CES 2020: Will Wellness Pods Open New Doors for Businesses?
We don’t have flying cars quite yet, but we’re close.
This past week, technology companies worldwide introduced some of their latest and greatest technology at CES 2020, an annual tech conference held in Las Vegas.
Sony revealed the Vision-S electronic “concept” car. In addition to offering a world-class entertainment system fitted with surround-sound speakers, it also includes groundbreaking predictive AI that revolutionizes driver safety.
Google announced a new website reading tool—which will be accessible to Android users—that will soon help users stay informed with a shorter time commitment. After scanning lengthy articles for the essential details, Google’s website reading tool will list them for the “reader”.
But not all of the 2020 CES Conference tech is destined for consumer use only. Linksys announced new Wellness Pods, which can be used in combination with its Velop mesh router, to monitor health.
If Linksys decides to pursue business applications, this new tech may become a vital piece of the puzzle for businesses seeking ways to drive employee wellness and satisfaction.
The burning question: will Linksys release a business version of this technology for use within offices? What new employee wellness initiative doors will this new application open?
CES 2020: Linksys Velop Mesh Routers’ New Features
Linksys Velop Mesh Routers, which were released in 2017 and help distribute Wifi throughout large homes and offices, can already sense movement.
This motion detection technology keeps homeowners aware of movement within the home. It can help alert people of elderly adults or young children falling. Even without extensive camera networks, homeowners can use this tech to stay alert of potential intruders.
Linksys’ new Wellness Pods, which were revealed at CES 2020, are taking this capability a step further.
In addition to boosting the Wifi signal, this new add-on introduces new human health monitoring capabilities—all without the use of wearables.
Linksys Velop Wellness Pods: How Do They Work?
Simply put, the new Wellness Pods revealed at CES 2020 measure both breathing patterns and motion using a Wifi signal.
Linksys Aware, a subscription service, enables the Velop router to measure motion approximately 30 times per second, without Wellness Pods. With Wellness Pods, this number increases to a staggering 1500 times per second.
Because of this frequency, the Wellness Pods can pick up all motion, from subtle breaths to major falls. It can also differentiate between similar motions or sounds, like trips and falls.
The Wellness Pods measure activity in the building, but not individually. This means that, with this technology, it’s not possible to isolate data for individuals in an office setting with anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people. However, this—and the fact that data is stored locally, without ever making it to the cloud—has alleviated some privacy concerns.
While the new Wellness Pods have only been announced, they’re slated for release later this year. Linksys has not yet provided a price.
Using Wellness Pods In Your Business
The Linksys Wellness Pods are primarily marketed for home use. But depending on how the business market responds, this new CES 2020 tech could potentially make its way into offices down the road and potentially monitor employee health/well-being.
Across the board, companies are putting an increasingly large focus on “delivering happiness” in the workplace. Allowing employees to have fun while accomplishing tasks is one of the best ways to motivate and retain hardworking employees.
And it’s not just Silicon Valley and NYC giants that cultivate an easygoing atmosphere, either. Now, companies everywhere are investing in employee happiness, and consequently, productivity.
For many businesses, empowering employees to lead healthier lives is a significant part of this initiative. But these days, that goes beyond keeping fresh veggies in the fridge.
A New Standard for Collective Employee Wellness
Employee wellness initiatives help encourage healthy decisions and drive teamwork all at once.
Lowering your resting heart rate is one of the best ways to improve your health. However, to do so, your employees will need to make better health decisions overall, especially in terms of exercise.
Because this technology can’t yet pinpoint individuals and track heart rates over time, the data collected would not be specific to one person. Instead of tracking one person’s heart rate over time, the Linksys Velop Wellness Pods could measure fluctuations.
Get a Much-Needed Pulse on Employee Stress Levels
Gone are the days when employers can simply overload employees without consequence.
While skill standards in the workplace haven’t gone down, employers are now more understanding of mounting workloads. Rather than give unreasonable deadlines, the modern employer is more likely to recognize realistic timelines.
But when the pressure is on, things could change.
If Linksys chooses to develop a business version of the Wellness Pods, then they may become useful for keeping employee stress levels down.
Through the heart rate monitoring capabilities, companies could potentially identify when stress levels are abnormally high, and make a proactive attempt at calming things down.
After all, employees tend to perform at peak productivity with a workload they consider manageable.
This approach could be a revolutionary way to help employees feel confident. However, using this technology without employee knowledge or consent is unethical. Instead, ensure that all employees being monitored by the tech—either for stress levels or other health initiatives—are aware and consenting.
The Potential is Endless. What Happens Next?
There’s no telling what the future holds for this new tech. As the busy American workforce searches for ways to balance busy schedules while improving their health, initiatives like these could be a key differentiator in company culture.
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