. “How the Wearable Tech Industry Will Impact the Future of Sports.” SportTechie. N.p., 25 Oct. 
2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.sporttechie.com/2013/10/25/how-the-wearable-tech-industry-will-impact- 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
the-future-of-sports/>. 
10 SAP Voice. “Wearable Technology, Spatial Analytics: Future Of Sport Is Now.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 
Sept. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/09/26/wearable-technology-spatial-analytics- 
future-of-sport-is-now/>.
make their way to their intended destinations—it will even reroute you to a less 
busy route if you prefer. In shopping malls, indoor mapping will not only provide 
guidance, but it will help determine things like which elevator bank will get 
you to your floor faster because it has the ability to track the location of other 
elevators. Depending on how busy the registers are at a given store, it will tell 
you which stores to visit first to minimize wait time.11 
For people with disabilities, the rise of wearable technology means greater 
independence. For example, through the use of wearables like Google Glass, 
those that don’t have use of their arms can take pictures, answer the phone or 
respond to texts. For the blind, wearable technology can help guide them safely 
to their destination by identifying potential obstacles. These types of activities 
were previously impossible for some of the disabled—wearable technology lets 
them to do more and achieve greater self-reliance.12 
Get ready to take to the stage: 
Where wearables will be prevalent 
You’ll probably start seeing more wearable technology in healthcare, retail, 
manufacturing, real estate, and travel, and it will become common to see more 
wearables being used on a regular basis. Retailers might suggest that customers 
use wearable wristbands to get a discount on purchases or use automatic 
checkout. In turn, customers may want to wear wristbands and allow companies 
to access data that will help them find what they need in order to expedite the 
shopping process. This will help stores track where customers spend the most time 
and what products and displays caught their eye and provide customers with a 
more enjoyable shopping experience. 
Even places like Disney World® are using wearable technology. Disney recently 
invested $1 billion on what its calls its MyMagic® program.13 Visitors are given 
wearable MyMagic wristbands that provide Disney unprecedented access to 
data about visitors—including where they are, what they buy, and ultimately 
what they may do next. Families can use the wristbands to place food orders and 
proceed to sit anywhere in a restaurant while the food is delivered straight to the 
table. It’s magical—even in a large restaurant; servers know exactly what table to 
serve. MyMagic bands can do even more, like secure Fast Passes and open hotel 
room doors. Not only does it provide Disney with insights on user behavior, but it 
enhances the overall customer experience. 
11 Davies, Chris. “Looking Glass: The Apps for Must-wear Wearables.” SlashGear. N.p., 7 June 2014. Web. 10 June 
2014. <http://www.slashgear.com/looking-glass-the-apps-for-must-wear-wearables-07332528/>. 
12 “Wearable Technology Enables People With Disabilities.” Scioto. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www. 
scioto.com/wearable-technology-enables-people-with-disabilities/>. 
13 Della Penna, Michael. “A Week With My Wearable – 5 Reasons Why I Love My Smart Watch.” ClickZ. N.p., 24 
Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2341226/a-week-with-my-wearable-5- 
reasons-why-i-love-my-smart-watch>. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
In the manufacturing world, the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) is 
already in full force, but experts claim that smart wristbands and “toughened” 
smart watches might be used to monitor dirty or dangerous environments. 
Wearable technology will also help production workers report problems and get 
real time updates on inventory in areas where it’s impossible to use a PC or tablet. 
It could also have a huge impact to those in real-estate. Agents that are 
selling homes will be able to provide real-world tours without having clients 
visit all properties. Sensors can even be placed on a yard sign so that when 
buyers get close to a house on the market, they are immediately notified with 
information about the property. It will make the home buying experience 
more efficient, saving time for both the buyer and agent. 
As mentioned, Virgin Atlantic is transforming the travel industry by using 
wearable technology to improve customer service. As soon as a passenger arrives, 
technology delivers personalized information about individual travelers directly to 
an airline representative through Glass or a smart watch, thus providing a unique 
customer experience. From the traveler’s perspective, weather, boarding pass 
reminders, gate updates, reservations and other related information required for 
travel could be available on your wrist, thus making traveling easier. 
Obviously, technology companies will see a huge surge in profits from wearable 
technology. Companies like Google, Microsoft® and Apple® are coming out with 
more types of wearables almost every day as demand and market potential 
increases. Technology giants stand poised to realize incredible profits that will 
yield millions, if not billions. If you are interested in some of the key players 
of wearables, take a look at the top 20 companies that will benefit from the 
wearable revolution. Without doubt, it’s a booming industry that doesn’t seem to 
be losing momentum anytime soon. Technology companies will also continue to 
invent new and better wearables for almost anything imaginable. 
Is it just a disappearing act? The corporate 
benefits of wearable technology 
A good disappearing act will hold the attention of the audience, but does the 
success of the show depend on it? In business-speak, although it’s fascinating, 
is there a business benefit to using wearable technologies? The short answer 
is yes—research shows that not only does wearable technology make life 
easier, but it can also boost productivity.14 A study conducted by The Human 
14 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., n.d. 
Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.”
Cloud at Work (HCAW) looked at the impact of wearable technologies in the 
workplace and found that not only do wearables improve job satisfaction by 3.5 
percent, but they also improve productivity by 8.5 percent.15 The study looked 
at three different types of wearable technologies and in each case, wearable 
technology had a positive impact on productivity and satisfaction. The effort 
was spearheaded by Dr. Chris Brauer from the Institute of Management Studies 
at Goldsmiths, University of London, and he concluded that “results show that 
organizations and employees need to be developing and implementing 
strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the 
workplace.”16 Overall, Brauer believes that wearable technology will play a 
major role in the competitive business environment simply because it helps 
employees be more effective. 
