Businesses make initial steps into customer service across wearable devices

Published on 21 March 2014 by in Latest News

wearable technology customer service Businesses make initial steps into customer service across wearable devicesThis week, technology manufacturers flocked to London’s Olympia Centre for the UK’s first Wearable Technology Show; an event which showcased the latest and upcoming smartwatches and headsets. The exhibition saw manufacturers such as Samsung and GoPro reveal their latest contributions to the market, fuelling predictions that wearable technology will dominate the consumer landscape in the coming years.

As a category, wearable technology is currently owned by fitness devices; fitness bands from Nike and Fitbit, tracking the exercise habits of wearers, account for around 90 per cent of wearable sales. However, current and upcoming releases from Google (Google Glass) and Samsung (Galaxy Gear smartwatch) have expanded the scope of the market, offering users the opportunity to display data from maps to text messages. Apple is also rumoured to be working on an ‘iWatch.’

“Wearables are almost certainly going to shake up our lives in the years to come,” writes Shara Tibken at CNET.com.

For businesses, the technology offers intriguing potential; from app development to innovative methods of offering customer service. Indeed, in February, Virgin Atlantic was the first organisation to announce it would incorporate Google Glass into its customer service processes for first class passengers, utilising the technology in its check-in processes; the pilot scheme pushes passenger information to the airline’s concierge’s Google Glass.  In the future, the technology could also be used to provide dietary information and refreshment preferences.

Dave Bulman, Director of IT at Virgin Atlantic commented:

“[Our wearable technology] pilot makes us the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve the customer experience. We are upholding Virgin Atlantic’s long tradition of shaking things up and putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience.”

However, while many businesses will be exploring how to incorporate wearable technology into their customer services, analysts predict that 2014 will not be the defining year for the market. Mike Bell, a senior executive at Intel, told Reuters in January that wearable technology needs to ‘offer a true solution’ for the user.

“It’s about what the technology enables you to do; something you couldn’t do before.”

This sentiment has been echoed by a number of industry experts, including Carolina Milanesi, a consumer tech analyst at Kantar Worldpanel. “2014 will be more a year of attempts than of successful products,” she commented.

Follow numero on Twitter for the latest news about customer service in the wearable technology market.

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