Companies expect wearables in the workplace, but few have polices in place yet

Most businesses are unprepared for influx of Apple watches and other wearable tech in the office.
Written by Colin Barker, Contributor

Wearables is still an emerging technology and just as no one is entirely sure which particular type of gadget is going to make a breakthrough with consumers, similarly nobody is entirely sure of its impact on businesses.

According to systems monitoring and IT automation company Ipswitch, a third of European businesses will introduce wearable technology to the workplace in 2015. The problem is that, said Ipswitch, only 13 percent of companies have a policy in place to deal with it.

Of all European companies, French and German organisations appear to be ahead of the UK with their plans for corporate adoption. Some 34 percent of French and 33 percent of German businesses say they expect to introduce company-owned wearable technology into the workplace during 2015.

In comparison, just one quarter (25 percent) of businesses in the UK say they have plans in place to do the same. Some 36 percent of all the organisations surveyed by Ipswitch say they expect an 'influx' of employee-owned Apple Watches and other wearable technology in 2015.

German businesses expect the highest volume of employee-owned devices, with 41 percent of respondents saying they expect an influx of these devices. France (36 percent) and the UK (33 percent) "were a little more conservative in their expectations," said Ipswitch.

In a related study, Juniper Research says the nascent gesture-based computing market will boom. This includes smartphone cameras that detect face and eye movements, microphones that offer a gateway to voice-activated commands, and touchscreens that can detect biometric identifiers such as ear, palm, and vein prints.

The analyst believes that by 2019 the global market for services "based on gesture and biometric interface technologies" will be worth an estimated $1.2bn, up from less than $2m this year.

Juniper's report, Human Interface and Biometric Devices, 2014-2019, forecasts that this year, more than 16 million human interface apps will be downloaded to smartphones and tablets worldwide. And this area "is set to enjoy dynamic growth through to 2019," Jupiter predicts.

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