Wearable technology has the potential to enrich every aspect of the travel experience. From improving the health and safety of travellers, offering premium and personalised luxury based on real-time data, and even making language barriers a thing of the past, wearable devices are already redefining the way we travel.
Below are five wearable devices that make business travel better.
1. Pilot - Translation Devices
The language barrier has been one of the most consistently challenging aspects of international travel. From the moment you land on foreign shores to the moment you depart for home, grappling with a different language is frustrating, time-consuming and potentially risky.
For business travellers, language barriers leave dangerous room for miscommunication that can also prove costly. Conducting business in an etiquette minefield like China is difficult enough without the chance your friendly greeting may be misinterpreted as a hostile remark.
Enter Pilot, a staggeringly sophisticated wearable translation device developed by Waverly Labs. According to tech commentators, Mashable, Pilot is “the gadget straight out of science fiction” and it’s easy to see why. Pilot is worn like an earpiece, and offers real-time translation of five languages. It features bluetooth, noise-cancelling microphones and a full day of battery life.
2. Samsung Smart Suit - Smart Fabrics Technology
Wearable technology hit a roadblock when Google learned that people didn’t actually like to wear their Glass product. Samsung’s ‘Smart Suit’ on the other hand is being described as wearable technology people actually want to wear.
The Suit is just that - a grey business suit, albeit embedded with a number of sensors that allow the wearer to exchange digital business cards, control their smart phone, and set gadgets to do not disturb modes with the swish of the wrist.
The Smart Suit is just one of the concept products in Samsung’s prototype wearables range, which includes workout gear with sensors and even belts that expand following big meals.
3. Fitbit - Health Devices
Wearable technologies like the popular Fitbit fitness trackers can ensure travellers keep their personal health at front of mind during business trips. An increasing number of Travel Managers are recognising that positive business travellers are more productive, and are moving to arm their employees with the tools to keep morale high.
Fitbit is most well known for its step tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep pattern analysis and calorie consumption. However, the future of wearable devices looks bright for traveller health and safety.
4. FlightBeat - Carriers Using ‘Wearable’ Technology
International travel places the human body under a number of stresses, and frequent business travel has even been associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. This is why the KLM Airlines ‘FlightBeat’ project deserves a special mention on this list.
While not necessarily a device worn by the traveller, FlightBeat is a program that allows flight attendants to monitor the physical and mental health of passengers through seats equipped with sensors. FlightBeat seats can monitor passenger heart rates, dehydration levels, tiredness and temperature, so attendants can provide a hyper-personalised service to their passengers.
5. Apple Watch - Smart Watches
Wearable technology has been focussed on the wrist for a long time, and truly came of age with Apple’s Smart Watch. The beauty of the Apple Watch is the ever-evolving marketplace of wearable apps that can enrich the traveller journey at every stage.
A number of Apple Watch’s popular apps are similar to what the Fitbit device can offer, however others like Slack and Citymapper are particularly powerful for corporate travellers.