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Monday, May 19, 2014

Demand for Wearable Technology within the Enterprise

Wearable technologies are not limited to consumer applications. Growing at a CAGR value of 56.1 percent over the next five years, wearable device technologies could become an integral part of enterprise mobile enablement strategies, according to the latest market study by ABI Research.

The North American region will be the largest and grow at a CAGR value of 39 percent over the next five years. More interestingly, the Asia-Pacific region will become the second largest market -- outpacing Europe by 2019 with a CAGR of 90 percent.

"There are cases being made for wearables in the enterprise despite the relative newness of the technology. However, which wearables are primed for enterprise usage and adoption is a more important question," said Jason McNicol senior enterprise analyst at ABI Research.

Wearable technology such as smart glasses and those used for healthcare are better suited for the enterprise as corporate-liable devices. Smartwatches, on the other hand, will most likely follow the trend of bring your own device (BYOD) into the enterprise.

ABI Research has identified six kinds of wearable devices: smart glasses, cameras, smart watches, healthcare, sports and activity trackers, and 3D motion trackers. Healthcare wearables, smart glasses, and smart watches will be the dominant form-factors purchased by the enterprise and used by employees.

Companies like Vuzix, in partnership with SAP, and Google Glass Explorers are testing the boundaries and capabilities of smart glass technologies for the enterprise. Smart watch OEMs Samsung, LG, Sony, and Google are also trying to position their products for the enterprise.

Moreover, healthcare OEMs FitLinxx, BodyMedia, and FitBit are getting involved through corporate wellness programs. Once these companies convince enterprise customers of the added value from wearables, the market will likely see significant growth.

Like any digital device supporting the enterprise, connected wearables will need to be secured and managed by the corporate IT organization.

Wearable use cases in field services, maintenance and training highlight the need for enterprise mobility management providers, mobile network operators, enterprise application and platform vendors, system integrators and device OEMs to add professional services to support wearables.

Enterprise connectivity continues at a rapid pace and its benefits are only achieved when end-to-end solutions -- including security and management services -- support the devices and network connections.