Smart glasses in the enterprise

Wearable technology is increasingly looking like the future after smartphones and tablets, with smart glasses, smart watches and other devices worn on the body offering limitless applications.

Of course, while much of the current wearables market is aimed at consumers, ABI Research believes smart glasses could find a home in the enterprise – with significant adoption predicted for this year.

Enterprise adoption on a fast track

In a recent report released on January 27, ABI explained this year is likely to be a big one for smart glasses, with an increase in unit shipments of around 150 per cent. What's more, almost the entirety of this growth is set for the enterprise and public sector.

While this may sound strange to many, especially given the current consumer focus of wearables, it's not actually surprising when you consider the possible applications.

ABI noted remote assistance, warehouse and barcode scanning, security, police and military are all excellent areas for the devices.

Smart glasses can include cameras, display information directly in the line of sight for the user and even make and receive phone calls.

"Smart glasses were much hyped in 2014 as a smartphone replacement, largely on the back of Google's Glass product announced in early 2013," explained Nick Spencer, a senior practice director at ABI.

"However, 2014 showed the use case for smart glasses is task specific, for example remote assistance, security (facial and number plate recognition), augmented reality, and virtual reality."

It's important to note that even with the substantial growth outside of the consumer sector, smart glasses still won't take the top spot for wearables.

Smart watches are expected to see 300 per cent expansion, thanks to the consumer space. Growth will likely be driven by the release of the Apple Watch early this year.

The time is now for businesses to start considering the value of these capable new technologies, and how they could make a difference in a variety of areas.