Salesforce.com is betting that wearables in the workplace will be a big business opportunity.
The company on Tuesday launched an initiative called Salesforce Wear that is designed to help developers in its ecosystem build business apps for wearable devices.
They’re the latest do so.
“When we look at the wearable world we have two thoughts: First, it’s still very early and second, it’s growing really, really fast,” said Daniel Debow, senior vice president of emerging technology at Salesforce.
So far, Salesforce has built six applications for six devices: the Pebble smartwatch, the Samsung Gear smartwatch, Google Glass, the Android Wear platform, the gesture-controlled Myo armband and the biometric Nymi band.
All the code is open-source and thus available on the Salesforce platform. Participants include Google, Motorola and Samsung.
“This is about a real business possibility. When people think about wearables they mostly think about consumers, but when we talk to companies, this is about real dollars. As we see what these devices can do and we know what problems our customers need, we see this as a huge business opportunity.”
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The opportunity is substantial, as the market for wearables in the workplace is expected to reach $18 billion in 2019, according to an ABI Research report published last month.
Smartglasses, health-care wearables and smartwatches will be the primary form-factors purchased by the enterprise and used for employees, according to the report–and a number of companies are already using at least one of these products.
For example, Philips uses health monitoring wearable devices and Virgin Atlantic uses Google Glass to help give its customers easier check-in, Debow said.
Vuzix has also partnered up with SAP and Google Glass Explorers to test the uses and capabilities of the smartglass technology, and other smartwatch manufacturers like Samsung, LG and Sony are also making moves. There are also health-care wearable manufacturers like FitBit and BodyMedia that have found their way into the enterprise by pairing up with company wellness programs.