Implications on HR As Wearable Tech Increases in Popularity

Implications on HR As Wearable Tech Increases in Popularity

With the rise of new healthcare and informatics devices, wearable electronics have seeped into the consumer space and have been quickly adopted by the medical, health, and fitness industries. Industry reports indicate that the market for wearable technology will reach $70 billion by 2025 — $20 billion was spent in wearable tech in 2015 and this is expected to jump to $70 billion by 2025 as the healthcare sector develops more programs and technologies that incorporate wearable tech. From wristbands with heart rate monitors to calorie trackers and advanced pedometers, many consumers are jumping on the wearable tech bandwagon to keep track of their daily habits and play a more active role in their health. Human resources departments at many major companies and firms have started using wearable tech in the workplace, encouraging employees to take care of their health and wellness so they can be happier, more productive employees. But what types of implications will this have on employees of the future and HR departments at a whole? Fitbit, one of the leaders in the wearable tech space, announced last year that it will be extending the reach of its corporate wellness programs by making sure its technologies are compliant with HIPAA laws to protect patient privacy. This move allowed the company to give 335,000 Target employees personal fitness trackers and the company already works with more than 50 Fortune 500 companies, according to a report from Fortune Magazine. This means the data Fitbit collects would only be used by certain entities. By extending the reach of their programs, more companies using Fitbit wearable technology would possibly be...
Transportation Woes: Could Gangway Cars Cure Congestion?

Transportation Woes: Could Gangway Cars Cure Congestion?

Throughout human history, innovative solutions have been conjured up by smart thinkers to solve major transportation issues. From the wheel to the airplane to the still hypothetical Hyperloop, getting around gets easier when the right ideas are supported, developed, and implemented. Some of these solutions are long overdue — for example, the gangway-car subway system used by many major cities — none of which are in the United States. Subway cars have come a long way. In New York City, they’ve evolved from the elevated “el” of the late 19th century, which left much of the city in shadows, to “million-dollar” train cars to today’s 50-year old stainless steel cars. But across the pond — and even in Canada — transportation has evolved a bit further. Decades ago, countries all over the world — China, Germany, India, Japan and France to name just a few — adopted open gangway cars, which now run in 3 out of 4 subway systems in the world. Opening the gangways What is an open gangway car? Essentially, they are trains in which cars are connected openly, allowing for greater capacity and circulation. Instead of multiple cars joined with doors and chains, the space between each is attached like an accordion — hence the nickname “accordion train.” There was a time in New York City between elevated trains when certain trains operated this way. Called “articulated” cars, they ran on select lines from the late 1920s through the 1960s, when stainless steel cars took over. Such bold experiments with trains cars mostly ceased after this, as many of today’s trains are leftover from the...
5 Big Names to Know in Sports Technology

5 Big Names to Know in Sports Technology

For every fitness band, impact detector and smart uniform there are the people without which such inventions might never hit the field or soared far beyond it. Here are five individuals worth knowing about.

Bionic Olympics for Cyber Athletes: Empowering the Disabled

Bionic Olympics for Cyber Athletes: Empowering the Disabled

Sports enthusiasts like myself look forward to international competitions like the winter and summer Olympics for a wide range of reasons: exciting new gear, competitive races, and big-name athletes, to name a few. But for some people, every two years isn’t often enough to experience the rush of global rivalry. Others yawn at watching the same old sports every time. Skiing, again? they sigh without enthusiasm. We already know the Nordics have us beat, just like we know that Olympians aren’t accurate representations of average humans, let alone the less fortunate among us. I wrote last week about how science and technology have the potential to change sports as we know them, but that innovations could be controversial, constituting as “tech-doping” and tilting the playing field. What I didn’t mention is that next year there will be an international event specifically for bionic athletes: humans enhanced by technology. Called the Cybathlon, or the Bionic Olympics is a competition like no other set to begin on October 8 of 2016 in Zurich, Switzerland. The championship is specifically for pilots with disabilities using advanced assistive devices, including robotic technologies. When the human body meets robotics, amazing things are possible. Some call the result bionic athletics or enhanced humanity, illustrious of what science, technology and medicine can accomplish together. Here’s a rundown of the various disciplines that will be included in next year’s spectacle: Powered arm prosthesis race, through which “Pilots with forearm or upper arm amputations will be equipped with actuated exoprosthetic devices and will have to successfully complete two hand-arm task courses as quickly as possible.” Brain computer interface race,...

