Enterprise wearables adoption will see 6-fold increase by end of 2016, predicts APX Labs

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Enterprise wearable adoption is expected to increase sixfold this year, predicted wearables software firm APX Labs.

One-third of that growth will be due to companies deploying these devices for the first time, while the other two-thirds will be companies finding new use cases for currently deployed devices, said APX.

This year will also bring a stronger connection between wearables and the Internet of Things. In fact, APX said wearables and IoT will no longer be separate concepts – instead, wearables will be consider a subsection under the larger umbrella known as IoT.

Data collected by IoT products will be increasingly used by hands-free devices, argued APX, and that's where wearables come in. Smartglasses and smartwatches can interact with IoT sensors in factory settings, for example, so a worker can log information without having to use a PC or tablet.

In addition, wearables will shape hardware development in 2016, said APX, and the physical components of wearables will be less of a hodgepodge of existing processors and sensors. Instead, wearables will include new technologies made entirely for these devices.

APX also predicted that 2016 would be "the year of the smart factory," meaning factory environments will strengthen communication between products, people and equipment in order to make those workplaces smarter and more efficient.

Intel will be the top company in the hardware wearables space, said APX, due to its commitment to providing the chip technology that is essential for wearables. The company recently poured $25 million into smartglasses maker Vuzix, according to the report.

Finally, at the end of 2016 when you're shopping for holiday presents all over again, chances are that an employee who handles your merchandise will be wearing smartglasses. About one in 50 holiday gifts will be processed and handled by a person with smartglasses – whether that's in the warehouse or delivery stage, or even in the brick-and-mortar retail store, according to APX.

Of course, APX has a vested interest in the state of enterprise wearables because they sell software for smartglasses. However, it's not the only company predicting a bright future for wearables. Last October, research firm Tractica predicted that by 2020, the enterprise wearables market will be worth over $6 billion.

For more:
- see the report [reg. req.]

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