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Welcome to the Age of Wearables

by Mike Wehrs
The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show featured many new wearable technology devices, heralding the next evolutionary path for the tech industry.  Scanbuy had the chance to see all these new devices during the show in Las Vegas earlier this month. Seemingly everywhere one looked, there was a wearable device on display, from smart glasses to watches and jewelry, to baby monitors and fitness wristbands. It’s definitely an exciting time for the category. As the global leader in cloud-based mobile engagement solutions that provide contextually relevant and targeted information nearly instantaneously in real-world environments, Scanbuy is a thought leader in how mobile engagement will become an integral part of this new age of wearables. We foresee a future where smart glasses will be able to scan QR Codes or other mobile triggers without the need for a smartphone.  Imagine a consumer wearing their smart glasses in a store and the ScanLife app recognizing that the wearer was focused on a product and the s/w finding a bar code on the packaging and automatically scanning it and fetching more information or coupons on a product, or scanning a code to conduct a quick mobile purchase.  Mobile triggers could also be used by consumers in the neighborhood looking for a home to buy and obtaining information on homes from the street, or for seeking additional information in a museum or other educational setting.  The possibilities are endless as consumer adoption of these devices take hold.  We call this usage model intelligent passive scanning and it is far far more complex to deliver on than active scanning which is how people utilize the technology today. However, while the potential for consumer wearable applications are fascinating, we tend to agree with J.P. Gownder’s analysis that the initial market will be found in enterprise.  In a recent blog post announcing two separate studies on wearables, the Forrester Research analyst writes, “Wearable devices — and the apps, software, and services that make those wearables truly valuable — will change the way workers do their jobs and how consumers manage their lives.” At Scanbuy we see the use of mobile triggers with smart glasses in enterprise areas such as logistics where a warehouses worker, for instance, could scan a Code and instantly see details or even a photo of what’s inside a particular box or on a pallet.  QR Codes could also offer real-time geo-located information in factory settings, healthcare facilities for patient monitoring, and any other situation on where a “deskless” worker needs to be apprised of constantly changing data without the need to carry a handheld device.

Epson Moverio

One profound use of smart glasses I witnesses was by the company Evena Medical, which enables nurses to see through a patient’s skin for veins detection, making it much easier for veins to be seen and accessed.  They use the Epson Moverio smart glasses technology platform. Stay tuned for developments from Scanbuy in the wearables space as we strive to give consumers and enterprises a new way to interact with the world around them.

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