Companies to target 'desk-free workforces'

Augmented reality to infiltrate the workplace in 2015

While consumer smartwatches were in abundance at this year’s Wearable Technology Show, there was also a focus on how such tech will be introduced at enterprise level.

One panel session that took place at ExCeL London on Tuesday, March 10th looked at how augmented reality is helping to improve efficiencies in the enterprise sector.

While the world of smart glasses and wearable devices being an essential part of every day dress might still seem like a big way off, the panel revealed that it might be a little closer than we thought – at least when it comes to our working lives.

“Over the last four months we’ve seen a lot of Fortune 500 companies get on board with augmented reality,” stated Brent Blum, wearable lead at Accenture.

“Smart companies know that this technology needs to be about helping employees do their job.”

Jay Kim, CTO of APX Labs added: “Companies have been investing billions upon billions of dollars into systems that allow their workforce to do their job, but it’s still done with stacks and stacks of paper. We want to bring that content in a real-time way to desk-free workforces.”

So how will these devices help workers and what kind of employees will benefit from them?

Charlie Issacs, CTO of Saleforce, described how any worker who is required to wear a helmet could benefit from wearable tech and augmented reality: “If a worker is called out to fix a leaking pipe, we can use the augmented reality built into the helmet to show him the layout of the pipe work.

“If he comes across a problem he is unsure about how to fix, the helmet can pull information from the company’s sources to help him.”

Another example he gave was in the medical field, where he described how some surgeons are using wristbands to simulate operations and smart glasses to bring up patient information, with the latter helping to reduce the need for touching equipment such as keyboards.

While Kim admits that right now there is a lack of diverse industry-ready hardware, he assured the audience that we are all going to see big improvements throughout 2015.

Check out our top gadgets from the year’s Wearable Technology Show as well as our Facebook image gallery.

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