The millennial generation looks to technology to ease up life and increase productivity at work
There was a time when X in the English alphabet held allure and was sought after. Today, it is Y’s turn and soon, Z will have its way. This, essentially, is a reference to a shift in the world’s demographics. A majority of the current global workforce comprises Gen Y and it won’t be long before Gen Z makes its debut. With this passing of the guard to the millennials and their successors, there’s also a fast-growing acceptance that this generation, literally, brings technology to the table irrespective of the task at hand. From desktop computers to laptops, from cell phones to smartphones and from tablets to wearables; evolution is the only constant in this space.
The term wearables have only been in existence for the last few years and there already exists a classification between basic wearables such as fitness trackers and autonomous or smart wearables such as the Apple Watch or Google Glass that possess advanced processing capabilities. There’s no dearth of demand for wearables as a quick look at the sector’s financial outlook suggests that this space is just short of an explosion, especially, in the mature markets. Credit Suisse estimates that the wearables industry could account for (CAGR) USD 50 billion in 2018 while Euro monitor projects that sales of smart wearables are likely to exceed 205 million units in 2020 at a (CAGR) growth rate of nearly 55 percent.
This brings one to the million-dollar question, what does the millennial generation expect from its wearable technology?
BRINGING EASE TO LIFE
Gen Y is defined by its penchant for technology and this has made technology a lot more personal. Take, for instance, how people are assessing their health. From tracking steps to calories to hours of rest, personalized information analysis provided by fitness monitors has enabled people to up their quality of life. Latest trends indicate that devices such as Fitbit are now considered first generation products as manufacturers are looking to go one step further and map the more intangible variable of stress and recommend corrective measures.
When it comes to functionality, one of the biggest growth drivers in the wearables sector is battery life. This apart, ease of use and access, not to mention, updates to technology, are features that consumers have come to take for granted.
ADDING VALUE TO WORK
Unlike its predecessors, Gen Y is extremely comfortable using technology to simplify work tasks and as millennials assume positions of leadership at organizations, the expectation is for technology to help save time, money and increase productivity. Think clutter-free workspaces and conference rooms minus cumbersome gadgets and that’s the direction offices are moving in. This shift in gears can also be seen and experienced as companies move towards integrating big data and cloud computing into their business functions. Accordingly, tech services are gearing up to meet the demand for smarter products that are customizable, easy to access and meet needs in real-time.
It must be said that this passage of time is only phased one in wearable technology and early adopters are faced with steep costs and working past bring your own device to work (BYOD) policies. The struggle to own and use wearable tech to address pain points on a daily basis is very real and yet, fairly individual. For manufacturers to acquire a sizeable, loyal consumer base and stay ahead in this battle for the market, what they need to address is the aspiration that Gen Y has for wearable tech and other allied tech streams that the advent of the Internet of Things has brought with it. The crux lies in gaining larger corporate acceptance as that will enable an entire generation to adapt faster and for manufacturers, that’s also where the largest slice of the pie is at.
“While devices such as the fitness-tracking Fitbit and smartwatches such as Apple Watch and Samsung Gear are often most closely identified with wearable technology, innovations within the apparel industry are finding ingenious methods to leverage technology in creating thoughtfully designed products that enhance the Gen-Y’s experience.
How would all this fit in place within enterprises as a means of not only elevating the retail experience but also enhancing employees’ work-life balance? Only time will tell”