The field service industry is one of the areas that could benefit most, said Angela McIntyre, an analyst with Gartner. Technicians sporting wearable cameras could get assistance with a problem they can't fix themselves, solving the predicament quicker and saving them a return trip.
"With this technology, you don't have to send your best people to faraway locations," she said. "They can talk with a local person, and if [the company] has this integrated into a pair of smart glasses, you can do it all with one device hands-free. … It could potentially save the field service industry alone $1 billion."
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The use of wearable technology in business is far from hypothetical. Michael Becker, former director of the Mobile Marketing Association and strategic advisor for Somo, noted that many hospitals are already embracing the concept.
"The health-care industry is using it now, especially in hospitals, where they combine augmented reality with wearable devices to 'see' people's veins when they're inserting needles or operating," he said. "That creates more efficiency, in that they're getting the job done faster, but they can also do it better. So therefore they're also reducing costs."
Similar technology, he noted, could easily be used in other industries, such as construction, where electricians could "see" within the walls when running wiring.
"It's a heads-up display," Becker explained. "It's the plumber's, the repairman's and the fighter pilot's."
Wearable tech that monitors vital signs in real time might be a tool for fitness enthusiasts, but it can also be useful for industries like mining and emergency first responders.
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