Over the last 18 months wearables have gone from strength to strength and really are the talk of technology - wearables consisting predominantly of smart watches, fitness bands (Jawbone up), smart jewelry (MOTA SmartRing) and headwear (google glass) but most certainly not limited to. Research published in May 2014 highlights a 250 per cent growth in global shipments of smart watches in the first quarter of 2014 and this is prior to the much anticipated Apple iWatch due to launch early 2015 in the UK. In 2018 the number of shipments of wearable devices is predicted to reach 130 million which is ten times higher than in 2013 with a prediction of 9 billion wearable users (which by the way is more than all the world’s PCs, tablets and mobile devices put together) - big data is set to boom substantially with 9 billion wearable devices reading our every move and consumer companies who make the most of using this data smartly will become very successful, those who don’t are committing suicide…. Just ask any record company, video rental or bookshop.
Will Finance jump on the wearable bandwagon? Consumers expect experiences to be effortless with fitness companies such as Jawbone being innovative and creating wrist bands to wirelessly send every day information such as heart rate, sleep patterns, calorie tracking, recommended restaurants etc. to your phone and overtime build up an analytics profile whereby technology will correct your overall health by suggesting change.
Historically banks have had the biggest repository of data however they have never made the most of this, part of this will be down to regulation but one of the biggest factors are the limited banking mind-sets for change. Some banks are starting to look into wearables such as making mobile banking compatible across iWatches but this isn’t something to shout about in terms of innovation. Banks need to be testing the real potential of wearables such as delivering financial and trading alerts, relevant marketing offers, banking transactions, and to ultimately give us greater digital control over finances.
Wearables are being exploited across other professional sectors such as doctors seeing vital signs during operations; warehouse workers scanning goods and inputting data by voice; athletes viewing statistics in real time. This is all down to making a user’s experience easier, safer and faster when hands free doing your day to day job whilst interacting with data.
It is still early days when it comes to wearable technology across all sectors so much so we are only going off predictions and opinions however being left behind is enterprise suicide - personally and I know I am not alone am very interested in the future of banking and its innovation.
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