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Wearable technology set to revamp the workplace

jane bird | the sunday times | 6 december 2015

PA’s Simon Hall, a wearable technology expert, is quoted in an article in The Sunday Times in a special report on the future of work.

The article looks at various wearable technologies and how they have the potential to revolutionise the workplace. Regardless of their potential advantages, there are obstacles to wearables gaining acceptance in the workplace.

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Simon explains that one problem is the distrust of people wearing cameras: “There is a role for heads-up displays with video recording in hazardous environments, such as oil rigs and power plants, where there is a high risk of accidents - but not in normal corporate workplaces, where it is more gimmickry than utility.”

Another problem Simon highlights is that devices to monitor workers can be seen as intrusive. It may however be acceptable when there are safety concerns. For example, sensors to detect alertness and warn truck drivers when they are dangerously sleepy, to avoid fatigue-related incidents. But it can be seen as too much of an infringement of privacy, explains Simon.

The article goes on to explain that some workers might appreciate monitors which, when used in combination with clever analytic software, can predict how productive you will be based on your sleep patterns. Simon says: “If employers made them available to staff people could predict when their best work would be to help plan their days.”

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