According to experts, there are several areas in which companies can benefit from 
this trend. Specifically, experts say it can help with: 
• tracking mileage and business expenses more accurately; 
• distributing business cards; 
• gathering biometric data; and 
• providing on-the-fly sales data.17 
Think of how you currently track business-related mileage and business 
expenses; it’s a manual process that may or may not hit the mark on accuracy. 
But using a wearable technology or device that knows when you are travelling 
for business can help keep track of mileage and other expenses that could 
make the reimbursement process a lot easier for both the employer and the 
employee. Receipts for planes, trains and taxis may be a thing of the past— 
wearable technology can be used to track all business-related travel and 
quickly be turned into an invoice-ready data set. 
You might wonder why people are still using paper business cards, especially in 
the paperless age. In the near future, wearable technology can make swapping 
business cards a thing of the past as wearable technologies scan and record data 
from business cards, filing them immediately so they can be accessed whenever 
they are needed. Wearable technology will provide an easier, less physical way of 
trading business cards. 
15 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., 
n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.” 
16 Ibid. 
17 Purdy, Kevin. “4 Ways Wearable Technology May Soon Benefit Your Business.” Workintelligently. N.p., 17 Feb. 
2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.workintelligent.ly/technology/trends/wearable-technology/>.
Wearables will also be able to provide on-the-fly data that can lead to improved 
sales. If a salesperson is wearing Google Glass, for example, rather than saying 
they’ll get back to the customer with an answer, he or she can find what is 
needed instantaneously. Sales teams can access a database of frequently-asked-questions 
or key statistics so that they never have to leave the customer at the 
moment when he or she is most interested in buying. This will help customer 
service representatives or sales associates bring in extra revenue simply by having 
access to information they need on the spot. 
Again, the ability to collect biometric data will be another corporate benefit, 
especially if your company is a healthcare or medical provider. Wearables can help 
target specific health problems rather than relying on a patient to describe how 
and when health problems occur. It takes the guesswork out of what’s happening 
and pinpoints problems using concrete data. 
Specifically, medical professionals will be able to diagnose patients more 
efficiently and quickly, thus reducing liability risk and reducing overall health 
care costs. If you think about it, the healthcare benefit makes perfect sense. Say 
for example a patient has knee pain when he or she runs. By wearing a wearable 
running suit, doctors can pinpoint knee pain to posture, stance or even diet. 
Sensors can even monitor glucose levels and food intake to see if there may 
be other causes to the problem. By tracking a number of factors, healthcare 
providers can determine exactly how, why and when knee pain is likely to 
occur and provide better medical care from the beginning. Forget trying to 
troubleshoot a diagnosis, wearable technology will tell you exactly what’s 
wrong and how it can be fixed. And it probably won’t stop there—wearables 
may even help uncover health issues you may not even know about, such as 
cancer or heart problems. 
What really goes on behind the stage: 
Using wearables in the office? 
Enough about the benefits—what is the practical application of wearables? How 
can you really use them in the office? Some say wearable technology will become 
so widespread in the workplace that organizations may soon wonder how they 
lived without it. According to a recent article in Forbes®, although it might take 
a few years before wearable technology is fully integrated, wearable smart 
watches, glasses, earpieces and tech-embedded waistbands could be part of the 
work wardrobe.18 
18 “Will Wearable Technology Be The Next Office Tool?” Forbes Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. 
<http://www.forbes.com/sites/unify/2014/04/15/will-wearable-technology-be-the-next-office-tool/>. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
Currently, the demand for wearables in the business realm is increasing almost 
daily. In fact, in a survey that looked at the impact of wearable technology on 
adults 18 and over, found that 61 percent self-described technology geeks said 
they would buy and wear a smart watch and 56 percent would do the same with 
smart glasses.19 Even more surprising, 37 percent of those that claimed to be less 
technically savvy were also interested in smart watches, while 35 percent were 
interested in smart glasses.20 
In the future, perhaps you will hold virtual meetings using augmented reality to 
make it seem like everyone is in the same room. It might sound a bit sci-fi, but 
in reality, the possibility is almost here. Improved live data and video sharing 
technologies will also enable multiple groups to tackle problems and spread the 
workload. Once again, as seen with the advent of mobile devices, improvements 
to social collaboration will change how the business world operates—increasing 
connectivity and access. While you probably won’t see colleagues developing 
elaborate spreadsheets using smart watches, it might be common to check a 
document on a smart watch while you are on the phone with either a customer 
or colleague. 
How else might you use wearables in practical settings? Google Glass, for 
example, will let users execute complicated tasks like locating GPS-enabled 
smartphones, deleting files and dictating emails. Simple voice commands and 
hand gestures can help employees execute basic activities to increase efficiency. 
You won’t have to boot up a computer to access what you need, it will literally be 
somewhere on your person when you need it. 
Some also believe wearables have the ability to change day-to-day life in the 
office, much like smartphones and tablets did. Today, almost anything can be 
connected to the Internet. With the trend of ever-smaller and more portable 
devices, wearables could be the next big thing to change businesses. 
