Wearable technologies in the enterprise has been a long time coming, now it's here. Actually, it's been here a while. Before you grab the arms of your chair and get ready to flee, read on. The level and intrusiveness of the technology is entirely up to the employee or end-user. It is also a technology specific to the workplace, and nowhere else.
Basic work tools only.
The primary reason behind these devices is to track assets and employees through their work cycle, then analyze all data collected to make improvements in efficiency. These are not “wear home” devices, they are a work tool. A tool designed to help all businesses function more efficiently and productively.
Big Sister is watching you....sort of.
Wearable tech has been around for a while, particularly in big corporations like Amazon and Tesco. Employees are given armbands or lanyards with tracking devices (usually site-specific GPS trackers) embedded to track their movements and activity levels in gigantic warehouses and distribution centers. These are devices worn at work and nowhere else. The main reason behind them is to track work-flow and assets as they move throughout their work-cycle.
Other applications focus on safety and security.
Several large mining concerns issue wearable devices (ball caps) for their employees operating heavy machinery. Rio Tinto of Australia issues all drivers these caps for the duration of their shift, daily. The caps monitor alertness levels in the driver through the use of built-in sensors in the cap. If a driver approaches the fatigue level deemed dangerous, the cap sends signals to the driver and to headquarters that the operator needs to get off the road. This has reduced fatigue-induced accidents significantly in the last 6 years.
Possible risks? Not if protected correctly.
All these information collecting devices require an enormous back-end to log, analyze and store that data. Large caches of data are always a super-attractant for hackers and data theft. With a blockchain type of encryption protocol, data breaches become a thing of the past.
Multiple companies are getting in on the wearables market.
Netclearance has rolled out the mBeacon card, a badge designed for a wide range of businesses uses. No bigger than a credit card, the mBeacon incorporates an NFC module (near field communications), and a bluetooth radio. Employees can be tracked on-site through the bluetooth, work-flow and streamlining is monitored by the NFC module. Employees can make purchases through the NFC component of the card.
Safeguards all assets.
The card can also be mounted to physical assets (computers, machinery etc) in order to track their locations throughout the day.
Netclearance is a leader in blockchain technology.
Netclearance has created multiple proprietary blockchain platforms for banking and credit card industries, they applied that knowledge to their wearables data storage. The end result is that they have created a wearables badge and the platform to protect the data therein.
This isn't a futuristic horror story.
It's just good business. Streamlining your business processes (production, sales, inventory etc..) involves collecting data and statistics and then addressing problems when they arise. Wearable technologies are a simple and cost-effective solution for the ongoing work of data collection.