If the wearables business a year ago was about building devices, the first day of the Glazed conference underlined that it’s now about building ecosystems.
Drawing themes out of a conference is a tricky business because it inevitably overlooks interesting subcurrents. But speaker after speaker talked about how wearables are finding their way into businesses and people’s lives. And although most attendees were directly involved in the industry, there were more than a few representatives of businesses who were trying to figure out what all this had to do with them.
One particularly interesting speaker was Phil Easter of American Airlines. He observed that most of what makes an airline go is stuff that customers never directly see — maintenance and logistics that yield well to industrial applications of wearables. And even the direct customer service functions could benefit by giving agents better access to information in ways that don’t disconnect them from customers.
Also appearing was Daniel Debow, a senior vice president at Salesforce. It seems that Salesforce is mightily interested in the wearables space (and we understand there’s an announcement coming from them in the very near future.) Debow said that Salesforce is interested in any way to connect people through software; the fact that wearables has now attracted its attention is an important indication that wearables are becoming a legit business tool.
Space, format restrictions, and time prohibit us from mentioning everyone who spoke or who we met with. We’ll try to catch up with everything in future posts.