Magic is in the eye of the beholder: Why some 
companies avoid wearables 
Some organizations still believe that the benefit of wearables is only an illusion 
or a bad card trick—and that any potential benefits are outweighed by cost 
and risk. Indeed, only 6 percent of businesses are using wearable technology 
with staff.21 It could be due to a combination of factors—with expense as one of 
19 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 
20 Ibid. 
21 Miller, Michael. “Wearable Tech Business Revolution.” BBC News. N.p., 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
<http://www.bbc.com/news/business-23579404>.
them. Wearable technology doesn’t come cheap because it’s still a relatively new 
phenomenon. Google Glass currently costs about $1,500, pricing many potential 
users out of the market. According to research from the U.S cloud technology 
company Rackspace®, 72 percent of users said they wish wearables were less 
expensive. 22 Moreover, companies might not adopt wearables simply because 
they don’t know how or what is available in the market. 
There are other reasons why companies are not using wearable technology. For 
starters, some say it’s less versatile than traditional technologies and smartphones. 
For example, even if you’re notified of incoming emails, you probably won’t want 
to compose or send an email using a wearable watch. Certain things, like making 
a phone call, will still be easier on other platforms. 
Also, interfaces with wearable technologies tend to be small and some consumers 
are turned off by this fact. It makes doing things like surfing the Web difficult 
and cumbersome, so chances are consumers will continue to use iPads and laptops 
for this purpose. On the flip side, some wearables can be too big, and users don’t 
want to walk around wearing a gadget the size of a smartphone. They also don’t 
want to look geeky, which is a common complaint with Google Glass. 
Keep in mind that not all wearables are widely accepted, and this can be another 
reason why companies are not using them. Wearable technology is not necessarily 
understood by the masses; until it becomes more prevalent, early adopters might 
be viewed as outcasts. Genuine privacy concerns are also an issue, since no one 
will really know if they are being photographed or recorded without consent. In 
addition, some companies are even skeptical of the value wearable technology 
brings to the market and shy away from using it. Overall, privacy is a huge 
concern and will be addressed in detail with part two of the series. 
Wave the magic wand … it’s time for the show! 
How to prepare for wearable technology 
A good magician is prepared for anything, and you might want to do the same 
when it comes to wearable technology. It’s a good idea to start preparing for 
wearable technology in case your organization or employees start using it. 
Information technology professionals are already concerned about how networks 
will cope with consumer-driven wearable gadgets if wearable technology 
becomes as commonplace as an iPhone®. It won’t be easy, and technology leaders 
say that implementing wearable devices across the organization will make the 
22 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., 
n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech- 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
77438>.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation seem like child’s play. You might 
recall a previous Blue Paper on BYOD Trends that you might want to revisit to 
obtain key pointers that can help with wearable implementation. Overall, those 
that tackled the challenges of BYOD will find they are at a huge advantage and 
may be able to leverage some of the policies and security issues already addressed 
with BYOD. 
Part two of this series dives into detail and covers everything that needs to be 
considered when adopting wearable technology, and how functions like human 
resources (HR) will have to adapt. You’ll also find tips on how to establish and 
enforce guidelines and usage policies. But for now, there are three simple ways to 
get ahead of the wearable technology revolution. 
First, according to Forbes®, companies should start designing explicitly for 
wearable devices. If you recall, it took a while for companies to understand 
what it meant to design for mobile instead of a traditional mouse and laptop 
experience. The same will hold true with wearables—companies will need to 
modify how they think and design to accommodate wearable technologies. Just 
like you couldn’t leverage a traditional website for mobile devices, you’ll need to 
develop new ways to serve up business content. Wearables will have a new set of 
practices, challenges and constraints. According to Bill Briggs, chief technology 
officer at Deloitte Consulting®, wearables will require a significant shift in 
thinking. Briggs notes that “we can learn from the transition from desktop to 
Web, and Web to mobile, to accelerate the process, but ultimately companies 
need to learn a completely new paradigm.”23 
In order to be prepared for the wearable revolution, experts suggest that 
companies should move forward instead of waiting for standardization. It will 
be quite some time before standards are developed around technologies, and 
wearables present a snooze or lose opportunity. It’s not a good idea to wait for 
the market to settle, especially if you want to gain a competitive advantage. 
Finally, to make sure you aren’t blindsided by the wearable storm, companies 
should be open about privacy and security. Privacy and security are the two 
most common concerns surrounding wearable technology and organizations 
should be fully transparent on what is being done to protect employee 
information. Likewise, the security and privacy concerns of the organization 
should be considered. Since you won’t necessarily be able to tell when 
someone is taking a photo or recording events there must be stringent rules 
as to when and how employees can use wearable technology in the office. 
23 CenturyLink Voice. “Three Ways To Get Ahead In The Wearable Tech Race.” Forbes Magazine, 22 May 2014. 
Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2014/05/22/three-ways-to-get-ahead-in-the-wearable- 
© 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
tech-race/>.
The list below provides other tips to consider when implementing wearable 
technology: 
• Prepare for an increased data flow. Many gadgets will access networks via 
Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and could slow down the network. For this reason, just 
as you did with mobile devices, you need to make sure that networks are 
able to handle capacity and security issues. 
• Create usage policies. Some say it’s only a matter of time before businesses 
are forced to embrace wearable technology, so address clear policies early 
on, outlining the parameters of bringing wearables into the workplace and 
connecting to the network. 
• Review security. This point bears repeating; wearables will impact the IT 
network and require access and endpoint security. Nowadays an employee 
may have only a few devices accessing the network, but this number could 
jump to as much as 15 to 20 per employee in the upcoming years.24 
From a security standpoint, the ability to establish oversight and data 
management that infiltrates the existing network will be the biggest challenge. 
