With the announcement this week of a smartwatch from Apple, it will join a host of wearable technology from Google, Samsung, Motorola, LG and others. The smartwatch is just the latest personal device to join the multitude of smartphones that are everywhere in the workplace.
So, with all this personal technology how can we potentially leverage this to benefit our government customers?
Much has been discussed about leveraging smart devices for large infrastructure projects, for example, but what about the individual worker? First, let’s consider replacing the Employee Badge and their Access Badges. The Employee ID clipped to the shirt has been a staple of every office for decades and is a function that the smart wearable technology could address. We could with scanners detect the smart wearable device and grant access to the building or restricted area while logging the date and time. This device could eliminate the need for the time clock which would for save money in equipment as well as the cost of printed timecards that are still used throughout many organizations.
Today, universities use mail and text broadcasts to notify their students of lockdowns in case of emergencies on campus. The smart wearable device could be used similarly to notify government employees of meetings, issues of concern or any number of other situations by broadcasting to them in a similar fashion. In turn, the employee could “check in” that they have received the notification by tapping a reply on their smart wearable device. The emergency communications could even be enhanced further by providing the users the directions to a rally point, updates on the situation or other targeted data.
The smart wearable could be used to let an employee know that he has received a critical email by sending him a message, or, to inform a citizen that a water bill payment is overdue. Similarly, if a phone call came in at the office and a voicemail was left this action could be passed along as a notification.
Last, the incorporation of the smart wearable with a voice-controlled UI would open up a range of possibilities. This UI would work in real-time over the web to access the user’s calendar or Email application providing alerts and management of the messages. The user would be able to remotely set up meetings, invite attendees from their phone book and access information around the availability of attendees. Additionally, the smart wearable could work in conjunction with the users smartphone and extend into the access of data and network services through the phone connection.
Interesting and meaningful ways to apply technology abound. For our government clients, the overhaul of long-used and siloed processes will become streamlined with the adoption of new technologies. The opportunity for a new wave of unique government productivity applications is happening now.