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4 Industries Making Greater Use of Wearable Tech


If you take a moment to think about the wearable tech items that make your life easier, the first things that spring to mind might be a pair of earbuds or your Apple watch. Those things are indeed useful for many people, but some industries believe wearable tech might have a much bigger reach that changes entire sectors for the better. Below, you'll learn about four industries that are using wearable tech to do things that are both practical and amazing.

1. The Music Industry

In the near future, music may widely become known as something that's not just broadcast to your ears through wearable tech, but something that's created by it. At least, that's the outcome musician Imogen Heap is hoping to achieve.

She's helped bring the concept of the Mi.Mu glove to life. Perhaps best suited for electronic musicians, the special glove converts movements into sounds.  It pairs with music software and relies on sensors to pick up how a person's hands are moving, and then creates notes and noises from that feedback.

Although Imogen Heap gets the credit for initially inspiring other musicians to use the glove, it seems there's no limit to how other people in the world of music might depend on the Mi.Mu to develop and enhance their art. The hardware and software for the glove is open source, which allows other users greater freedom to use them in their own ways.

2. The Healthcare Industry

In the United Kingdom, health experts are looking at how wearable tech might ease the burden on overworked primary care physicians and make residents healthier too. A report suggested using wearable tech could save £1.5 billion (over $2.3 billion) annually for the country's health care system.

Specifically, wearable tech devices could act as digital coaches, encouraging people to be more active, consume less calories and so on. Also, wearables could track vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate, then transfer that data to health care specialists who can intervene if the transmitted information raises alarm. Finally, there are beliefs that wearable devices could lead to more efficient patient care by making it easier for physicians to communicate with deaf patients, or letting people find their ways around sprawling facilities.

3. The Manufacturing and Logistics Industry

There's no doubt supply chain management and manufacturing are complicated industries. Productivity depends on accurate shipment tracking, swift distribution and more. Recently, wearable tech is being used in warehouses.

A Dutch company that specializes in electronic fulfillment decided to see what would happen when order-picking personnel were given Google Glass eyewear installed with a customized app. During a one-week trial, the order pickers became 15 percent more efficient and found their likelihood of making errors went down by 12 percent.

Active Ants, the company that completed the trial, works with more than 50 retailers to provide drop shipping. However, there are only two order pickers on the team. It'll be interesting to see if such favorable results also occur at much larger organizations over a sustained period of time. It also seems feasible wearable tech could streamline manufacturing processes by cutting down on unnecessary steps and reducing manpower.

4. The Travel Industry

Efficiency is often the key to customer satisfaction in the fast-paced world of travel. That fact was clearly recognized by Virgin Atlantic airlines at London Heathrow Airport during a pilot test. While wearing Google Glass accessories, airport personnel were able to find out more about the travelers within their fields of vision, and thereby offer more personalized services.

There's also speculation travel agents could do the same by quickly offering tailored information to clients. Because the Internet makes it so simple for travelers to find information without help from professionals, some people think wearable tech could give travel agents an edge once again by equipping those specialists with relevant information that lets them better serve customers by answering questions and meeting needs.

These are just four of many examples of how wearable tech could alter the way industries do business, and create good results for their customers. Thanks to perpetual innovation, it seems likely we'll see numerous other examples that might seem unimaginable today, but will soon become the way of the future.


Kayla Matthews is a tech-loving blogger who writes and edits Follow her on Twitter to read all of her latest posts!

Published Friday, October 23, 2015 9:59 AM by David Marshall
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