Determining what devices can access the network or what information being 
transmitted is critical. And don’t forget that the surge of different devices seeking 
access will leave networks vulnerable to malicious attacks in the form of viruses 
and other cyber threats. 
How about a round of applause for the magician? 
Now that you’re well versed in the magic of wearable technology, it’s time to 
consider whether or not your organization will be leading edge and take the 
show on the road. Even if you’re not completely ready, since the wearable trend is 
not slowing down, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you will prepare. 
If you have a bit of stage fright, the second part of this series is a must-read. It 
will examine implications of wearable technology, particularly what it means to 
the workplace and human resources (HR). It will also give HR professionals tips 
on how to establish and enforce guidelines and usage policies. So, stay tuned, 
because the show is not necessarily over—there’s an encore to learn even more. 
4imprint serves more than 100,000 businesses with innovative promotional items throughout the United States, 
Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Its product offerings include giveaways, business gifts, personalized gifts, 
embroidered apparel, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it Notes, custom calendars, 
and many other promotional items. For additional information, log on to www.4imprint.com. 
24 “The Effect of Wearable Technology on the Corporate Network in 2014.” TechRadar. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 
2014. <http://www.techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/future-tech/the-effect-of-wearable-technology-on-the- 
© 2012 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 
corporate-network-in-2014-1207314#null>.

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Wearable Technology Part 1 Blue Paper

  • 1. Wearable Technology Part 1 4imprint.com
  • 2. Abracadabra … introducing the magical world of wearable technology Do you believe in magic? Most people don’t, but you might change your mind when you see what can be accomplished using wearable technology. In some ways, it is even more entertaining than a magic show, because it’s actually real and anyone can participate. For example, what if a watch could translate foreign languages on the spot, both spoken and written? Or what if you could charge your smartphone as it sits in your pocket? How about taking a picture by blinking an eye or composing a text message by drawing in the air? Would these things change your mind? These are just a sample of the activities you can do using wearable technology, and while it’s not exactly magic, it helps you do mysterious things. No one will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to be impressed—wearable technology enables you to view the world through a digital lens—both figuratively and literally. We are clearly in the midst of the wearable technology revolution—companies such as Nike®, Apple®, Samsung® and Google® are developing products to satisfy growing market demand. In fact, in 2013, spending on wearables reached 4.6 billion in global sales.1 (Yes, that’s billions, not just millions.) Some researchers claim that 2014 will be known as the year of wearable technology, and considering the speed at which new wearables are introduced, that prediction might hold true.2 As new technologies are unveiled, wearables are becoming more commonplace, leaving consumers wanting more. According to a Nielsen® survey, 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of wearable technology and 50 percent plan to purchase some type of wearable technology in the near future.3 Currently, 15 percent of the population already uses some form of wearable technology.4 Of that 15 percent, 61 percent use fitness wristbands, 45 percent use smart watches and 17 percent use wearables for mobile health tracking.5 Although a 15 percent usage rate might not seem like much, it represents nearly 36 million people, and this number is expected to reach more than 100 million as the demand grows. Clearly, wearable technology is one of the hottest and most profitable trends— gaining traction daily and infiltrating markets at an unprecedented rate. 1 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 2 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. 3 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 4 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. 5 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech-77438>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  • 3. This Blue Paper® is the first of a two-part series that examines the realm of wearable technology and the impact it will have on the business world. This paper explores the basics of wearables and explains how it might transform the workplace and impact certain industries. You’ll also learn about real life examples that are mind blowing yet beneficial. Finally, it will provide a list of considerations to address if you’re going to use wearables in your business. So hang on to your magical hat and wand, because this is a show you don’t want to miss. What is behind the curtain: Wearables explained The history of wearable technology actually traces back to the 1970s, when it was used to cheat casinos by counting cards. Since then it’s moved from casino to consumer, gradually changing the world as we see it. Basically, wearable technology is the concept of gadgets, worn on the body, that do everything from monitor personal body performance or help you complete activities otherwise performed on a computer or laptop. A wearable can come in the form of many things—from eye glasses, clothing, watches and more. Using a wearable, you might be able to send and receive emails or take pictures with a single command or movement. You could even wear a shirt that could save your life. Yes, you read that correctly, a Life Shirt® is a wearable technology in the form of a shirt that contains sensors to monitor vital signs and 30 other important biometric readings for the chronically ill, elderly and others who suffer from life-threatening illnesses. If you’re still not sure about what constitutes wearable technology, BBC News® created a great video that explains wearable technology and summarizes the different types of technologies available. Wearables first made a big splash in the health and fitness arenas, and you’re probably familiar with some of the early devices that tracked steps-per-day or logged miles jogged. But today’s wearables take that concept a lot farther. For example, Fitbit® not only tracks physical activity, but it also automatically tracks sleep patterns, food intake and calories consumed. In fact, some say that wearable technology will revolutionize healthcare by assisting doctors in the operating room and providing real time access to electronic health records. You’ll also see a surge in technology that enables patients to monitor their overall health by wearing potentially lifesaving devices. Today’s wearable devices track everything from heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and oxygen saturation. By 2018, it is estimated that 130 million wearable devices will be shipped to consumers.6 Keep in mind that despite the convenience and wow factor, wearable technology will not replace existing devices—they pair with them. There will still be a need 6 Afshar, Vala. “Wearable Technology: The Coming Revolution in Healthcare.