Wearable Tech for Entrepreneurs
Wearable tech, such as smart watches, is popping up all over these days. Grandmothers are wearing Fitbit, virtual reality is about to become mainstream and Apple’s smartwatch is ubiquitous in tech-oriented wonderlands like Silicon Valley. Wearable technology — wireless-connected gadgets that take the form of eyeglasses, bracelets, wristwatches and other small accessories for the human body—have left their niche and geeky reputations behind and become popular purchases for the average consumer. But can this new technology help entrepreneurs manage their everyday business activities? Let’s take a look at how some wearable tech applications might improve the comfort and productivity of hardworking entrepreneurs.
The Science of Sleep
You’ve heard it before from startup founders and other ambitious entrepreneurs: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” But it may be an entrepreneur’s productivity that kicks the bucket as a direct result of working long, irregular hours. Scientists have long proven a strong link between a lack of sleep and plummeting productivity. Wearables could help busy entrepreneurs optimize their sleep patterns and lessen disruptions to their already hectic schedules. The groundswell of sleep trackers for iPhone apps and various Fitbit models certainly gives busy entrepreneurs a lot of options.
Many wearable tech developers believe that mental health could be the next frontier, an application with enormous potential to improve the working lives and well-being of busy entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurial developers are working to build cognitive assessment into wearables, with the goal of identifying mental health issues and user behaviors such as physical activity or how often users communicate. This could be a way for entrepreneurs to self-assess their stress in order to intervene and take action before further damage is done.
Wearables in the Workplace
Entrepreneurs who produce a physical product may find that smart wearables have the ability to streamline production. There are armbands that automatically track the goods that workers are transporting in, for example, grocery stores. These devices theoretically could also give managers an estimated completion time for tasks and could check the correct order fulfillment, among other efficiencies. There are also sensors in certain wearable devices that can analyze the motion and time involved in completing a task, then give the employee or user more information as needed.
Incorporating wearables can help ensure employee safety in hazardous work environments and create efficiencies in complex systems. Truck drivers can wear a “smart cap,” with sensors in it that helps keep tabs on a driver’s alertness, reducing the risk of accidents. Other devices can help track traffic flows within work areas at specific times, giving leaders insight as to how to schedule employees during those times.
Whether or not you have full buy-in from employees, it’s worth it for entrepreneurs to at least explore the efficiencies and benefits that wearable tech may bring to their entrepreneurial operations. The implementation of wearable tech goes beyond measuring time worked. Wearable tech may give you actionable intelligence that previously might have been impossible to gather.