Online customer relationship management (CRM) firm Salesforce has recently announced the launch of Salesforce Wear, a division of the company specializing in helping businesses to develop apps that will help them connect with their audiences via the growing wearable tech market.
The much-buzzed-about new tech field has been getting a lot of notoriety over recent years with the introduction of Google Glass and Apple’s iWatch, but more low-key gadgets like the run-tracking Fitbit have been around longer, quietly paving the way for mainstream consumer adoption of wearable tech. In a blog post earlier this year, Salesforce emphasized that wearable tech’s potential actually lies mostly in business applications, as wearable devices allow in-the-field workers to access information on-the-fly, for example, or to communicate with colleagues at a remote location. One study was cited as suggesting that wearable tech could boost employee productivity by 8.5 percent, and Salesforce guessed that the wearable tech market will be worth $8.36 billion by 2018.
Some of the excitement over this industry is reminiscent of the wild speculation of 1950’s-era futurologists, and it’s important to remember that those mass-market jetpacks and flying cars never materialized. Google Glass has been in beta testing for many months now, and as Google’s guinea pig “explorers” have given rise to the term “glasshole”, it’s still unclear how much market demand there is for the product. The iWatch, meanwhile, has yet to debut, and it could turn out to be as inconsequential as Siri, the AI entity residing in your iPhone who never quite won you over. Nevertheless, the ubiquity of jogging-trackers like the Fitbit demonstrates that wearable tech is more than a passing fad, and Samsung and Motorola have already jumped on the smartwatch bandwagon with iterations of their own, so early-adopter businesses may indeed want to take Salesforce Wear up on its offer and start working on some apps.