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 04 May 2014. Web. 08 June 2014. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  • 4. for tablets, smartphones, laptops and computers; wearable technology works with these tools. Most wearables can be synced to an existing app or platform so you can do things like send and track email or review documents. Figure 1. shows what a typical individual might look like using multiple wearables and where they can be attached. It’s truly a fascinating world that stands on its own—magic is not required. Figure 1. Wearable technology from head to toe More than an illusion: Examples of wearable technology Wearable technology is not just an illusion, and as demand increases, companies are developing more ways to use and implement wearable technology. It’s safe to say it isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, there’s some disagreement on how much it will grow—some estimates claim there will be as many as 177 million wearable devices in use by 2018, jumping from an estimated 22 million in 2013.7 Last year, Google® introduced Google Glass®, which is the first wearable computer. With Google Glass, the user appears to be wearing simple glasses, but in reality, there’s nothing simple about them. Although they appear to be glasses, on the frame is a device that has all the characteristics of a smartphone—a processor, 16GB of storage, a Bluetooth® radio, Wi-Fi, speakers, a camera, a microphone and more. 7 “Get Ready for the Coming Wearable Evolution - in the Office.” BizTech. N.p., 28 May 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article/2014/05/get-ready-coming-wearable-evolution-office>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  • 5. How does Google Glass work? There is a tiny screen about the size of your finger in front of the right eye that enables the user to view anything he or she commands. Think of it as a mini tablet in front of your eye—only it is commanded by voice, actions or through use of the frame that can be controlled using your finger. You can do things like surf the Web, check emails or take pictures and videos. In case you have a hard time picturing what the glasses look like, Figure 2. provides a visual example. Are you curious to know what you see when you are wearing them? Check out a video from ABC News® that gives you a peek into life behind Google Glass. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved Figure 2. Google Glasses Google Glass is controlled two ways: either by voice command or using a trackpad located on the right frame of the device. For example, you can tell Glass to take a picture simply by speaking aloud. Simply say “take picture” and it will. If you don’t want to use your voice, the arm of Glass is touch-sensitive—you can slide a finger to move through the interface and tap to make selections. It’s straight from science fiction, and as it gains in popularity it won’t be unusual to see people wearing them as you walk down the street. Google Glass is just the tip of the iceberg—there are many other wearable technologies that are flooding the market and are designed to make life easier and more convenient. There are some that can even magically transform reality. In fact, it would be impossible to mention all the wearable innovations in a single paper, especially considering it’s a moving target and more gadgets are introduced daily. According to ITPRO®, a technology news hub for IT professionals, consumers will soon see wearables explode in a number of areas and activities, including: • healthcare, • airports, • language translation, • extreme sports, • navigation, and • assistance for the disabled.8 8 Suleman, Khidr. “Google Glass: 10 Use Cases for Wearable Technology.” IT PRO. N.p., 11 Feb. 2014. Web. 08 June 2014.
  • 6. The paper already mentioned the impact of wearables to healthcare, but have you thought about the using wearable technology in airports? In February 2014, Virgin Atlantic® began a six-week trial of Google Glass at Heathrow airport. The airline provided concierge staff Glass to provide a more personalized customer experienced—Glass can assist with check-ins and provide passengers with information about their flight, weather, and suggested activities at their destination. Wearables also have the power to transform the way we translate languages. SIGMO®, for example, is a wearable technology that can be clipped to your shirt or worn on your wrist to translate 25 languages in real-time. It uses a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone and provides voiced translation services on the spot in your native tongue. It’s almost like having a translator at your side, and at an initial cost of only about $50, it’s almost more affordable than language lessons. What about using wearable technology for extreme sports? New technology can help athletes with training and gathering critical data to improve performance. By wearing a sensor-equipped headband, for example, athletes can track multiple biometrics such as temperature, heart rate and motion to improve their game. In soccer, it will become more common for athletes to wear shirts and shin guards with sensors that can track information and overall performance on the field.9 For example, the German soccer club TSG Hoffenheim is using wearable technology to improve by placing sensors in clothing and even the ball itself. In a single match, the club records 60 million positional records that can be streamed, analyzed and stored using the SAP HANA® platform, which is a data source-agnostic that allows customers to analyze large volumes of data in real time. The data is used to develop customized training plans based on the strengths and weaknesses of each player. It can even help reduce the risk of injury as it ultimately boosts levels of play. Data from sensors can be applied to individual and team movement profiles to track distances, speed averages, ball possession, player tendencies and more.10 Do you remember when the introduction of a Global Positioning System (GPS) was a big deal? Wearable technology will take the concept of GPS beyond simply providing directions and give pedestrians just-in-time navigation. It can alert those traveling by foot to upcoming crosswalks or human traffic jams as they 9 Renna, Alli. “How the Wearable Tech Industry Will Impact the Future of Sports.” SportTechie. N.p., 25 Oct. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.sporttechie.com/2013/10/25/how-the-wearable-tech-industry-will-impact- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved the-future-of-sports/>. 10 SAP Voice. “Wearable Technology, Spatial Analytics: Future Of Sport Is Now.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2013/09/26/wearable-technology-spatial-analytics- future-of-sport-is-now/>.
