Samsung tinkering with wearables and VR headset for business

Enterprise wearables will be important but face some obstacles, Samsung says

The Samsung Gear Live lets people reply to messages with pre-programmed responses.

The Samsung Gear Live lets people reply to messages with pre-programmed responses.

Samsung Electronics wants to make work fun and productive with its wearable devices and virtual-reality headset, and it thinks those devices will become more important in enterprises.

The mobile-device company is currently selling smartwatches and the Gear VR headset mostly to consumers, but it is exploring the use of wearables in business with some companies. It is also working with developers to write applications, which are important for smartwatches, and also developing content, a key driver for headsets.

Businesses are interested in smartwatches for alerts and immediate access to critical information, while VR headsets are drawing attention as a potentially powerful way to present multimedia content, said Eric McCarty, vice president of mobile marketing, at a Samsung event in New York.

But both types of devices may also present challenges. For smartwatches, those could be security and weaving them into BYOD programs. Samsung may integrate a security layer if it develops an enterprise-focused wearable, much like it has in its Galaxy smartphones and tablets with the Knox platform, McCarty said.

For a VR headset, the challenges relate to the development and delivery of new content, which will be unique for different businesses and industries, McCarty said.

Samsung proposed some business uses for smartwatches and said there has been interest from the finance and hospitality industries. Day traders could use smartwatches to get alerts on stock prices or make trades on a timely basis. Field service workers could get job alerts while on the road.

In restaurants, smartwatches could be a more efficient way to send service notifications to staff. Such notifications could be received from a server or ordering system via a Bluetooth or 3G connection. Samsung sells its Gear S smartwatch with 3G connectivity, so the devices don't necessarily have to be an extension of the smartphone.

The Gear VR headset could be used for training videos in enterprises, or in the real-estate industry to give virtual tours of homes. There's also an active interest in VR headsets for entertainment on planes, McCarty said. The most interest in headsets is coming from the automotive industry, he said.

But the use of Gear VR is only as good as its multimedia content, which is unique to each company, McCarty said. There are questions around who will develop it and how that content will be deployed, McCarty said.

It will take years of experimentation to figure out how wearables fit in the enterprise, said Bob O'Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research.

Wearables will be useful for those who prefer hands-free computing. A electricity worker fixing a line on a pole may find it convenient to access information through a wearable rather than a smartphone or tablet, O'Donnell said.

"You have to have a pretty robust and rugged device. Consumer-grade stuff isn't really going to cut it," O'Donnell said.

Beyond reminders and alerts, wearables could also be accessories for office workers. Wearables could replace card keys and even serve as pointers while making a presentation.

Device makers may even design custom wearables for companies. Those will be higher priced, small volume and specialized devices, O'Donnell said.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsconsumer electronicsSamsung Electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?