If there has been been a revolution in how human resources professionals approach their tasks in recent months, it would have to be credited to new wearable devices like Microsoft Band and Oculus Rift, two of the most intriguing of the great new apps.
Microsoft Band is a small device that fits on your wrist like a watch and looks similar to a Fitbit used to track your exercise. But it offers some great features, such as the ability to read your text messages, receive incoming calls on your smartphone and notifications on voicemail, and even new tweets and Facebook updates.
It is a versatile little device working with Apple iOS, as well as Google Android devices and Windows phones.
In October of 2015, it got a little better when the Band 2 was released and replaced the previously flat display screen with a full color curved display that looks appealing and remains just as useful.
The Oculus Rift is a piece of virtual reality software that works with all the major desktop and mobile platforms. Now owned by Facebook, Oculus Rift is highly popular with gamers, offering screen displays of two images, side by side, one for each eye.
But it has other workplace applications as well, for example, it is used for military training in physical therapy. In the world of human resources, it could be used to illustrate key jobs to potential candidates at job fairs.
The advent of such devices as “The Band” and Oculus Rift into the workplace, and even into the world of human resources, is not without controversy. As with all new technology, there are those who fear that this time things have gone too far, or that people with misuse these devices.
As an HR professional lobbying to stay on top of new technology, you can make a case for saved time and efficiency using such devices.
As Steve Ballmer, retired chief executive officer of Microsoft and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, often maintained, technology’s prime benefit is that it empowers people to do what they want to do.
Technology spurs creativity when it is used in this way; it doesn’t block it or push people to take the easy way out. It is a tool for enhanced productivity. Adapting wearable technology to the HR world is simply a reality of today’s workplace.