Though this prediction is still a few years out from the year 2020, 83 percent of experts say wearable tech will have a "widespread and beneficial effect" on the public by the year 2025, according to Pew Research Center.
In November 2013, Pew canvassed responses from 2,558 experts and technology builders about their predictions of where tech will stand by 2025. Though predictions on ramifications varied, most agreed, "there will be a global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers."
People will experience "augmented reality...through the use of portable, wearable, implantable technologies." We'll either fall victim to or benefit from "tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms," according to Pew's experts. Maybe a little of both.
For the 2020 workforce, this means everything you might imagine.
In 5 years, workplace wearables won't be a novelty.
In 2015, we're already scratching the surface, and Forrester research predicts the wearable enterprise is on the brink of improving many aspects of business. Wearable devices, and the services they provide will change how we manage our lives, and therefore, the way we work.
"Enterprises need to start putting together a road map for thinking about how wearables can improve their businesses over the next few years," according to Forrester's report. "In other words, they need to embark now on the early stages of the enterprise wearables journey."
In a few short years, wearable devices will go from novelty to norm in the workplace. Here are a few wearable tech trends that, I predict, will impact the way we work together in 2020:
1. We'll remember more accurately.
Our personal experiences and notes will be cataloged in cloud memory, which will improve productivity and accuracy. Employees will be able to instantly transcribe their experiences during training into the cloud for reference later. Everyone will learn how to perform their jobs better, faster.
2. We'll work better together in long-distance.
Wearables will continue to extend the reach and power of how we communicate. We'll even be prompted to help when sensors detect our co-workers are stressed out. The TACTILU, a bracelet allowing tactile communication between two people at a distance, is already in progress.
3. We'll measure productivity and job satisfaction differently.
In measuring success, we'll factor "emotional state" into work performance through data from wearable sensors. We'll have access to behavioral and lifestyle profile of employees, so we can determine the secrets to achieving optimal performance in the workplace. Better insight on this means better management of employee well-being and less sick days.
"The burden of care will reduce as a result of far better monitoring of, and response to, your physical and emotional state.," says JP Rangaswami, chief scientist for Salesforce.com, in Pew's report.
4. We'll change what we look at when hiring.
No longer will we have to analyze a job candidate during the interview; wearables will do it for us. We'll conduct a voice analysis during interviews using a more advanced version of an app like Moodies, which provides emotions analytics, to determine how a candidate is feeling. Other wearables will provide us with a snapshot of personality and character traits.
5. We'll stay on task better.
Though we'll be surrounded by more distractions than ever before, we'll also have devices to help plan our day and keep us on track. Wearables can alert us when we've spent too long on Facebook, or doing something other than our assigned project. If that's not enough for accountability, they can be set to let the boss know.
As we ardently invest in technology to meet the growing needs of our lifestyles, we'll begin to see the benefits cross over into our work lives as well. We'll be more connected, a little more psychic, and remember more. Hopefully these insights will lead us to collaborate and understand one another better.
What do you hope technology will bring to the workforce in 2020?