Wearable technology is starting to insert itself into basic business practices such as high quality customer service tactics and simpler methods of taking payments. Companies are using virtual reality headsets as potential training devices and smartwatches are becoming more useful and fashionable by the minute. How are businesses going to use these gadgets for their own benefit and how will it shape the user experience?

Airline Companies, Google Glass and Personal Information

Virgin Atlantic’s use of Google Glass headsets is an attempt to make flying a better and more personalized experience for premium-class passengers. Without having to break eye contact from a passenger, a stewardess or airport employee can access personal details such as passport information, whether or not the customer has gone through customs and immigration yet, and their frequent flier status. Still in its experimental phase, the airline is testing personal boundaries to see how frequent fliers will react towards combining wearable technology with customer service.

Qantas, an Australian airline, has gone so far as accessing social media postings uploaded by customers in airport lounges. While the airline dismisses any breach of personal information, explaining that social media postings are meant to be public, frequent fliers should understand sometimes it’s not just their friends who are reading their posts.

While it’s fairly inexpensive for airline companies to utilize new technology for improving certain aspects of a flier’s experience, it may be all too easy to breach the boundary between being helpful and alarmingly intrusive.

NASA, Rugby Fans and PS4 Use Virtual Reality

Sony’s new virtual simulator, a VR headset unveiled as Project Morpheus, is a new and much more stimulating way to game through a PS4. The headset was unveiled March 18th at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, and may indeed go on to serve as a training device for pro athletes, navy ship operators, designers, architects and surgeons. Now a major competitor of the Oculus Rift VR Headset, Sony and Oculus VR are two of the leading competitors in the virtual reality market.

The Oculus VR headset prototype, the Oculus Rift ‘Crystal Cove’, is a fairly recent, yet older, development. A competitor to Sony’s VR headset, The Rift (the first model) is currently being used by NASA to let visitors experience virtual tours of Mars and the International Space Station. The Rift also allows fans of England’s Rugby Team to virtually experience training sessions with coach Mike Catt. According to Sky News Producer, Angela Barns, this engaging wearable tech device may be utilized in the near future by actual Rugby players for training drills off the field.

Smartwatches Aren’t Just for Athletes

Google’s recent announcement of their “Android Wear” operating system, an Android compatible software for smartwatches, is a big step for wearable technology. According to Michael Liedtke, technology writer for newsobserver.com, this software update for smartwatches (a sort of less interruptive extension of your smartphone) may allow the gadget to be utilized for more mainstream purposes other than simply tracking ones fitness.

According to Liedtke, Google is making the Android software available to programmers and developers in an effort to come up with more compelling apps for customers. The Moto 360, a new, more functional and fashionable design for Android smartwatches by Motorola, is likely to make the wearable device much more appealing to those concerned with its aesthetics.

While Apple already uses Bluetooth beacon technology for smartphones, enabling sales driven messages to pop up on a customer’s iPhone as they pass a specific in-store display, Bluetooth technology for smartwatches may be the next step in making the device more useful for businesses. For example, a smartwatch wearer passing an Apple storefront may be immediately alerted of an ongoing sale.

Image Courtesy of Flickr.com

Companies like Shopify are developing apps for businesses that can be used through smart devices such as iPads and certain tablets, meaning it won’t be long before we’re able to take payments with a smartwatch, or even a pair of glasses! All this new tech is just the beginning for streamlining how companies do business. Next thing you know, we’ll be able to virtually try on clothes without ever having to enter a dressing room.

 

Camille McClane is a writer, researcher and editor who is passionate about business, tech, social media and online marketing. Feel free to reach out to her on Google+!