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Businesses are taking a good hard look at wearables, even if the market for such devices is in its infancy, according to Salesforce, the San Francisco-based cloud business software maker.
Nearly three months after the company launched its wearables development program, Salesforce Wear, developers, businesses and device makers are flocking to "the first initiative for wearable computing in the enterprise," Daniel Debow, senior vice president of Emerging Technology at Salesforce, told Datamation. "More hardware devices have come on board," he added. "People's mindsets have really shifted."
Adding to device support list that already includes Google Glass and Samsung Gear 2 smartwatch, Salesforce Wear now supports some of the most buzz-worthy players in the wearables market, like the Jawbone UP fitness tracker and the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Oculus was snapped up by Facebook in March for a whopping $2 billion.
Signaling strong demand for enhanced eyewear and augmented reality applications, support has also been added for Epson Moverio, Meta Glasses and Vuzix M100 smart glasses.
Developers are also stepping up to the plate, said Debow. "Some [apps] are already up on the app marketplace that are available to download for free."
Offerings run the gamut, from APX-Labs' technology that allows oil and gas technicians to log cases on Salesforce's Service Cloud to Alpine Metrics' free Intelligent Forecasting app for sales professionals, which enables real-time deal prioritization by displays relevant sales metrics and trends. The Alpine Metrics solution distills "massive amounts of data within the real estate of a smart-watch to reveal only the essence of what is needed to be understood about your business," said the company's CEO Erik Udstuen in a statement. "In one glance you understand where you are, where you have been and where you're going."
In a new spin on biometrics-based security, Brivo Labs' NthID identity access management application leverages Nymi's heartbeat-sensing wristband to provide access control for physical spaces and PCs.
Even technology services giant Accenture is eyeing Salesforce Wear, revealed Debow who says that the company's interest bodes well for the enterprise wearables market. According to a recent forecast from ABI Research, the market for business-friendly wearable devices is expected to reach $18 billion by 2018.
"Through our experience working with leading clients on cutting edge consumer and enterprise deployments, we’ve seen first-hand the potential wearables have to transform the way people live and work," said Brent Blum, Accenture's Wearable Technology Practice lead. His company envisions "a very promising future for wearable technologies," he said.
As for the immediate future, Debow said that Salesforce Wear will feature prominently in the company's upcoming Dreamforce Conference, which takes place Oct. 13 - 16 in San Francisco. How does Apple's rumored move into wearables factor into the company's plans? "We're keeping our eyes open," he said.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.