Wearable Devices

shutterstock_167429915Smartwatches, augmented reality glasses and more might become more prevalent in the workplace.

It wasn’t all that long ago that handheld devices “disrupted” the pest control services world. And yet, they already seem like such an outdated technology. Consider, for instance, the Palm Pilot, which is less than 20 years old. These days, providing a technician with that technology—so revolutionary at the time—would be about as accepted as telling him to connect on social media through MySpace.

Handheld devices still are the go-to form of technology—but perhaps not for much longer. Wearable technology is coming into its own.

That was the focus of a PesTech 3.0 session, “Wearables for the Service Industry,” led by Ari Rogoway, IT director of Sprague Pest Solutions. Rogoway was a natural to present and lead the discussion, since he leads a similar think group for Copesan Services, of which Sprague is a partner company. “In those conversations, we wanted to move beyond the ‘break-fix’ mode,” Rogoway said. “It was time to stop fixing what we’ve got and look for something better.”

In general, he anticipates that business runs about a decade behind consumers in terms of technology. When it comes to wearables, “consumers are just eating this up, but the business case hasn’t caught up,” he said. “We’re looking at how can we get there in baby steps.”

That first baby step, then, is moving to hands-free, not necessarily wearable. That means low-tech options such as conducive gloves (that allow the wearer to operate a smartphone’s screen while wearing gloves) and wearable arm bands. “Our next thing is figuring out voice,” Rogoway said. “They inspect things through a bar code, physically write their notes, apply their materials, touch the device with a finger. How can we add voice to that so that they can dictate their entire order? We think we can be there in two years.”

Wearables are not very far off though.

By Sandy Smith

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