Recent Blog Posts

The How and Why of Wearables at Work

The way we live and engage with technology has been forever changed by the impact of wearables. While there have been some early adopters in certain industries — manufacturing, healthcare, and law enforcement, among others — wearable technology has primarily been consumer-focused to this point: smart glasses, shirts, cameras, and jewelry. But slowly and surely, wearable computers are making their way into the workplace.


intel-smartwatch.jpgWearables at Work: “Odd, Yet Intriguing”

 

IT decision makers need to keep their ears open. Al Sacco recently wrote on CIO.com, “In fact, some experts think the true potential of wearable tech, the future of these odd yet intriguing gadgets, lies in enterprise or business use…Experts say smart CIOs and IT managers should be proactive in preparing for corporate wearables but also wary of embracing novel and untested devices.”

 

What Makes a Wearable Device Right for an Enterprise?

 

Blue Hill Research analyst James Haight recently interviewed Steve Holmes, vice president of smart device innovation at Intel, on wearables and the Internet of Things. Holmes highlighted three unique advantages to wearables, which might help CIOs avoid products that aren’t going to add long-term value:

 

  1. Persistence. They can be worn all the time (think watches, bracelets, glasses) allowing the user to measure things continuously.
  2. Intimacy. They can pick up information that remote devices cannot (such as heart rate).
  3. Immediacy. There is no need to open a computer or take out a phone to receive information.

 

Device-Enabled Freedom

 

Devices with these three assets enable apps to be part of a user’s daily life on demand without being disruptive. Enterprise-based wearables have the capacity to change the way employees interact with both their workspace and colleagues. There is potential for advancement in productivity and freedom by allowing employees to break away from their desks and mobile devices to engage in a whole new way, via voice commands, gestures, and natural movement. According to Karen Barrett at BizTech Magazine, “At the shallow end, wearables can enhance productivity by keeping employees connected. Going to a deeper level, hands-free devices that respond to voice commands and employ built-in cameras will transform the workplace for many professionals.”

 

Advancements in Workplace Wearables

 

Our Make It Wearable campaign invited designers from around the world to create prototypes for a chance to shape the future of wearables using Edison technology.

 

One of the 10 finalists and most enterprise-friendly concept was Blocks, an open source modular smart watch that allows users to customize their experience. By design, these blocks link to one another and are each embedded with electronics that carry out a different function. This design allows the user to interchange blocks as new ones are developed or upgraded, as opposed to buying a new smart watch when new functions are introduced.

 

While there are still problems to overcome with early wearable technology — security, cost, engagement, and privacy — innovators are challenging our perception of what wearable technology can be by creating more connectivity, integration, and interaction between the user and wearable. Through immediacy, intimacy, and persistence, wearables will offer the promise of time and money savings through real-time solutions.

 

To continue the conversation on Twitter, please follow us at @IntelITCenter or use #ITCenter.

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IoT and Big Data Analytics Pilot Bring Big Cost Savings to Intel Manufacturing

As billions of new and legacy devices become connected in the Internet of Things (IoT), manufacturers need solutions that make sense of disparate data sources and deliver a holistic picture of factory health to solve key challenges and generate new … Read more >

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Quick Q & A: Safer Highways, Smarter Cities, and Fewer Traffic Jams

It’s fascinating to think about how innovations in transportation, including the trend toward Internet of Things implementations, can enhance the quality of life for people across the globe. Indeed, technology can help us address significant challenges around really important aspects … Read more >

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Accelerating the Adoption of Web Technologies in the Automotive Industry

The mass market for self-driving vehicles hasn’t yet arrived. But as automakers continue to integrate in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), and race down the path toward autonomous driving, there is no doubt that automotive cockpits are becoming increasingly defined by software. Data … Read more >

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Protecting Consumer Information: NCR and Intel Team Up for a New Approach

One of the most relevant—and challenging—aspects of using technology in the retail and financial services space is how to ensure the protection of personal data on open platforms. In the guest blog post below, Chris Lybeer, Vice President of Strategic … Read more >

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Intel Labs’ Orion Races In-Vehicle Infotainment Onto the IoT

My colleague Ignacio Alvarez, Research Scientist, Systems Prototyping & Infrastructure, Intel Labs, works closely with software and hardware engineers, user experience researchers, and designers to prototype concepts in the field of intelligent transportation. In his blog post below, Ignacio writes … Read more >

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Year in Review: Top 10 Intel IoT Blog Posts on the Internet of Things

Each week, the Intel IoT blog brings you Internet of Things stories and news that inspire, create excitement, and share best practices. Today, we’re highlighting 10 “can’t miss” blog posts from 2014—whether you’re reading them again or catching them for the first … Read more >

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Empowering Your Workforce Through Mobile Collaboration

With mobility slated to top enterprise CIO priorities in 2015, clear internal communication strategies and robust collaboration platforms are crucial for continued success. As enterprise companies continue to heavily invest in IT infrastructure that enables their employees to untether from their desks and work remotely, collaboration software like Microsoft* Lync and Skype enable workers to remain productive and responsive — even out of the office.

Intel_SSG Lync and Skype Image_3-01.png

As companies have developed mobility strategies, many have invested in hardware such as tablets and smartphones in order to provide employees a modicum of flexibility. CIOs have discovered that due to their mobility strategies:

 

…employees in the field complete mission-critical tasks in real-time; they no longer gather information in one place, and then return to an office to transcribe what they learned on the road. Because workers are constantly connected, they’re always able to communicate, and are more likely to keep working even during off-hours.

 

Though it has proven to be an invaluable strategy across the increasingly complex enterprise landscape, the increase in productivity through mobility is still evolving.

 

Refining Mobility in 2015

                                                                                                           

 

Mobility is no longer a “nice to have” for employees — it’s expected. However, as the enterprise continues to adopt mobile technology, flaws are starting to appear. As BYOD and mobility have evolved, cross-platform collaboration has been somewhat limited by compatibility issues between operating systems.

 

Collaboration platforms like Microsoft* Lync* and Skype* have apps for most popular mobile operating systems, but functionality across some of these mobile platforms may be significantly limited compared to the desktop client.

 

For example, Microsoft* recently announced support for unified Lync & Skype communication (meaning Lync users can call and message Skype users, and vice versa). However, this functionality is limited to desktop clients for both devices. This feature, as well as many others, has been a major stumbling block for companies trying to promote robust collaboration efforts in conjunction with their mobility strategies.

 

Companies looking to refine their mobility strategy should consider the range of cross-platform compatibility issues and productivity limitations when looking to invest in any new device or strategy. A recent Principled Technologies test report compared Microsoft* Lync and Skype* performance on three popular mobile devices: an Apple* iPad* Air, Samsung* Galaxy* Note 10.1, and Microsoft* Surface* Pro 3.

 

The feature set and performance for the apps on the iPad* and Galaxy* Note was significantly limited compared to the Surface* Pro 3. Since the Surface* Pro 3 runs the full desktop version of Windows* 8.1 Pro, as opposed to a mobile operating system like the iPad* and Galaxy* Note.

 

Click here to read the full Principled Technologies test report.

 

*Other names and brands are property of others

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Better, Faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi is Here — Shouldn’t It Be In Your New PC?

Many manufacturers are still putting outdated 802.11bgn wireless technology in new devices despite the fact that the technology is almost 8 years old and has since been replaced by 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is 3x faster and more stable. Since this … Read more >

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