Wearable devices have been around for a few years, but the air surrounding them is still full of questions. Are any of the devices available on the market actually useful in daily life? Are there business applications for these devices? Can they boost productivity and profitability?
It’s still a bit early for definitive answers. However, we can give a glimpse of our experience with one of the most popular wearable devices, the Apple Watch, in both personal and business settings.
Since the Watch’s release in 2014, Apple has touted its health tracking capabilities, from its pedometer function to its ability to monitor heart rate. To be sure, these features can help individuals who want to use metrics to enhance their workouts or to monitor key vital signs. However, there’s quite a bit of room for improvement. For example, the pedometer feature works by counting the swings of your arm, which means that activities that don’t involve arm movement aren’t tracked.
Of course, the Watch offers other helpful features as well. Seeing texts come in on the Watch can certainly save time. Furthermore, app features like controlling a Nest thermostat remotely are very handy.
Even though the Watch seems primarily intended for personal use, there are certainly cases where it can benefit workplace users. One example we’ve seen is that nurses can use the Watch to receive work-related text notifications directly to their watches without even having to carry around a phone. And business users in a variety of fields can benefit from having texts or emails from selected individuals configured to display on their wrists immediately upon receipt. Yet another potentially powerful use for the Watch is its ability to record audio quickly and easily, as Michael D. Shear, a White House correspondent, has observed.
Still, the Watch has a lot of room for improvement for business functionality. Reading email messages, for example, can be a frustrating affair on such a small screen.
Should I Buy One?
Unless you know exactly how an Apple Watch will help you accomplish valuable tasks, or you’re just interested in trying the latest technology, it’s probably best to hold off for now. There are still relatively few apps available for the Watch, which will hopefully change as developers experiment with the new platform. Also, the Watch is still in its first generation. As Shear points out, the original iPhone wasn’t anywhere near business-ready, so it’s normal for Apple devices to improve drastically in their second or third generations.
Wondering whether an Apple Watch might help you accomplish a valuable task? Don’t hesitate to get in touch!