Wearable Technology and the Future of Meetings

Navigate jacket from Wearable Experiments
Navigate jacket from Wearable Experiments

The wearable technology market is predicted to triple from $24.2 billion in 2015 to $74 billion in 2025, according to IDTechEx Research, an independent market research company. Smartwatches, fitness trackers and smartglasses are already changing the meetings world, giving attendees an even easier way to get notifications during meetings and still stay engaged with other attendees. But soon enough apparel such as jackets and shirts will also have embedded technology that could dictate how attendees engage and make their way around the tradeshow floor.

Wearable Experiments, a company leading the wearable technology industry, recently launched a jacket called Navigate that helps a person find a destination—perhaps a meeting venue or tradeshow booth in the future? The way it works is the user types a destination into their phone, and then puts the phone away to allow the jacket to take over navigation. The wearable technology will tap the user on the shoulder when to turn left or right, and then when they’ve arrived. Essentially, the user no longer has to be distracted looking at their phone and can instead look around and experience, say, a downtown area while on their way to a convention.

The company also created a shirt called the Alert Shirt for the Australian Football League. By using real-time sports data to quantify the emotions of players throughout a game, the company was able to create an app that allows fans to connect with players by feeling their same sensations as they play a game. The real-time sports data is transmitted via a smartphone app to the electronics within a jersey, simulating live sports action for fans who are watching a game from home or in the stadium. This has similar potential for event attendees looking to connect emotionally with a speaker or entertainment act at an event.

While these technologies are still being developed, they have major potential down the road for corporate event planners to gauge attendee emotions and reactions to a particular speaker or to simply help them get around the tradeshow floor easier. The possibilities could be endless.