Chances are you've heard of wristbands that track athlete's running speed and heart rate: wearable technology like the Garmin Vivofit and Fitbit's Flex. Wearable technology has been all the rage in athletic circles for its ability to collect and graph physical health indicators like heart rates, steps taken, running speeds, and physical wellness since 2010, giving fitness fans an accurate way to track their performance and improvement-- but what is wearable technology, exactly, and how can it be used to track your performance and improvement in the office instead of the gym?
Wearable technology is, in essence, exactly what it says on the tin: a wearable piece of technology masquerading as a necklace, earpiece, wristband, watch, clip, glasses, or other accessory, which incorporates practical technological features into your daily physical life. A Bluetooth headset is an example of wearable technology. So is a Fitbit heart rate monitor. When it comes to use in your small business, wearable technology also offers ways to improve performance, increase work efficiency, and communicate faster. Wearable technology's ability to seamlessly integrate useful technology into your physical daily life can give your small business the edge it needs to move away from the screen and function more productively.
The Samsung Gear 2 is the second incarnation of the recently released Samsung Galaxy Gear, a smartwatch which works with your Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and smartphones to display text messages, receive phone calls, take pictures, and read social media updates. The watch is a perfect example of wearable tech that can find its use in the office. Its classy, unobtrusive design allows you to keep track of business communications without constant attachment to your smartphone, allowing you to spend more time face to face with your employees and customers. The Gear 2, which releases next month in April, will improve upon the Galaxy Gear's design as well as add more functional apps. The Samsung Gear 2 will also work with a wider range of Samsung smartphones and devices.
Google Glass, a glasses-style optical head-mounted display, has no current release date. That hasn't stopped it from garnering lots of hype in wearable technology news! Currently being tested live by thousands of lucky "Google Explorers," including the Virgin Atlantic airline staff at Heathrow Airport, Google Glass will allow users to view GPS directions, search the internet via Google search engine, take pictures and video of what they see, send text and voice messages, and more-- all from an eye-level augmented-reality screen built into their sunglasses or prescription lenses. Google Glass will also allow you to participate in video conferencing, as well as to broadcast video of what you're seeing in real-time, allowing you to give and receive hands-free presentations from anywhere with a reliable wireless connection: perfect for the globally-minded small business.
For the small business owner who feels what they really need is a way to keep themselves and their employees on task, the Bluetooth headset Vigo is a perfect wearable earpiece that will help track and manage your attention level and alertness by recording physical signs of tiredness. The headset, which tracks eye movement and focus and charts it on an included smartphone app, notifies you when you're dozing off in one of three customizable ways-- with a visual blinking LED light, a physical vibration, or an audible music cue. It will also compile recorded data and let you know which times of day you're most alert, allowing you to arrange your schedule so that your most important work can be completed at the times of day you have the most focus and energy. For the days where you need an extra pick-me-up, Vigo will suggest ways to increase your energy-- take a snack, nap for a half hour, do 30 jumping jacks-- in order to perfect your routine and keep you focused, energized, and alert longer. Finally, it works as a Bluetooth headset, meaning it can make and take phone calls as well. The Vigo is currently available for preorder and will begin shipping this summer.
Wearable tech is definitely the next big trend in 2014 business technology. To stay ahead of the curve, you'll need an IT support plan that's as easily integrative and helpful as the technology your small business uses. BuzzAGeek provides personalized network and IT support for homes and small businesses that lets us be there for you any time. If you're giving your business the best edge in technology, why not give it comparable IT service? Contact BuzzAGeek today to see how we, and wearable technology, can help your small business thrive in 2014.