  • 7. make their way to their intended destinations—it will even reroute you to a less busy route if you prefer. In shopping malls, indoor mapping will not only provide guidance, but it will help determine things like which elevator bank will get you to your floor faster because it has the ability to track the location of other elevators. Depending on how busy the registers are at a given store, it will tell you which stores to visit first to minimize wait time.11 For people with disabilities, the rise of wearable technology means greater independence. For example, through the use of wearables like Google Glass, those that don’t have use of their arms can take pictures, answer the phone or respond to texts. For the blind, wearable technology can help guide them safely to their destination by identifying potential obstacles. These types of activities were previously impossible for some of the disabled—wearable technology lets them to do more and achieve greater self-reliance.12 Get ready to take to the stage: Where wearables will be prevalent You’ll probably start seeing more wearable technology in healthcare, retail, manufacturing, real estate, and travel, and it will become common to see more wearables being used on a regular basis. Retailers might suggest that customers use wearable wristbands to get a discount on purchases or use automatic checkout. In turn, customers may want to wear wristbands and allow companies to access data that will help them find what they need in order to expedite the shopping process. This will help stores track where customers spend the most time and what products and displays caught their eye and provide customers with a more enjoyable shopping experience. Even places like Disney World® are using wearable technology. Disney recently invested $1 billion on what its calls its MyMagic® program.13 Visitors are given wearable MyMagic wristbands that provide Disney unprecedented access to data about visitors—including where they are, what they buy, and ultimately what they may do next. Families can use the wristbands to place food orders and proceed to sit anywhere in a restaurant while the food is delivered straight to the table. It’s magical—even in a large restaurant; servers know exactly what table to serve. MyMagic bands can do even more, like secure Fast Passes and open hotel room doors. Not only does it provide Disney with insights on user behavior, but it enhances the overall customer experience. 11 Davies, Chris. “Looking Glass: The Apps for Must-wear Wearables.” SlashGear. N.p., 7 June 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.slashgear.com/looking-glass-the-apps-for-must-wear-wearables-07332528/>. 12 “Wearable Technology Enables People With Disabilities.” Scioto. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www. scioto.com/wearable-technology-enables-people-with-disabilities/>. 13 Della Penna, Michael. “A Week With My Wearable – 5 Reasons Why I Love My Smart Watch.” ClickZ. N.p., 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2341226/a-week-with-my-wearable-5- reasons-why-i-love-my-smart-watch>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  • 8. In the manufacturing world, the use of radio-frequency identification (RFID) is already in full force, but experts claim that smart wristbands and “toughened” smart watches might be used to monitor dirty or dangerous environments. Wearable technology will also help production workers report problems and get real time updates on inventory in areas where it’s impossible to use a PC or tablet. It could also have a huge impact to those in real-estate. Agents that are selling homes will be able to provide real-world tours without having clients visit all properties. Sensors can even be placed on a yard sign so that when buyers get close to a house on the market, they are immediately notified with information about the property. It will make the home buying experience more efficient, saving time for both the buyer and agent. As mentioned, Virgin Atlantic is transforming the travel industry by using wearable technology to improve customer service. As soon as a passenger arrives, technology delivers personalized information about individual travelers directly to an airline representative through Glass or a smart watch, thus providing a unique customer experience. From the traveler’s perspective, weather, boarding pass reminders, gate updates, reservations and other related information required for travel could be available on your wrist, thus making traveling easier. Obviously, technology companies will see a huge surge in profits from wearable technology. Companies like Google, Microsoft® and Apple® are coming out with more types of wearables almost every day as demand and market potential increases. Technology giants stand poised to realize incredible profits that will yield millions, if not billions. If you are interested in some of the key players of wearables, take a look at the top 20 companies that will benefit from the wearable revolution. Without doubt, it’s a booming industry that doesn’t seem to be losing momentum anytime soon. Technology companies will also continue to invent new and better wearables for almost anything imaginable. Is it just a disappearing act? The corporate benefits of wearable technology A good disappearing act will hold the attention of the audience, but does the success of the show depend on it? In business-speak, although it’s fascinating, is there a business benefit to using wearable technologies? The short answer is yes—research shows that not only does wearable technology make life easier, but it can also boost productivity.14 A study conducted by The Human 14 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.”
  • 9. Cloud at Work (HCAW) looked at the impact of wearable technologies in the workplace and found that not only do wearables improve job satisfaction by 3.5 percent, but they also improve productivity by 8.5 percent.15 The study looked at three different types of wearable technologies and in each case, wearable technology had a positive impact on productivity and satisfaction. The effort was spearheaded by Dr. Chris Brauer from the Institute of Management Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and he concluded that “results show that organizations and employees need to be developing and implementing strategies for introducing and harnessing the power of wearables in the workplace.”16 Overall, Brauer believes that wearable technology will play a major role in the competitive business environment simply because it helps employees be more effective. According to experts, there are several areas in which companies can benefit from this trend. Specifically, experts say it can help with: • tracking mileage and business expenses more accurately; • distributing business cards; • gathering biometric data; and • providing on-the-fly sales data.17 Think of how you currently track business-related mileage and business expenses; it’s a manual process that may or may not hit the mark on accuracy. But using a wearable technology or device that knows when you are travelling for business can help keep track of mileage and other expenses that could make the reimbursement process a lot easier for both the employer and the employee. Receipts for planes, trains and taxis may be a thing of the past— wearable technology can be used to track all business-related travel and quickly be turned into an invoice-ready data set. You might wonder why people are still using paper business cards, especially in the paperless age. In the near future, wearable technology can make swapping business cards a thing of the past as wearable technologies scan and record data from business cards, filing them immediately so they can be accessed whenever they are needed. Wearable technology will provide an easier, less physical way of trading business cards. 15 “Wearable Technology Can Boost Employee Productivity, Job Satisfaction: Study.” Tech Times RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2014. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/6396/20140503/wearable-technology-can-boost-employee- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved productivity-job-satisfaction-study.htm>.” 16 Ibid. 17 Purdy, Kevin. “4 Ways Wearable Technology May Soon Benefit Your Business.” Workintelligently. N.p., 17 Feb. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.workintelligent.ly/technology/trends/wearable-technology/>.
