Photo courtesy of TechStage via Compflight Creative Commons
As the demand for wearables increases this year with the release of the much-awaited gadgets such as the Apple Watch, applications for these devices will also be on the rise. Last year, a study released by Juniper Research and featured by TheStreet said that there will be an “explosion” in the sale of wearables until 2017. The estimated sales for 2014 will be 27 million units, which will quadruple in 2017 with 127 million devices.
The same study revealed that applications for these technologies would also be on the rise, especially the ones related to health and mobile payments. What more can we expect from wearable applications and devices in terms of revolutionizing the public sector?
Public service through wearables
Given its smart functionalities, wearables will be able to assist various sectors of the government in providing quick and efficient public service. Alyson Edmunds of Telefonica said that these devices have great potential to assist in increasing employee productivity. “Wearables will allow employees to snack on small snippets of information that require simple response actions allowing for real time updates during tasks,” Edmunds wrote.
Among the industries that can maximize this technology, Edmunds wrote that public rail workers will highly benefit from it, especially in terms of accessing data through voice commands. She said that rail engineers will be able to acquire data instantly via their gadgets, especially when locating the nearest section track that requires repair. Sending job allocations and tracking work progress will be more convenient and hands-free through smartwatches or smart headsets.
The video recording feature on these gadgets will likely be advantageous to police officers and security guards. It will help them record a footage of situations, which are a good form of evidence.
Digital health services
Among the benefits of wearables, particularly the smart bands and watches, health is the most prominent one. This is due to the fact that these gadgets are being sold as the new form of digital health technology. Since many people are now more conscious about their well-being, wearables with sensors that provides real-time heart rate, calorie count, and other fitness data are now highly favored.
Mobile technology has been known to innovate the health sector. In the United Kingdom, O2 worked with the National Health Service (NHS) in providing medical practitioners and workers with technological devices, including smartwatches that allows them to provide real-time assistance to patients. This prevents the patients from further health implication by traveling all the way to the nearest hospital and clinics, as they will be assisted right at their homes. “Removing the barrier of travel to a clinic has reduced the number of missed appointments and the trust has been able to reduce the number of sites it runs from over 100 to less than 70, with huge cost savings,” wrote the O2 Enterprise page.
Changing the face of payment
Mobile payment is another sector that will be enhanced by the rise of wearable devices. In fact, one of the most popular payment platforms, PayPal, recently expanded their application’s reach through these platforms. The latest was their expansion on the Pebble App Store.
A research featured on the Skift showed a forecast that mobile payments in the United States will reach $142 billion by 2019 from $52 billion last year. A factor that they said will influence this growth will be the rise of wearable technologies.
Apart from PayPal, Apple announced that their Apple Watch will come with their propriety Apple Pay upon its release on the market. “Equipped with Apple Pay, Apple undoubtedly hopes to stake a claim in the mobile-payment provider space.” Another name that is said to be working on developing their own mobile payment system is Facebook, which is said to assist users of the Oculus Rift in purchasing applications online.
There are other ways wherein wearables and its applications will highly benefit the public sector. It is the perfect time to witness how a futuristic innovation can shape the community, especially that it is still on its developmental stage. Are you willing to revolutionize your mobile processes through wearable devices or will you wait for the next big technological invention to happen?
This post was contributed by guest author Jennifer Birch
Jennifer Birch is a tech blogger with a background in commerce and app development. She attends various annual tech conferences and events to get the latest report on mobile innovations for businesses. Get the latest from Jenni via Google +.