Elearning! Feb-Mar

FEB-MAR 2015

Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Elearning! February / March 2015 25 ANALYSTS DISAGREE ON HOW QUICKLY ORGANIZATIONS CAN ADAPT LEARNING TO WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY. BY JERRY ROCHE About 13 million wearable tech devices were shipped in 2013. Tat number is expected to increase to 170 million by 2018. Certainly, wearable technology like Google Glass and smartwatches from various manufacturers have the potential to at least support — if not indirectly administer — learning. Specifcally, these types of products could provide feedback that tells learners how well they are doing and focuses their attention on key information that they might normally miss. Though the U.S. market is on the leading edge of wearable adoption, more research into wearables in the workplace has taken place in Europe. In the United Kingdom, I.T. bosses see 69 percent of staf bring wearables into their organizations, according to a survey by Trend Micro. Research by that I.T. security frm also showed 91 percent of organizations expect the number of employees bringing their own wearable devices to work to increase in the next year. Although there is a lack of concern over wearables entering the workplace, 85 percent of respondents said they are aware of the security risks wearables may bring. Te biggest concern for I.T. professionals bringing wearables into the workplace is identity thef, which was cited by 47 percent of participants in the Trend Micro survey. Te second is that employees were unaware of the policies or issues surrounding wearable devices in the workplace. Additionally, a third of European busi- nesses will introduce wearable technology to the workplace in 2015, according to the systems monitoring and I.T. automation company Ipswitch. Te problem is that only 13 percent of companies have a policy in place to deal with it. Te tech industry itself looks at wearables as a potential prime repository of massive amounts of imbedded sen- sors, especially when they're imbedded into gadgets that can coordinate and communicate with one another. At the International CES (Computer Electronics Show) earlier this year, Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich led his company's keynote address by saying that 2015 will mark the next technology consumer wave. "We're moving from a two- dimensional world to a three-dimensional world," he said. "Tis additional dimension will change how we experience computing." In citing the evolution of wearables as one force that will shape this next wave, Krzanich touted Intel innovations such as Real Sense, which can interpret depth; True Key, with recognition capability that eliminates need for passwords; and the Curie wearable, which can identify diferent sporting activities. Those and similar devices, mostly popular among tech-savvy consumers, have yet to be tied into any learning initiatives. But in a larger sense, they are indicative of a massive coming change in our everyday lives wherein technology actually lives with and on our bodies. The potential trend might be similar to how smartphones have not only en- tered into but dominated the corporate learning conversation. (Who would have predicted 15 years ago that we would be taking our training through telephones?) "It isn't really a stretch of imagination to consider how this technology can be put for learning assistance or performance — just like designers subsumed personal computers, and now tablets and smartphones," notes Upside Learning's Abhijit Kadle. He further believes that real sharing will play a key role: "We've realized that learning can be better in a culture driven by sharing. As wearable computing allows us to actually stream data about every little activity we engage in, this will generate large volumes of data [that] can be considered as learning content, quite unlike conventional ideas of what content should look like. Video, audio, images, text and now V.R. [virtual reality] and A.R. [augmented reality], coupled with an understanding of context, can potentially transform learning and performance support at a very fundamental level." VIRTUAL, AUGMENTED REALITY When it comes to learning applications for wearables, the most obvious is in the realm of virtual and augmented reality, which includes serious games. Indeed, when a wearable computer Wearables and Learning

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