  • 10. Wearables will also be able to provide on-the-fly data that can lead to improved sales. If a salesperson is wearing Google Glass, for example, rather than saying they’ll get back to the customer with an answer, he or she can find what is needed instantaneously. Sales teams can access a database of frequently-asked-questions or key statistics so that they never have to leave the customer at the moment when he or she is most interested in buying. This will help customer service representatives or sales associates bring in extra revenue simply by having access to information they need on the spot. Again, the ability to collect biometric data will be another corporate benefit, especially if your company is a healthcare or medical provider. Wearables can help target specific health problems rather than relying on a patient to describe how and when health problems occur. It takes the guesswork out of what’s happening and pinpoints problems using concrete data. Specifically, medical professionals will be able to diagnose patients more efficiently and quickly, thus reducing liability risk and reducing overall health care costs. If you think about it, the healthcare benefit makes perfect sense. Say for example a patient has knee pain when he or she runs. By wearing a wearable running suit, doctors can pinpoint knee pain to posture, stance or even diet. Sensors can even monitor glucose levels and food intake to see if there may be other causes to the problem. By tracking a number of factors, healthcare providers can determine exactly how, why and when knee pain is likely to occur and provide better medical care from the beginning. Forget trying to troubleshoot a diagnosis, wearable technology will tell you exactly what’s wrong and how it can be fixed. And it probably won’t stop there—wearables may even help uncover health issues you may not even know about, such as cancer or heart problems. What really goes on behind the stage: Using wearables in the office? Enough about the benefits—what is the practical application of wearables? How can you really use them in the office? Some say wearable technology will become so widespread in the workplace that organizations may soon wonder how they lived without it. According to a recent article in Forbes®, although it might take a few years before wearable technology is fully integrated, wearable smart watches, glasses, earpieces and tech-embedded waistbands could be part of the work wardrobe.18 18 “Will Wearable Technology Be The Next Office Tool?” Forbes Magazine, 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/unify/2014/04/15/will-wearable-technology-be-the-next-office-tool/>. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved
  • 11. Currently, the demand for wearables in the business realm is increasing almost daily. In fact, in a survey that looked at the impact of wearable technology on adults 18 and over, found that 61 percent self-described technology geeks said they would buy and wear a smart watch and 56 percent would do the same with smart glasses.19 Even more surprising, 37 percent of those that claimed to be less technically savvy were also interested in smart watches, while 35 percent were interested in smart glasses.20 In the future, perhaps you will hold virtual meetings using augmented reality to make it seem like everyone is in the same room. It might sound a bit sci-fi, but in reality, the possibility is almost here. Improved live data and video sharing technologies will also enable multiple groups to tackle problems and spread the workload. Once again, as seen with the advent of mobile devices, improvements to social collaboration will change how the business world operates—increasing connectivity and access. While you probably won’t see colleagues developing elaborate spreadsheets using smart watches, it might be common to check a document on a smart watch while you are on the phone with either a customer or colleague. How else might you use wearables in practical settings? Google Glass, for example, will let users execute complicated tasks like locating GPS-enabled smartphones, deleting files and dictating emails. Simple voice commands and hand gestures can help employees execute basic activities to increase efficiency. You won’t have to boot up a computer to access what you need, it will literally be somewhere on your person when you need it. Some also believe wearables have the ability to change day-to-day life in the office, much like smartphones and tablets did. Today, almost anything can be connected to the Internet. With the trend of ever-smaller and more portable devices, wearables could be the next big thing to change businesses. Magic is in the eye of the beholder: Why some companies avoid wearables Some organizations still believe that the benefit of wearables is only an illusion or a bad card trick—and that any potential benefits are outweighed by cost and risk. Indeed, only 6 percent of businesses are using wearable technology with staff.21 It could be due to a combination of factors—with expense as one of 19 Jones, Scott. “The Future of Wearable Technology.” Inc.com. N.p., 3 Oct. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. 20 Ibid. 21 Miller, Michael. “Wearable Tech Business Revolution.” BBC News. N.p., 5 Aug. 2013. Web. 02 June 2014. © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved <http://www.bbc.com/news/business-23579404>.
