Smart Badge

Wearable Technologies in the Health Enterprise

Wearable technology has been on the horizon in the tech world for the past several years, but has often been viewed as a gimmick or expensive novelty item. Yet this futuristic trend has seen recent break outs in the areas of health and fitness, namely with wrist type wearables such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch.

Many of these devices are packed with everything you might find in a larger tablet, but miniaturized. Touchscreen technology combined with large amounts of memory are now being offered in a lightweight, wrist held package. These devices often offer WiFi, GPS, camera, microphone, and the GBs of storage we have grown accustomed to in our modern lives.

Yet the wearable market is poised to open into newer and broader fronts with the advent of "smart" clothing. Most smart clothing looks and feels similar to normal clothing but with sensors embedded into the fabric in such a minute fashion that the wearer is often unable to tell they are there.

Behind this smart clothing idea is the premise that they can be embedded with sensors that are then connected wirelessly to smartphones. They will then relay a variety of information to the user about their fitness and health regimens.

Recently, running socks have been launched that can track your runs better than a fitness tracker on your wrist. These socks have three pressure sensors embedded into them that track your pace, distance and time during a workout. This data can then be analyzed to give you tips on how to improve your exercise, improve exercise efficiency and help you to avoid injury. 

Whole body clothing is being developed that goes even further. These full body outfits track what muscles are being worked the hardest during your workouts. This technology is useful for people who want to efficiently work on a certain part or muscle area in their body and don't have the time to spend on traditional full body workouts.

This is a growing area that has not yet been exploited by marketing, and offers a unique position for a new businesses trying to break into the technological market. As the world becomes more connected, the devices we use daily have become so as well. This has wearable technology is traveling into new and unknown territory for marketers to adventure. 

Benefits Reported for Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise

Wearable technologies in the enterprise are providing advances in productivity like never before. For now, assisted reality is the here and now in the enterprise. Augmented reality gets everyone's heart pumping but the enterprise is not quite ready for it yet. Instead, focusing on wearables that free up the hands of employees and move those operations that required recording information on a tablet or other device to a wearable technology should be today's focus.

Wearable technologies are demonstrating new, increasing benefits all the time. From being able to offer real-time reporting to significantly reducing time that used to be spent in audits, they are beneficial to employer and employee alike. Employers now have access to productivity at any given moment throughout the day and are even able to detect if an employee is overtired. Employees appreciate having one less thing to track daily. Processes that previously were tedious in reporting and tracking are now captured immediately and with more precision. This increases the effectiveness of reporting that in the past would sometimes be postponed until time became available to stop and record either in a computer, tablet or written form. 

The industry of wearable technology now hosts an event whose sole purpose is to educate enterprises on the use of wearable technology in the workplace. In regards to efficiency, a study released by Rackspace, The Human Cloud at Work, concluded that employees that utilized wearables at work became 8.5% more productive and 3.5% more satisfied with their jobs. Wearable technologies are not a thing of the future. They are here now and although it is just the beginning of things to come, initial indicators show increased satisfaction and performance on both the employer and employee's part.

The Netclearance Smart Badge (mBeacon Card) is a wearable identity badge. Its primary purpose is to support indoor tracking and access control and payments among other workplace applications. This technology will allow for fewer identification sources that are currently being utilized. 

Wearable Technologies in the Enterprise Are Already Making an Impact

While the IoT may still be trying to find itself within the personal lives of consumers, its practical use cases for the improvement of business processes is already well in motion.

Wearable technologies now have the capability to provide a wide array of business applications - from keeping tabs on assets to optimizing workflows - to utilizing the latest Bluetooth technology for greater communication between employees. 

With awareness of the potential for enterprise wearables growing exponentially, companies are beginning to take a serious look at transformative use case possibilities for the technology that may already exist within their own business processes.

Software maker Netclearance is at the forefront of the wearable technologies revolution. Their mBeaconCard has the appearance of an ordinary credit card, yet can be mounted to high-value mobile assets. Additionally, it doubles as an employee badge that utilizes NFC technology for greater internal security. 

The range of applications for the "all-in-one" mBeaconCard is stunning since it can be customized for a multitude of processes that require movement related tracking. Components of the badge include sensors, an NFC module, a Bluetooth radio and an embedded accelerometer.

Everyday consumers may not yet require the level the level of technology where vital data is transmitted in real-time. However, new forms and functions of enterprise level wearable technology are not only yet to be uncovered, they're also clearly already having a game changing impact.

Businesses who are early adopters in the implementation of wearable technologies are quickly finding a tremendous competitive advantage in employee productivity and the tracking of valuable company assets. 

Smart Badge to Power Workforce IoT Applications


Netclearance, a maker of multi-sensor beacons and software designed for a range of business applications, such as optimizing workflows and tracking assets, has introduced a new product called the mBeaconCard. Approximately the size of a credit card, the mBeaconCard contains a Near Field Communication (NFC) module, as well as a Bluetooth radio. It can be used not just as an identity card or badge, but also to enable workers to make purchases using its NFC module, as well as to track the locations of employees on job premises, by utilizing the card's Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio. Alternatively, the card could also be mounted to high-value mobile assets and be used to track their indoor locations.

The basic mBeaconCard configuration contains a microprocessor, a BLE radio and an NFCmodule. But customers can also order a version that comes with an embeddedaccelerometer, a vibration sensor and a magnetic sensor—either a compass or a reed switch—in order to support a wider range of applications, such as those requiring movement to trigger tracking.

The BLE radio is used to transmit sensor data or information written to the mBeaconCard's 2 kilobytes of memory, explains David Fernandez, Netclearance's founder and CEO. It transmits data packets to mBeaconGW, Netclearance's beacon gateway appliance, or to nearby smartphones running the Netclearance mobile application.

Netclearance's mCloud Content Management System software is used to collect and manage the data transmitted by the badge, and from there it can be sent to Netclearance's business application or analytics software. Conversely, the data can be forwarded to third-party applications or analytics platforms via an application programming interface. Using the mBeaconGW gateway and an external NFC reader, employers can set up an access-control system. If the badge is being used for room-level tracking, Fernandez says, location can be determined to within a few meters.

Pricing information has not yet been released, but Netclearance will demonstrate the mBeaconCard and its full product portfolio at the RFID Journal LIVE! 2016 conference and exhibition, taking place on May 3-5, in Orlando, Fla., in the Internet of Things Pavilion (booth #728B).

Original article from IoT Journal: