Technological triumphs for everyday use

By Sir Merrick Cockell and David Rees | 20 February 2015

To-date, attention has been focused on consumer applications for wearables, but it is likely that we will see a growing recognition of their potential in business use to improve operations and enhance customer experience.

For example, one UK supermarket is using wearable devices to give staff an image of what the shelf should look like when stocked, and then to help them check stock levels and locate items in the warehouse. It is also using smart watches to inform staff when customers arrive at the car park as part of their ‘click and collect’ service. This enables staff to schedule collection and reduce customer waiting time.

Local government should be considering what uses it could make of these devices and the practical considerations that need to be addressed to implement them successfully. The key benefits lie in the possibilities they offer to provide real time data, highly accurate information about location, and an ‘augmented reality’ picture of the environment.

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