  • 12. them. Wearable technology doesn’t come cheap because it’s still a relatively new phenomenon. Google Glass currently costs about $1,500, pricing many potential users out of the market. According to research from the U.S cloud technology company Rackspace®, 72 percent of users said they wish wearables were less expensive. 22 Moreover, companies might not adopt wearables simply because they don’t know how or what is available in the market. There are other reasons why companies are not using wearable technology. For starters, some say it’s less versatile than traditional technologies and smartphones. For example, even if you’re notified of incoming emails, you probably won’t want to compose or send an email using a wearable watch. Certain things, like making a phone call, will still be easier on other platforms. Also, interfaces with wearable technologies tend to be small and some consumers are turned off by this fact. It makes doing things like surfing the Web difficult and cumbersome, so chances are consumers will continue to use iPads and laptops for this purpose. On the flip side, some wearables can be too big, and users don’t want to walk around wearing a gadget the size of a smartphone. They also don’t want to look geeky, which is a common complaint with Google Glass. Keep in mind that not all wearables are widely accepted, and this can be another reason why companies are not using them. Wearable technology is not necessarily understood by the masses; until it becomes more prevalent, early adopters might be viewed as outcasts. Genuine privacy concerns are also an issue, since no one will really know if they are being photographed or recorded without consent. In addition, some companies are even skeptical of the value wearable technology brings to the market and shy away from using it. Overall, privacy is a huge concern and will be addressed in detail with part two of the series. Wave the magic wand … it’s time for the show! How to prepare for wearable technology A good magician is prepared for anything, and you might want to do the same when it comes to wearable technology. It’s a good idea to start preparing for wearable technology in case your organization or employees start using it. Information technology professionals are already concerned about how networks will cope with consumer-driven wearable gadgets if wearable technology becomes as commonplace as an iPhone®. It won’t be easy, and technology leaders say that implementing wearable devices across the organization will make the 22 Sterling, Greg. “Survey: Nearly Half Of Americans Interested In Wearable Tech.” Marketing Land. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 June 2014. <http://marketingland.com/survey-nearly-half-americans-interested-wearable-tech- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved 77438>.
  • 13. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) implementation seem like child’s play. You might recall a previous Blue Paper on BYOD Trends that you might want to revisit to obtain key pointers that can help with wearable implementation. Overall, those that tackled the challenges of BYOD will find they are at a huge advantage and may be able to leverage some of the policies and security issues already addressed with BYOD. Part two of this series dives into detail and covers everything that needs to be considered when adopting wearable technology, and how functions like human resources (HR) will have to adapt. You’ll also find tips on how to establish and enforce guidelines and usage policies. But for now, there are three simple ways to get ahead of the wearable technology revolution. First, according to Forbes®, companies should start designing explicitly for wearable devices. If you recall, it took a while for companies to understand what it meant to design for mobile instead of a traditional mouse and laptop experience. The same will hold true with wearables—companies will need to modify how they think and design to accommodate wearable technologies. Just like you couldn’t leverage a traditional website for mobile devices, you’ll need to develop new ways to serve up business content. Wearables will have a new set of practices, challenges and constraints. According to Bill Briggs, chief technology officer at Deloitte Consulting®, wearables will require a significant shift in thinking. Briggs notes that “we can learn from the transition from desktop to Web, and Web to mobile, to accelerate the process, but ultimately companies need to learn a completely new paradigm.”23 In order to be prepared for the wearable revolution, experts suggest that companies should move forward instead of waiting for standardization. It will be quite some time before standards are developed around technologies, and wearables present a snooze or lose opportunity. It’s not a good idea to wait for the market to settle, especially if you want to gain a competitive advantage. Finally, to make sure you aren’t blindsided by the wearable storm, companies should be open about privacy and security. Privacy and security are the two most common concerns surrounding wearable technology and organizations should be fully transparent on what is being done to protect employee information. Likewise, the security and privacy concerns of the organization should be considered. Since you won’t necessarily be able to tell when someone is taking a photo or recording events there must be stringent rules as to when and how employees can use wearable technology in the office. 23 CenturyLink Voice. “Three Ways To Get Ahead In The Wearable Tech Race.” Forbes Magazine, 22 May 2014. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/centurylink/2014/05/22/three-ways-to-get-ahead-in-the-wearable- © 2014 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved tech-race/>.
  • 14. The list below provides other tips to consider when implementing wearable technology: • Prepare for an increased data flow. Many gadgets will access networks via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and could slow down the network. For this reason, just as you did with mobile devices, you need to make sure that networks are able to handle capacity and security issues. • Create usage policies. Some say it’s only a matter of time before businesses are forced to embrace wearable technology, so address clear policies early on, outlining the parameters of bringing wearables into the workplace and connecting to the network. • Review security. This point bears repeating; wearables will impact the IT network and require access and endpoint security. Nowadays an employee may have only a few devices accessing the network, but this number could jump to as much as 15 to 20 per employee in the upcoming years.24 From a security standpoint, the ability to establish oversight and data management that infiltrates the existing network will be the biggest challenge. Determining what devices can access the network or what information being transmitted is critical. And don’t forget that the surge of different devices seeking access will leave networks vulnerable to malicious attacks in the form of viruses and other cyber threats. How about a round of applause for the magician? Now that you’re well versed in the magic of wearable technology, it’s time to consider whether or not your organization will be leading edge and take the show on the road. Even if you’re not completely ready, since the wearable trend is not slowing down, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you will prepare. If you have a bit of stage fright, the second part of this series is a must-read. It will examine implications of wearable technology, particularly what it means to the workplace and human resources (HR). It will also give HR professionals tips on how to establish and enforce guidelines and usage policies. So, stay tuned, because the show is not necessarily over—there’s an encore to learn even more. 4imprint serves more than 100,000 businesses with innovative promotional items throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. Its product offerings include giveaways, business gifts, personalized gifts, embroidered apparel, promotional pens, travel mugs, tote bags, water bottles, Post-it Notes, custom calendars, and many other promotional items. For additional information, log on to www.4imprint.com. 24 “The Effect of Wearable Technology on the Corporate Network in 2014.” TechRadar. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 June 2014. <http://www.techradar.com/us/news/world-of-tech/future-tech/the-effect-of-wearable-technology-on-the- © 2012 4imprint, Inc. All rights reserved corporate-network-in-2014-1207314#null>.