Wearable technology pertains to clothing and accessories worn on the body that can collect and/or transmit data. In recent years, there’s been a lot of speculation whether or not wearables are going to be compatible with Voice over IP [VoIP] and unified communications [UC] platforms? The idea certainly conjures up images we’re all too familiar with — from science fiction to spy movie thrillers. For instance, who doesn’t remember Dick Tracy communicating with his precinct office from his wristwatch?
That Future is closer than you think . . .
The early markers have already gained a foothold with the first iterations of the Apple Watch and Google Glass, in addition to other tracking devices such as Fitbit, Go-Pro Cameras and more that will surely be introduced at the 2016 CES Expo.
So, it doesn’t seem like such a big leap to connect a VoIP phone service like Telzio to any of these wearable devices and apps in the foreseeable future.
According to observers, the voice quality wasn’t the best, but acceptable given that it was presented on a noisy trade show floor, between from the caller’s watch to another on an Israeli cell phone in Spain.
Nonetheless, it was our first glimpse at wearables being used for this purpose. In fact, it was kind of reminiscent of Alexander Graham Bell making his first groundbreaking telephone call to Thomas Watson on March 10, 1876.
VoIP vs Landlines
As time goes on, more and more SMBs are going to be transitioning from their legacy landlines to a VoIP service like Telzio. There are many reasons for this, but mainly cost cutting and an increase speed are going to be two of the major drivers. Our old telecom carriers are just too slow-moving in comparison.
Looking forward, it’s easy to foresee Google Glass being one of the first to partner with a VoIP service to add yet another enhancement to their ever-evolving menu of options.
Industry prognosticators have gone so far to predict that smartphones will lose one of their core functionalities to wearables. Tech and VoIP consultant Bhagwan Park questions what this will mean for the future of smartphones: “Most likely customers will still need them for applications that require a bigger screen. Web browsing immediately comes to mind. But so many of the immediate functions can be seamlessly transferred over. Could we be staring at the demise of the smartphone industry just as it’s started to get going?”
The obvious advantage fueling the blend of VoIP and wearables is having the opportunity to multi-task with your hands-free. This would certainly apply to collaborative communication such as web conferencing.
Users can even exercise while participating on a conference call. This is already being done with Bluetooth headsets and earbuds. This is meaningful, given smart watches tend to be marketed to those who are keen on maintaining a fitness regiment.
The immediacy of receiving and viewing a notification on a smartwatch definitely trumps that of a mobile hand unit. Affixed to a wrist versus being stowed away in a pocket or bag makes communication more fluid — particularly, when it comes to receiving alerts about web conferences that are taking place or about to commence.
Suit up . . .
Wearable technology is considered the next major evolution of mobility, so it’s something to keep on our radar. But while
we’re waiting, it might be wise to ready ourselves for this new technology, in advance of it going mainstream.
A VoIP solution like Telzio will help ensure you have the infrastructure in place to capitalize on these new communication devices as they roll off of the assembly line, and onto your person.
Ron is part of the marketing team at Telzio, covering everything from tips and tech for growing businesses to customer success stories for the Telzio blog. Previously a Director of Advertising and Public Relations at Marriott International, Ron has published several books including the award-winning graphic novel Facebucks.