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4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Prepare for the Rise of Wearable Technology

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June 10,2015

By Heather Wied, Pubsoft

 

The pace at which technology is advancing is not slowing down, it’s speeding up, and some believe we’re just at the cusp of a huge leap in technological advancement in the next decade or so. Just think about what big companies are doing. Elon Musk at Tesla is testing cars that can drive themselves. Amazon is working on patenting drone delivery, and speaking of drones, they’ve changed current surveillance and video capturing capabilities. Another relevant technological advancement that relates to small and independent business owners is wearable technology.

Wearable technology while not new is still in its infancy in the early adopter, if not innovator stage of product adoption—remember the infamous Google Glass? Users earned themselves the not-so-flattering title of “Glassholes,” because of their inability to delineate between appropriate and inappropriate times for wearing glass. One of the problems with Google Glass is that others around the wearer feel like there is the potential for an invasion of privacy because the wearer has the capability to capture images of individuals within the field of vision with the wink of an eye. A more innocuous popular wearable technology is the FitBit that tracks body activity for health and fitness purposes. However, the wearable technology that is getting all of the attention right now is the Apple Watch.

Sometimes it can feel daunting for a small business to try to keep up with everything out there, so it’s important to plan a little into the future. Depending on your individual small business goals now might be the time to start thinking about how wearables impact your small business. Here are four questions to think about when considering incorporating wearable technology into your business operations.

 

Do you need to worry about developing an Apple Watch App or other wearable technology app?

In the short term, no, probably not. The small screen size constrains applications to providing limited information and functionality, and this quote from a VentureBeat article says it all about the value proposition of Apple Watch apps, “In order for a Watch app to be really useful, it has to do something that a smartphone can’t do. Or it has to do something that a smartphone does — but do it in a way that’s easier and more accessible to the user.”

 

If you do have a current application specific to your business, can a wearable application complement the existing application?

As noted in the previous question the information presented to the user of wearable tech is bite-sized in most uses because of small screen size. Although if you already have a mobile application, are there ways that wearable technology can add value to your existing app? Is there some kind of time-sensitive element that could offer an alert, or some action that requires the tap of a button to complete a process. The possibilities are endless developers and business owners just have to get creative and think about real process flows and communication interaction.

 

Is it time to incorporate new payment processing techniques into your transaction process?

One of the biggest advantages to the Apple Watch is the ability for the user to use Apple Pay to complete transactions. The user simply swipes the watch over a payment processing point and the transaction is complete. In big news from payment processing company, Square, small businesses will have access to Apple Pay processing through their services.

 

Do you need to establish some kind of formal policy or etiquette in your business or workplace to accommodate users or non-users of wearable technology?

This one may seem almost silly to mention, but there are multiple stories of businesses who have had to change their policies based on wearable technology. And this does not just relate to customers, but it also relates to employees and vendors. How does wearable technology affect interactions with all of the stakeholders in your business, and what are you going to do to accommodate or not accommodate the changing behaviors, and does it need to be documented, and posted?

 

It’s never too early to start planning for the future of your business, or modify the track you were on to include more consumer-friendly trends. While these are very basic questions to get you started thinking about how wearables might affect your business, just be aware that the future is now friends.
 


 

Heather Wied is the Marketing Director for Pubsoft. Follow @Pubsoft on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

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