The quantified self goes to work

In the recent post, The future of work: 4 trends for 2014, one trend I outlined was how in 2014 we would see a push of business applications around the quantified self at work. In CAN PERFORMANCE BE QUANTIFIED? WEARABLE TECH IN THE OFFICE, Lydia Dishman describes one product in use at the Container store:

Using Theatro’s 1.5 oz. voice driven enterprise wearable, the Container Store is able to tap in-store WiFi to track sales staff to increase responsiveness and productivity dispensing the need for headsets or walkie talkies. Beyond that, Theatro’s device can provide headquarters, regional and individual store management with access to performance data such as how they communicate with each other and with shoppers and where they spend the most time.

The Theatro is a wearable computer responding to voice commands, and allowing retail workers to communicate with each other and apps. The company says companies using the solution — which includes a local wifi-based Theatro cloud — have seen 5%-10% productivity improvement.

Here’s a graphic showing the solution across stores:


Part of the appeal of this solution to the business is the ease of getting up to speed when compared to more costly alternatives, like tablet or smartphone apps.

And I wonder how the individual can get at the analytics, which seems to be geared to management, and not the workers. This needs to change, so people can monitor the performance of the store, and their personal performance.

My question is about the future for specialized products like Theatro in a not-too-distant-world where the majority of people have smartphones and wearables, particularly smart watches. Everything envisioned on that diorama could be exactly the same with soon-to-be-here iWatch (and the Android equivalent), with just the addition of Theatro apps for the various devices. (And PS: the worker bees at Container store could also have a side chat with a co-worker that isn’t overheard by management.)  I suggest that Theatro start working on that version of the tools, right away.