From Captain Kirk’s 70’s wrist communicator to the 1994 debut of Edgar Matias’ “wrist computer” to Microsoft’s 2004 SPOT smartwatch, wearable technology has been around for a while. Or at least the idea of it has. But it wasn’t until the arrival of Fitbit in 2009 that they finally became popular with consumers. Even though Edgar Matias and Microsoft technically launched their “smart watches” decades ago, consumers didn’t really take notice until the kickoff of Pebble’s Kickstarter in 2012. This in turn paved the way for today’s Android and Apple smart watches.
Another interesting wearables shift: though they first gained serious traction in the fitness market, such is no longer the case. We are now seeing significant adoption increases across industries such as law enforcement, healthcare, supply chain, and utilities, including one industry many thought would never use such technology – Insurance. Shocking, isn’t it!
In the past couple of years, Allstate, Progressive and other insurance companies have introduced devices customers install in their vehicles that gather information about their driving behaviors (speed, braking, time of day, etc.). In return, customers can receive rewards in the form of premium discounts. Taking it a step further, these companies are now also delivering mobile apps that capture the same data from the customer’s smartphone, without having to install anything in the vehicle.
And just last year insurance companies began using Google Glass…for their adjusters. Here’s why. Insurance adjusters typically carry a lot of things around with them – laptop, cell phone, maybe a voice recorder. For one Georgia-based insurance company, Google Glass (and their Mobile Claims app for field adjusters) eliminated their dependency on ‘old’ devices and helped free-up adjusters’ hands. Leveraging wearable devices provided immediate benefit for their catastrophe division, delivering real-time information from field adjusters working on complex losses. Additional key benefits realized from wearable technology are the following:
These are just a few benefits wearables are providing organizations outside the fitness industry. Wearable technology adoption rates will only continue to rise as companies identify more use cases that deliver positive results: increased employee productivity, improved operational efficiencies, and enhanced customer experiences.
As wearable technology adoption continues to grow and more industries recognize its value, companies need to have a game plan in place in order to capitalize on market opportunities and gain competitive advantage. Here are some things to consider as you look to add wearables to your business mobile strategy:
If your company would like to discuss ways it can incorporate wearable technology into its enterprise mobile strategy,contact us. Emerging Technologies Kickstart is designed to help business and IT leaders realize first-hand the near-term benefits of adopting leading-edge technology by developing a working proof-of-concept app and an actionable plan to start delivering value for your organization. Our strategists will help you visualize, define, and prioritize wearable technology opportunities as well as identify and mitigate any risks.
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