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This year may be the year of wearable devices, judging from the buzz at the International Consumer Electronics Symposium (CES) last month and next week at Mobile World Congress. With the ability to place micro sensors virtually anywhere, technology is more wearable than ever, and individuals are embracing technology that moves with them through their daily lives.

Taken together the global market for smart glasses, activity monitors, and smart watches could reach $3 Billion in 2021. While the use cases for smart glasses aren’t yet developed enough to outweigh the aesthetic concerns for the average consumer, innovators are rapidly working on apps to make them more useful, if not irreplaceable.They have enterprise potential in heavy industries such as manufacturing and oil and gas where a worker in the field might benefit from hands-free access to instructions, maintenance guides, videos or live interaction with a remote trainer or team. Yet, in the near term, the rationale for widespread adoption of smart glasses in the enterprise doesn’t exist yet.

If the eyes are the windows to your soul, the array of wearable tech devices suggests the wrist may prove to be the door to your health. The increasing number of fitness bands and activity monitors are becoming more sophisticated, with the ability to measure the intensity of activity and even distinguish the type of activity and provide feedback on not just level of activity, but form and efficiency. Other devices now monitor blood pressure and blood oxygenation among other indicators. All of these technologies can communicate with apps on the most sophisticated “wearable” most people use – the smartphone.

By Eric Openshaw and Harry Greenspun, M.D. 

Wearable Technology for the Workforce