Wearables for a good cause: Challenges to overcome for BYOD success

May 22, 2015

2015-05-22 Smart Watch.jpgEver since smartwatches, Google Glass and other wearable devices first burst onto the scene, many have wondered how this hardware would be utilized. The health benefits of these devices is obvious: Having a hands-free system to leverage while running or training is a big advantage for sports and fitness enthusiasts. However, wearables are slowly making their way into the business world, a transition many didn’t see coming.

Glass for Good: Nonprofits utilize Google Glass
Recently, Google wrapped up its Giving through Glass contest, where it awarded five groups with a pair of Google Glass, as well as a $25,000 grant, according to PC Magazine. The five winners illustrate the potential wearables have in an organizational setting.

The contest winners included 3000 Miles to a Cure, Classroom Champions, The Hearing and Speech Agency, Mark Morris Dance Group and Women’s Audio Mission. The groups will utilize their new wearable devices for several purposes, including within therapeutic settings, to improve lab experiences and to provide a new point of view, PC Magazine stated. director Jacquelline Fuller noted that nonprofits can greatly benefit from the use of technology by helping users connect with the causes they believe in. However, it seems that wearable technology may have a place within other businesses as well. A number of groups have noted the hands-free benefits of wearables, and how they can improve processes in jobs that take employees away from their desks.

Challenges to address for success
However, before wearables can become commonplace in nonprofit organizations and enterprises, there are several hurdles that must be jumped first. ZDNet contributor James Kendrick noted that currently, there simply isn’t a widespread customer base looking to purchase smartwatches and other wearable technology.

“‘I wish I had a big gadget strapped to my wrist to check the weather/email/Facebook.’ A statement made by no one, ever,” Kendrick wrote.

Although, once the advantages of these devices are better communicated to those that can benefit from it, there will be increasing demands for wearables. For example, a worker whose job requires constant use of their hands may enjoy having hardware on their wrist, instead of trying to juggle a smartphone while carrying out daily tasks.

Another issue that must be addressed is safety. If the creators of this technology ever hope to have it be included in today’s popular BYOD programs, they must ensure that users have secure ways to leverage them. For instance, if an employee wanted to access a sensitive document from their Google Glass, or share business files via their smartwatch, a secure file sharing platform must be established for staff member use to mitigate BYOD security threats.