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Wearable Technology – Future or Futuristic?

06 / 01 / 2016
Wearable Technology – Future or Futuristic? Image 1

Whether it’s fiction or reality, whether it’s an Apple watch, a fitness tracker like Fitbit or a virtual reality headset like Oculus Rift, we’ve all seen or heard of these wearable devices at some point or another.

These devices, or some form of them, have been around for quite a while but why is it only now that we are paying attention to them? And how are these trends, when viewed in an educational context, going to affect e-learning?

Mintra’s move towards its HTML5 platform, Athena, has meant that within a year Mintra has seen a 9% increase in customers accessing products via tablet devices. These devices provide the opportunity for anytime, anyplace learning and their use proves that trainees are expecting e-learning to be more accessible across multiple platforms.

E-learning on tablets? Check. E-learning on mobile phones? Check. But what about the realm of possibility that augmented reality could offer within the Oil and Gas sector?

Think about the following scenario…

You’re a qualified offshore technician and you’ve just been assigned a job that requires you to repair a valve. There’s one problem. You’ve never heard of this new brand of valve and you’ve no idea what tools to take with you. Do you take what you ‘think’ you need and risk the possibility of not having the right equipment to get the job done? Do you take everything but the kitchen sink?

Imagine if you could surround yourself in rich augmented 3D simply by popping on a headset. Where you could see and experience the exact offshore environment or components you needed to view. Where you can pinpoint the valve and analyse the problem and note exactly which tools you need….

With the developments in technology and wearable devices it’s definitely not too much of a stretch to imagine a time in the very near future when this might be possible. A lot of time and effort could be saved.

In 2020, YouGov’s new wearables tracker research reported that 8.3m people in the UK currently own a wearable technology device but this is likely to decrease to 7.1m by 2024 due to COVID-19.

Nobody can predict how great an impact wearable device will have on e-learning but despite these uncertainties, how will your company prepare and adapt?

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