Tools & Technologies

Collaboration Systems and Wearables


With the Apple Watch having a stunning opening weekend, plus the current availability of Android Wear (go Moto 360!), Microsoft Band, and other improving fitness trackers coming to market, the wearables trend is going mainstream. The Apple and Android options allow the installation of apps, meaning these have the potential to be used in conjunction with collaboration systems.

What’s available now or imminently given the Apple Watch’s release at the end of this week?
– the placing and receiving of phone calls.
– the ability to control PowerPoint slides on an iPhone.
– the ability to view photos stored in OneDrive on an Apple Watch.
– the notification of new Twitter messages, and the ability to retweet and favourite them from the Apple Watch.
– add notes to note-taking systems, like OneNote and Evernote. Some systems allow you to read notes too.
– the ability to receive text messages on screen.
– reminders for meetings and other calendared events.

Where else could our collaboration systems work with wearables?
– the placing and receiving of Microsoft Lync (recently rebranded Skype for Business) calls.
– the use of a wearable for informing Microsoft Lync and other presence/availability systems of a user’s presence and availability. If linked with location data, the act of walking into the office could be automatically feed through to Lync, and when leaving, you could be noted as being unavailable.
– in Germany out of hours working was banned in 2013; walking in and out of the office could activate an employee’s status for all communications.
– being notified that a colleague has just checked a document into a SharePoint document library that you have been waiting for.
– an alert that one of your colleagues is nearby (based on following status in your corporate social network), or that someone with similar interests / skills that you haven’t met – but probably should – is nearby. It could display the similar skill on both watches, and give both people the ability for an introduction to be made.
– the ability to share a file in Box, OneDrive, or DropBox with another user. Find the file to share on your watch / wearable, and then flick it to the other person. Based on proximity data, the link to the file is shared.
– the ability to vote ideas up and down in an IBM Connections ideation blog.
– the ability to find an available meeting room “right now,” with directions sent out to all participant’s devices to guide them to where they need to go.

I’m sure there’s a lot more that could be done; the above is just some rough thinking. What would be useful and valuable in your work?

Categories: Tools & Technologies