Smartwatches, Activity Trackers Driving Wearables Beyond Healthcare

Smartwatches, Activity Trackers Driving Wearables Beyond Healthcare

A new survey of large enterprises finds a good deal of interest in wearables, especially smartwatches, that is driving the market to look beyond novel healthcare and fitness uses.

Nearly every industry in the US, from manufacturing, to energy, to telecoms, is looking to invest more and more in wearable technologies, such as smartwatches and other sensor-based devices. This in turn is creating a larger market for wearable devices beyond novel uses in healthcare, such as personal fitness.

Those are some of the finding in a new study by APX Labs, which has been making software for wearable devices for the last five years, and Zogby Analytics. The study, “The State of Enterprise Wearables,” focused on large industrial companies in the US, in such sectors as manufacturing, telecom, utilities, energy, and the like, to understand their wearable device intentions.

The study, released Sept. 17, found that nearly every industry that they surveyed has already started down a wearable-device pathway. For instance, 93% of the respondents either used or were evaluating wearables for their business, while 87% thought wearables would have a significant impact on their business.

The study focused on specific industries with 500 to more than 5,000 employees, and interviewed 201 different enterprise users, according to Zogby.

There was openness to how the companies were treating wearable development, since 86% had more than one current scenario pathway active. No companies are truly sure which will be the most productive path for them, so they evaluate many.

Interest in specific wearables broke down into a few categories: smartwatches (61% interest), activity trackers (60%), indoor location sensors and beacons (52%), wearable mobile cameras (48%), and smart glasses (42%).

The high interest in smartwatches is a bit of a surprise since smartglasses, such as Google Glass, have taken up a lot of the recent conversation about wearables.

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