Artificial Turf Protects Wallets, Not Much Else

“It is what it is.” That’s what U.S. women’s national soccer team members Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd had to say in regards to the field conditions at this year’s women’s World Cup in Canada. It’s not that the fields are in disastrous condition, or that they have been augmented them in any way. What Lloyd and Wambach were referring to was the pitch in its pristine shape before the tournament kicked off. That’s because this year’s World Cup is being played on artificial turf. Turf is far from new to any sports fan. Since 1966 when AstroTurf came to the Houston Astrodome, stadiums and fields across the world took to the artificial trend. The move came mostly in part to turf’s significantly cheaper cost over maintaining natural grass fields. However, other attractive selling points like lower maintenance and a few other limitations allowed turf to literally roll across the sporting world. While the reduced prices brought smiles to owners’ faces, it came with significant drawbacks that continue to plague the sporting world of all skill levels. If you grew up following sports in turf’s earlier days, you remember how likely it was to see a few athletes go down each season with horrific knee, ankle and leg injuries. Today, turf is in the third or fourth cycle of its evolution–reducing some of those injuries. Even with these changes, however, lower extremity injuries are still more likely to occur on the fake surfaces. To counter this, FieldTurf grew out of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. With turf that is much more similar to grass, FieldTurf now holds a...

Artificial Turf Protects Wallets, Not Much Else

“It is what it is.” That’s what U.S. women’s national soccer team members Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd had to say in regards to the field conditions at this year’s women’s World Cup in Canada. It’s not that the fields are in disastrous condition, or that they have been augmented them in any way. What Lloyd and Wambach were referring to was the pitch in its pristine shape before the tournament kicked off. That’s because this year’s World Cup is being played on artificial turf. Turf is far from new to any sports fan. Since 1966 when AstroTurf came to the Houston Astrodome, stadiums and fields across the world took to the artificial trend. The move came mostly in part to turf’s significantly cheaper cost over maintaining natural grass fields. However, other attractive selling points like lower maintenance and a few other limitations allowed turf to literally roll across the sporting world. While the reduced prices brought smiles to owners’ faces, it came with significant drawbacks that continue to plague the sporting world of all skill levels. If you grew up following sports in turf’s earlier days, you remember how likely it was to see a few athletes go down each season with horrific knee, ankle and leg injuries. Today, turf is in the third or fourth cycle of its evolution–reducing some of those injuries. Even with these changes, however, lower extremity injuries are still more likely to occur on the fake surfaces. To counter this, FieldTurf grew out of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. With turf that is much more similar to grass, FieldTurf now holds a...

How to Break Into the Green Tech Sector

The United States stands in prime position to emerge as a global clean technology leader over the next ten years, according to the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Index. The index evaluated 40 countries against 15 indicators focusing on creation, commercialization and growth of the clean tech sector for each nation. According to last year’s findings, the U.S. currently sits behind two countries, Israel and Finland, as the third most likely country to excel in the market. The country earned high marks for its clean tech startups attracting a growing number of investments and investors from government, private business and venture capital. However, the Index noted that the U.S. and other top-10 countries face a high hurdle when it comes to increasing commercialization rates. While the U.S. faces this issue, job seekers looking to break into the boom market have several options and avenues when it comes to making their impact. For some outside the clean tech sphere, they may not realize that jobs aren’t just opening for skilled geoscientists and environmental engineers. Those jobs certainly made the top 10 list of growing jobs in the market, but so do traditional blue collar jobs. Craftspeople skilled in carpentry, pipefitting and electrical work are just a few that could find job prospects, and bank accounts, gain over the next few years. As is the case with any booming sector, the surge in job openings will almost assuredly bring in an influx of applicants as well. The classic way of getting hired, being the most knowledgeable and diligent applicant, certainly will amplify your name in the job market. However, that may not...

Green Bond Investments Continue to Topple Records, Impact World

Green bond investing is a sector that becomes increasingly larger and accessible with each passing year. As larger companies, investment firms and utility providers enter the sector, the average single-person investor reaps the benefits of making more impact investments on local levels. The increase on both fronts helps project investment totals in 2015 to reach an estimated $50 billion, topping 2014’s $35 billion record. The increase in sector investment also allows projects to seek more funding for grander projects aimed at improving cities and countries. The World Bank noted that 2015 should be a big year for new types of fund issues, green bond indices and shifting investor expectations. This correlates with sector uncertainty regarding the negative impact of a carbon-heavy portfolio. The World Bank stresses that green bonds aren’t the key solution in combatting climate change. However, these investments do make a significant impact that should not be underestimated. For a further look at this issue, please visit Ritchie Capital...
           

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