Smart Watches: A Business’ Necessary Accessory?

August 21, 2013

“Who says we can’t reinvent time? Why hold in your hand what you could just live on your body?  Is wearing your information what people want and need?”

These are the questions mobile electronics giants like Apple, Google, Samsung, Sony and LG seem to be asking.

These industry giants seem to be indicating that the wristwatch is soon going to have a quantum leap to the era of “smart-technology.” The times, as they say, are a-changing, but are they changing in the direction of mere kitsch-novelty or can wearable-tech like smartwatches improve the bottom-line? To attract decision-makers inside of Fortune 500 companies, these electronics manufactures are going to need to convince CIOs and procurement officers that being able to connect to your phone or server on your wrist is vital. This could be a very hard sell.

Wearable smart-technology has garnered a now-famous forerunner in the now-iconic Google Glass. The idea of a phone on your face has some excited and some rolling their eyes but no matter your opinion of the tech, Google Glass has put the idea of wearing your tech into the focus of our culture and thus the market.

The first giant to make it into the smartwatch marketplace is Sony with the MN2SW SmartWatch. At $150 you can connect to Android-compatible devices, wear your tweets, check your GPS location like Dick Tracy and activate fitness apps like a futuristic space-athlete. The MN2SW is receiving mixed reviews but is indeed notable for being the first widely manufactured watch that connects to your mobile device.

“M2M” or Machine to Machine is a growing industry in which people and machines can interact with other machines via built-in cellular antennae. Soda machines are now being deployed with these M2M capabilities to inform shipping and stocking services of when they need refilling. What if a soft drink distribution driver wore a smartwatch that was GPS activated to tell him where the nearest/emptiest machine was? There are a myriad of other M2M areas where a smartwatch could be beneficial: meter-reading, shipping, ticketing, anything involving bar codes, security, etc… M2M and smartwatch technology could be where the novelty turns into profit.

The mobility march from desktop to laptop to tablet to smartphone has indeed improved the business-person’s ability to stay connected and make quicker decisions without as much interference from bulky technology but is there a good enough cost-benefit ratio of moving info from your pocket to your wrist?

Have we just run out of things to attach the prefix of  “smart” to or is the smart-watch a viable and efficiency-increasing technology? Only time will tell.