Advantages and Disadvantages of Wearable Technology
12 July 2022
Wearable technology has evolved substantially over the past decade, evolving from basic fitness trackers to devices that can measure our blood pressure, heart rate, and other physiological data. The most common use cases today are for health management, but there is a growing interest in using wearables in the workplace to improve productivity and interactions with colleagues.
This has led to a wide range of applications, from simple devices that display the time and the weather, to devices that can provide real-time translation, remote collaboration, or even physical augmentation. This wide range of applications has led to many questions about the potential liability and ethical implications of these devices in the workplace. However, like any technology, wearable technology has its pros and cons. In this article, will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of wearable technology in the workplace.
What is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology is a term that refers to any technology used for the purpose of being wearable on the human body. It may include a fitness tracker, a smart watch, smart glasses, embedded sensors, or specialized clothing. Wearable technology uses different sensors and technologies to track a person’s different physical states and everyday activities. These sensors include optical sensors (lenses and light-emitting diodes), textile sensors (embedded fibres in clothing), wearable sensors (e.g., smart watches, smart glasses, sensors embedded in clothing, sports clothing, or in other non-fabric.
Advantages of Wearable Technology:
- Helps to Increase Employee Productivity:
Wearable technology can increase employee productivity by increasing the employee’s engagement and efficiency. Wearable devices allow workers to communicate with one another and can improve their ability to work efficiently, which can help them increase their productivity. Wearable devices also allow employees to record work time, make decisions, and develop new skills. Wearable technology will allow workers to be more productive since they can accomplish more tasks and are not limited by the amount of time they can spend at work.
- Wearable technology is easy to use:
The fact that wearable technology is easy to use is one of the most obvious benefits, especially when combined with other methods of personal communication. Wearable devices can be worn anywhere, and are available in a variety of forms, such as watches, glasses, jewellery, and headwear.
- Helps companies to track employee health and fitness as a part of their wellness program:
Wearable technology can be used to provide employees with more accurate information about their health, and they can use this information to help them make healthier choices. For example, by using wearable technology, an employee can wear a fitness tracker to track their heart rate and calories burned every day, and they can then monitor these values and make changes based on what they perceive to be a healthier lifestyle.
- Improved Communication and Collaboration:
Wearable technology benefits seamless communication and collaboration among team members. With features like voice commands and instant messaging, employees can easily communicate, share ideas, and coordinate tasks, regardless of their physical location. This real-time connectivity fosters teamwork and accelerates decision-making processes, enhancing overall efficiency.
- Enhanced Safety:
Wearable devices equipped with safety features such as GPS tracking, proximity sensors, and alert systems can significantly enhance workplace safety. In hazardous environments, employees can receive immediate alerts in case of emergencies or potential risks, enabling them to take prompt actions. This technology is particularly beneficial in industries like construction, manufacturing, and healthcare, where employee safety is paramount.
Disadvantages of Wearable Technology:
- It can be a distraction:
Wearables like smart watches can be distracting and may interfere with the workplace tasks and duties. The smart watch can also be a distraction for employees because they may use the watch while at work to check their email, text messages, or social media, and these activities can create an inordinate amount of stress and anxiety for employees.
Widespread use of wearable technology has raised concerns of safety and security. The concerns focus on both the potential misuse of the technology by hackers and its effects on privacy and data security. As wearable technology continues to grow in use and popularity, the safety and security concerns will likely continue to be a concern.
Wearables, such as wristbands and watches are convenient, free, and can easily be lost or stolen. They can also be inconvenient if people feel they are being watched all the time, as they can be identified by their wristband, watch, or other wearable devices.
- Technical Limitations:
Despite advancements in smart technology, most gadgets have technological limits. Wearable gadgets of various sizes have limited battery capacity, which may be both hard and unreliable.
For example, if a gadget gives good advantages but must be charged every two to three days, it will not aid the busy business.
- Health Risks:
Most wearable gadgets communicate through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. While communicating, these wireless techniques produce radio waves. However, these are hazardous to both users and anyone nearby.
- Integration Challenges
Integrating wearable technology into existing workplace systems and infrastructure can present challenges. Compatibility issues, limited software support, and the need for additional training and technical support may arise. Organizations must carefully evaluate the compatibility and feasibility of incorporating wearable technology, considering the potential disruption it may cause during the implementation phase.
Wearable technology, such as activity trackers, smartwatches, and glasses, have become very popular in recent years for tracking everyday activities and metrics, including steps, distance, heart rate, and sleep. Wearable tech devices have enabled users to keep track of their physical activities in a new way, but they have also opened up new pathways for tracking, recording, and sharing personal data. Wearable tech can also be used to help individuals monitor their weight, sleep patterns, and exercise habits, which can be particularly helpful for those with weight loss or dietary concerns.
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