Cloud consulting firm Appirio and Blueberry Home Solutions, a plumbing, heat and air-conditioning company, are two very different firms with one thing in common: They have both started using wearables in the workplace.
Wearable technology – from smartwatches to Google glasses – has been the focus of intense media attention over the past year, bolstered by the launch of the Apple Watch. And businesses have begun seeing uses for the devices, but in many different ways.
British company Blueberry Home Solutions manufactures a hub that can monitor gas and oil consumption and provide you with the bill in real-time. It is developing a device called the Blueberry Hub which can be used to control the home's boiler and other appliances via a smartwatch.
But for now, the company has been using smartwatches in-house for research and development. The company's lab is about 10 miles away from their office just outside of London. Blueberry Home Solutions has made an app which can control lab testing remotely and be controlled via the smartwatch removing the need for an engineer to be onsite.
"The wearable was just an exciting new avenue for us because ultimately a wearable is again about flexibility…Wherever they are and whatever time of the day it is (they)…are able to interact," Alistair Smith, managing director of Blueberry Home Solutions, told CNBC in an interview.
A number of major technology companies have launched wearable products touting the benefits for business from Microsoft's augmented reality headset called HoloLens to Sony's SmartEyeglass. Developers have even started working on enterprise apps for devices such as the Apple Watch.
Studies suggest that workers are open to the idea of being provided wearables by their employer, provided there was some sort of benefit for them. Just under half (44 percent) of U.K. employees would be happy to use a piece of wearable technology provided by their employer and allow the employer to collect data from it, according to a study of 2,023 adults by PwC. This figure rises to 56 percent if there are benefits such as flexible working hours and free health screenings.