New workplace wearables bridge communication gap between employees and systems

Oyster Bay, New York - 29 Sep 2016

The variety and amount of wearables in the workplace is rapidly expanding as enterprises rely on them to help bridge the communications gap between employees and systems, and foster better productivity. Wearable healthcare monitors are now the most popular form-factor and momentum is building for Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs). ABI Research estimates that more than 16 million wearables—from activity trackers to healthcare monitors and from 3D motion trackers to HMDs—will ship for business use this year. Corresponding device revenues will reach nearly $3 billion.

“There is significant market interest in the smart glasses segment for design, quality assurance, workflow optimization, and assistive applications,” says Jeff Orr, Research Director at ABI Research. “Initial HMD use cases are delivering new operational efficiencies and safety programs by enabling remote workers to access design and support personnel without major delays.”

Wearable devices in the workplace benefit employees by allowing them to use both hands to complete tasks without the need to hold a mobile device. Wearables are also addressing major gaps in employee productivity, enhancing voice and data communications between employees and systems. Some employers use them as a form of identity and authentication, as well. The vendor ecosystem is dominated by specialized companies, such as Atheer, Augmate, Nymi, ODG, Proxxi, and Theatro, leading with an understanding of industries and job roles that benefit immediately from wearable technology applications.

Growth in all world regions over the next five years will increase both shipment and revenue values. In 2021, ABI Research forecasts that more than 83 million annual shipments of wearables will be procured for business and that related revenues from hardware sales will exceed $14 billion.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Wearables in the Workplace: Enterprise Market Update. This report is part of the company’s Enterprise IT & OT Convergence sector, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

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