Technology is omnipresent. Amidst the sea of innovations that simplify our lives, wearable technology is that wave, which is here to transform the way we travel for business, by integrating gadgets into our very being.
For starters, with the advent of Google’s augmented reality Glass and smartwatches from Apple and Samsung, wearable tech is now more than just a fitness revolution that tracks your active life. However, if health is on your mind while you globe trot, Nike’s FuelBand is a decent option. It records not only your movements but also sends you real-time feedback, and notifications on improving your activity.
An industry that’s estimated to touch US$12.6 billion by 2018, wearable technology will assist you in your business travels in more ways than you can imagine. Your meetings calendar, flight itinerary, directions to the gate — even the time it will take you to reach the gate — will all be at your visual discretion through the GoogleGlass. The headset will also notify you with offers at hotels, restaurants and stores as you walk through the streets of your destination. Though this product is in its conceptual stage, it is available for purchase to developers and enthusiasts through an open beta program called The Glass Explorer at US$1500 onwards (about `95,488). While Google works on developing Glassware (apps specially designed for the device), various hotels have begun developing booking apps for the GoogleGlass — Starwood Hotels & Resorts being one of the pioneers to do so.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has also partnered with Apple to create an app that unlocks hotel rooms by a wave of the iWatch (the brand’s smartwatch). Flicking your wrist and flashing your boarding pass to board your flight will soon be a wearable technology revelation as well. Wish to dine at that popular Chinese place in NewYork your friend told you about? The iWatch once synced to your iPhone will guide you seamlessly through GPS, while your smartphone remains secure in your pocket.You can even make online payments by simply tapping on your iWatch while you enjoy Ramen at a bustling street in Manhattan.
Samsung’s smartwatch Gear S isn’t too far behind, though it’s slightly more independent than the Apple device as it uses a separate SIM card and has a built-in GPS. Lenovo and HTC are expected to enter the smartwatch segment this year while Motorola’s Moto 360 has already stirred the industry with its aircraft-grade stainless steel round dial, sharp features and a choice of leather or metal wristbands. Battery life is a common woe faced by the existing smartwatch market, which will hopefully be resolved with the upcoming product upgrades.The smartwatch dependency on smartphones is a debatable topic as I would personally prefer a product that doesn’t need to be paired with another device. However, it’s probably too soon in time for smartwatches to be totally independent considering our love for larger displays and higher resolutions.
If capturing a first-hand perspective of your sky-diving or kayaking experience catches your fancy, then GoPro’s personal wearable cameras are apt for the adrenaline junkie in you. These can also be used to record important meetings. Android and iOS have developed apps for the GoPro that give you instant access to the camera’s visual.
As we face the dawn of wearable technology, this innovation is predicted to be a professional trendsetter. With the likes of Diane von Fürstenberg’s range of designer GoogleGlasses and the emergence of sleek smartwatches, these gadgets are deemed to be nothing less than symbols of competence at the work-place. Activity tracker FitBit has also collaborated with Tory Burch to create signature bracelets and necklaces that add a touch of glitz to your wearable technology.
The year 2015 is promising, and wearable technology is that game-changer that will nothing short of transform the way we live and travel for business. With choices galore, picking a wearable gadget that suits our preferences is another convenience we will soon enjoy. Does the future foresee wearable technology replacing the smartphone altogether? Perhaps it is too soon in time to make this prediction, but definitely not hard enough.