Fortunate or unfortuante, I've been in the business of automating Fortune 1000 companies with mobile computing and wireless systems since the early 90's, starting with a company named NORAND (now Intermec/Honeywell).
Back then, wireless systems were "magic" and only the most progressive companies would even try. And try they did, as I was involved in automating thousands of locations for companies such as UPS, Kraft foods, Nabisco, Nestle, Pepsico, National/Alamo, Dollar/Thrifty, Kmart, Financial firms, Stock Exchange and over 1,200 hospitals in North America.
Why? it was a competitive advantage, plain and simple. Companies that invested in wireless mobile computing reaped the benefits beyond companies that didn't. They obtained exponential accuracy for inventory, were able to leverage labor efficiencies and brought scale to their operations.
It wasn't easy in the beginning, convincing them to invest. As a salesperson at the time, I had the mission of explaining to these companies how this would help them, and that they wouldn't lose their jobs by investing in this new wireless technology. I gleamed in the mid-90's, "this is the future", one day, you will go to a store and buy a laptop that would have wireless embedded in a chip. There won't be an option not to get wireless. Imagine that!
Well, how does this correlate to the "Future of Wearable Technology in the Supply-Chain"?
I feel as if i'm back in the 90's again. Chanting company to company how this new "magical" technology will help their companies. Again, each company will challenge the potential impact that wearbles will have, and only the most progressive will invest, however, this is bigger than before. This technology will effect not just the workforce on the floor, this will be pervasive across the enterprise. Investments go beyond just the hardware platforms and strategic investments in software companies such as mine, will help reshape how these companies operate.
Collaberation will take on a whole new meaning, as new form-factors in glass and watches begin to take hold. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are not going away, they will continue to flourish, but the technology has limitations when workforces are moving faster than ever. We see this new collaberation flourshing in warehousing, retail floor, manufacturing and healthcare.
New applications that we have been working on for augmenting reality in warehouse applications will not only generate more efficiency, but will attrace new millenial workforces not willing to work at stagnating companies. We will see the same in multiple markets, and again, the companies that are early adotpers, will get exponential payback that will give them their rightful competitive adavantages.
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resident founder at JASCI