Salesforce.com Adds New Devices and Apps to Its Salesforce Wear Ecosystem
Just a few months after entering the wearables market with the launch of Salesforce Wear, Salesforce.com is expanding its current ecosystem with support for five additional wearable devices. In addition to providing app development resources for Android Wear, Fitbit, Google Glass, and several others, Salesforce Wear now supports Epson Moverio smart glasses, Jawbone UP fitness tracker, Meta Glasses 3D smart glasses, Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and Vuzix M100 smart glasses.
"The wearables space is growing quickly," Dan Debow, senior vice president of emerging technologies at Salesforce.com, says. "The adoption rate is five times faster than that of the smartphone revolution, and we see wearables as a massive opportunity for the enterprise. Since we introduced the original six devices and apps, we've seen developers take those and run with them, which is very exciting for us from an innovation standpoint," he adds.
As the company's device ecosystem continues to expand, so does its enterprise app platform. With more hardware providers to choose from, enterprises are building a wider array of applications and tools designed to fully leverage the capabilities of wearable technology.
"The four biggest areas where we see wearables having a huge impact are oil and gas, hospitality, retail and healthcare, and this isn't necessarily surprising," Debow says. "If you look at healthcare and oil and gas, for example, it's all about keeping people's hands free. If you're a nurse or doctor, you don't want to be looking at a computer or even a phone while you're working with a patient. The same goes for field work. They need their hands," he says.
For example, Etherios, which helps companies connect their devices to the cloud, has developed a series of apps to help monitor patients' health after they leave the hospital. The app connects to digital scales, blood pressure equipment, and pulse oximeters to enable remote monitoring in real time.
Also relevant for the healthcare industry, an app called 2lemetry, which works with the SafetyCare wrist device, allows elderly patients to request immediate assistance by swiping across the screen. The device could be used in a hospital setting, Debow explains, or can be given to senior citizens for in-home use. "It's like a more modern, more intelligent 'I've fallen and I can't get up' device," he says.
On the field work side, APX-Labs' app allows users to log their repairs or activities in the Service Cloud using smart glasses, without ever having to interrupt their work.
As for the other two industries, hospitality and retail, wearables will play a crucial role in the coming years because of the growing need for more personalized customer experiences. "If a customer is checking into a hotel he's stayed at twenty-five times already, the person at the check-in desk should know him by name before he comes up to the desk," Debow says.
An app called HospitalityID, for example, is changing the way hotel employees interact with guests. Powered by FacialNetwork, the app works with smart glasses to instantly identify guests, giving employees the opportunity to deliver more customized and personalized hotel experiences. Proximity Insight's app works in a similar way, using Android Wear to send notifications to staff members when a VIP customer is near.
Along with the introduction of new devices and applications that are now part of the Salesforce Wear Ecosystem, Salesforce.com also announced a new partnership with Accenture, a company that's equally passionate about where wearables are headed, Debow says. "They, like us, believe that wearables aren't just for consumers. They see the potential of wearables in the enterprise, which is why they've signed on to help us as a systems integrator," he says.
With Salesforce.com's annual Dreamforce conference just a little over a month away, Debow promised there would be more wearables announcements to come. “There’s going to be a lot of talk about wearables at Dreamforce," Debow teased, "and we'll have a lot more to share soon."
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