Will wearable technology be a detriment to productivity?

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Wearable devices could serve as a distraction for many

Wearable technology is set to go mainstream in just a few short years, and what that means for people’s daily lives is not yet certain. Early adopters of devices like smart watches and augmented reality glasses have found that these products are quite entertaining, which may present a problem when it comes to productivity. Because wearable devices allow for a more seamless integration into the digital space, the constant availability of entertainment and digital social interaction may prove quite distracting for some.

A recent study conducted in the United Kingdom by Goldsmiths, University of London, found that those using wearable devices could boost productivity by 8%. The study was focused on a media company with some 120 employees and the devices these people used were specifically designed to improve productivity, concentration, and posture. The study suggests that some devices could have a positive impact on productivity, but it also found that wearable technology led to a 9% decrease in alertness among the media company’s employees. These people did report a higher level of job satisfaction, however.

Most devices are not designed with productivity in mind

wearable technology - augmented reality glassesNot all wearable devices are designed with productivity in mind. Most are developed as entertainment products and social networking tools. Augmented reality glasses, for instance, are typically used as a platform through which digital media is consumed. Smart watches are also used for similar purposes, though these devices have limited features when compared to smartphones and tablets. These devices could be used by students, for example, for a wide range of purposes, but will likely be most popular as entertainment tools. For many people, these devices could lead to a drastic decrease in productivity.

Wearable devices leading to a decrease in productivity is not an issue that is guaranteed to happen. Like smartphones and tablets, wearable devices tend to have access to mobile applications. Some of these applications are designed specifically with productivity in mind. These apps can help cut back on distraction by limiting access to the Internet or preventing certain digital content from being viewed for a specified amount of time.

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