Lots of people are looking for the first killer apps for wearable devices. The people at Salesforce believe those killer apps will be found in the workplace, not in the consumer space.
They may be right. The step counters and dodgy heartbeat monitors seem like a fleeting moment in the young history of wearables.
Companies use Salesforce’s cloud platform to quickly develop and deploy new apps to the enterprise. Salesforce is now offering a cloud platform, called Salesforce Wear, dedicated to helping companies deploy apps that use wearable devices as end points.
Earlier this summer, Salesforce launched its platform, saying it could connect with wearables running the Android Wear OS, with wearables from ARM, OMSignal, Pebble, Philips, and Fitbit as well as with Thalmic’s Myo gesture control armband, Bionym’s Nymi identity wristband, Google Glass, and the Samsung Gear II smartwatch.
Salesforce today announces a new set of wearable devices that can connect with its platform. They include:
● Epson Moverio — Smart glasses
● Jawbone UP — Fitness tracker
● Meta Glasses — 3D smart glasses
● Oculus Rift — Virtual reality headset for an immersive 3D experience
● Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses – Android wearable computing, communications, and display system
A set of application programming interfaces (APIs) allows the wearables to connect with the Salesforce cloud. Salesforce also created a set of demonstration apps that developers can use as models for building their own apps for specific wearables, the company’s SVP of emerging technologies, Daniel Debow, told VentureBeat Wednesday.
“The explosive growth of Salesforce Wear has validated the need for a unified platform to bring together software companies, wearable device manufacturers and developers wanting to create apps that will enable companies to connect with customers in entirely new ways,” Debow said in a statement.
Salesforce needs to extend to lots of different kinds of wearables because developers will be writing apps that work with specific end point devices. For instance, a doctor doesn’t want to get patient information on a smartwatch while his hands are busy caring for patients; he needs the data displayed on smart glasses like Google Glass, Debow said.
And developers, Debow said, have been hard at work this summer developing apps that connect with Salesforce’s new platform. Here are some examples:
2lemetry: With the connected SafetyCare wearable device, senior care patients living at home can swipe the screen of the wearable to request immediate assistance.
APX-Labs: APX-Labs is using the platform to deliver apps to several types of connected glasses used by field workers, like telecom service guys or oil field workers. The app allows workers to quickly look up or file service call cases in a cloud database.
Brivo Labs: Brivo Labs has created an app that controls employee access to company resources and physical spaces. Running on a smartwatch, the app identifies the wearer by the unique rhythm of their pulse and opens the lock once it recognizes that the wearer has permission to enter.
ClickSoftware: The ShiftExpert app works with devices such as the Samsung Gear II to enable employees to clock in and out for work. The associated times and other data are sent to a timesheet in the cloud.
Etherios: Etherios makes a series of apps that let caregivers monitor patients’ health after they leave the hospital. Real-time data is collected from connected scales, blood pressure cuffs, and pulse oximeters.
FacialNetwork: The company’s HospitalityID app lets customer service reps wearing smart glasses recognize guests with facial recognition technology. The rep can then find out the guest’s preferences and deliver amenities without the guest having to ask.
Debow said the “Salesforce Wear” ecosystem of cloud, devices, and apps has grown a lot since its official launch earlier this summer. The service, healthcare, and hospitality industries seem to be the first to gravitate toward apps for wearables, and sales organizations of all kinds are likely to use wearables to display data taken from the Salesforce CRM cloud.
Debow adds that some big-name systems integrators, like Accenture, have been “lining up” to work with Salesforce to leverage the wearables platform for their own client companies.