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Salesforce Wants to Bring Enterprise to Wearables

06.27.2014
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According to an IHS report, about 50 million wearable units will be sold in 2014, so it's hard to ignore the relevance and growth of the Internet of Things-primed wearables market. This is something that Salesforce.com has been keenly aware of, and the company isn't new to mobile investments either. Salesforce launched their mobile app platform Salesforce1 in late 2013.

Now Salesforce has launched Salesforce Wear, a developer pack which would allow developers to build apps on their existing Salesforce1 platform. They've already been met with a warm embrace from wearable companies like Fitbit, Pebble, Philips, Samsung and others. But a lot of developers have been asking, what are the applications of wearables in the enterprise? Smart, connected devices have long been at the attention of retail consumers as (mostly) toys, and embedded devices have a hugely growing role in manufacturing and industry--so the leap to enterprise applications seems like an inevitable adaption. But what will businesses do with this technology?

Concerning the possibilities of this kind of software and hardware interplay, Salesforce had a few suggestions for applications.

Salesforce Wear will enable companies to deliver:
 
●Connected 1:1 Experiences: With a connected wearable, going to a favorite casino, resort or amusement park will mean never having to pull out your wallet, juggle a hotel card key or search for an app. What if it was possible to anticipate needs and give VIP treatment to any visitor? With wearable devices like a wristband seamlessly connected to customer data, destinations can deliver customized journeys for every guest.
 
●Contextually Aware Sales Apps: Wearables will enable salespeople to be more connected to the digital world while being more present in the real world. Checking a mobile phone or opening a laptop during a meeting can be a distraction. A quick update right from the wrist can provide the necessary information without losing focus.

●Faster, Safer Service Resolution: Customer service will reach a whole new level with the introduction of wearables. Remote service technicians, such as oil rig workers or medical device reps, will be able to access live data, review plans for the equipment they are fixing and get real-time coaching, right from their glasses as they work. And they’ll be able to share exactly what they’re seeing—completely hands free.

●Platform Built for Endless Possibilities: Developers will be able to create apps that connect wearable devices to any business process. Apps can be built for everything from a “nudge” on a smartwatch when an urgent approval is required, to secure facilities access via a wristband, to encouraging healthy workforces through fitness challenges using fitness tracking devices. The possibilities on the platform are endless.
I can see the types of applications they're moving towards. It's something that will definitely seem more feasible once we're a few more generations into smartwatch technology--seeing wearables with high functionality and preferably a lower cost to encourage enterprise distribution. The recently announced Android Wear functionality and new smartwatches from LG and Samsung could help move us towards enterprise adoption.