Smart Glasses and the Enterprise: What We Know and What We Can Expect
There’s been a lot of discussion about the value of smart glasses for the enterprise. Are they worth it? Will they fail? What’s the ROI? Although few businesses have adopted smart glasses, and despite an ecosystem of uncertainty, there are already some examples where smart glasses are bringing value to the table. Myths and misconceptions abound, here is what the pros know right now about smart glasses in the enterprise:
There is no proven market leader, but that shouldn’t deter adoption of smart glasses.
As a recent article aptly points out, smart glasses are a new thing. So new, that a market leader has yet to emerge as a main contender in the smart glass space. It’s likely that many products may come and go in the next few years, but it’s safe to say that smart glasses are here for the long haul. Many use cases are just being discovered, or are in development, and could have broad implications across several industries in the years to come. So no matter what the future holds for smart glasses, market uncertainty or potential product changes shouldn’t deter you from thinking about them as a solution for your business.
Smart glasses are being tested in the workplace, and the results are promising.
Almost all news coverage of smart glasses has surrounded consumer use, but what’s not often discussed is the viability of these devices in the workplace. Ongoing product testing and pilot programs are already underway as enterprises give smart glasses a try, and the results are promising. Increased worker productivity, improved safety and greater overall efficiency are just a few of the potential benefits wearables are offering the enterprise. While all the benefits may not be clear right now, one thing is: those businesses that harness creativity with smart glasses early on will have an advantage. Trends such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the Consumerization of IT have primed organizations to be more experimental with emerging devices. Collaboration is already happening between major players as the value of smart glasses becomes more visible, and we can expect more big things to come in 2015.
Privacy isn’t as much of a concern in the workplace.
A lot of the discussion surrounding wearable tech has focused on privacy concerns. Many of these concerns are valid, but don’t necessarily apply to the workplace. The privacy concerns held by wearable tech naysayers tend to be focused on the issues that will plague consumers, not enterprises. Enterprises generally have privacy policies in place and IT departments that can address many of the popular fears with privacy protocols, and workers already have expectations about being recorded or tracked at work. In reality, the popular concerns aren’t that concerning for professionals.
Technology is advancing quickly—making wide-scale adoption a reality.
Just like any new technology, smart glasses were initially difficult and expensive to produce, but as they continue to take off with consumers and businesses, we can expect prices to drop dramatically, making wide-scale adoption a more affordable solution. With new consumer smart glass models scheduled to hit shelves in early 2015, prices are already dropping. Remember what happened with smartphones? Early smartphones originally cost thousands of dollars, but now an average consumer can grab one for under $100. It’s safe to assume that a similar trend will develop with smart glasses moving forward. So if you were waiting for the right time, it’s just around the corner.
All in all, smart glasses are set to shake things up for many workplaces. They could help employees become more efficient in their roles, create safer working environments and drastically reduce human error on the job. They are just starting to make a splash, and forward thinking enterprises should think about giving them a try in 2015.