Kenny Sahr

Do you want to be able to predict the future of BYOD? All you need is a mirror and a few friends who own mobile devices!

BYOD – a Consumer Revolution

For starters, BYOD is a consumer revolution. It begins with you. IT and enterprise management would never have invented a scheme in which consumers bring their personal devices into the office and use them for work. You can take that to the bank!

BYOD is all about you – what you buy, why you buy it and which devices you choose to bring to work.

Smartphone, Tablet or Laptop?

Even if you own a smartphone, tablet and laptop, BYOD allows you to choose which devices to use at work. The most obvious choice is to check mail at home or while away from the office with your smartphone. Some things just can’t wait for the work week to begin.

If you fall in love with your laptop, you might choose to bring it to work every day as your main work device. Why settle for a user experience that doesn’t cut it on a desktop or laptop that IT gives you? You know better than anyone else what works for you at work. You’ll be happier and it will improve your productivity. That’s what they call a win-win situation.

If you do a lot of reading at work and home, you may choose to BYOD with your tablet. A tablet is good for reading, emailing and light text editing. If you have a tablet keyboard, you can do heavier work on your tablet-laptop.

Respect IT for the BYOD Win

The one caution I will leave you with is to respect IT. No one owes you a BYOD program. If your company offers one, read the rules and don’t hesitate to ask questions. If IT asks you to use the guest wifi with your BYOD device, then that’s what you should do. If they ask you not to access certain financial documents, don’t test them by opening them.

BYOD works best when you and IT meet in the middle and respect one another.

Ask Your Friends

Do you have friends who BYOD? What devices do they bring to work or work on while at home? This is the best way to learn where BYOD is heading. What types of companies (high tech, service, hospitality) have the most liberal or stringent rules?

You, the BYOD consumer, your friends and colleagues know more about where BYOD is going than the Harvard educated analysts ever will. Look in the mirror for the future of BYOD!

Kenny Sahr

Just when you thought you were in control of BYOD, Bring Your Own Wearable Device enters enterprise. You and your IT team had better start discussing your BYOWD policies before it is too late.

The Smartwatch

The smartwatch is the most common wearable device. Whereas two years ago, few people took them seriously, today smartwatches are catching on. Here at Nubo, two of our Android developers have smartwatches. One owns the Sony Smartwatch 2 and the other owns the Garmin Forerunner 620.

The Sony Smartwatch 2 has Gmail, Facebook, sms and phone notifications. You can turn the phone ringer off and receive notifications on your arm when calls come in. The Garmin Forerunner, on the other hand, is a top-of-the-line sports watch. It tracks your exercise progress – from your running route to your pace and of course your best times.

The sports smartwatch is more practical but has a smaller market. The notification smartwatch may not be “ready for prime time,” and is a work in progress, but it could end up beating your wildest sci-fi dream in a few years.

Smartwatch at Enterprise

What do you do when your first employee comes in the office one day, showing everyone his or her new smartwatch? “Can I connect it to the wifi?” Your answer is simple – “Yes, but ..” Your office should have (at least) two wifi networks – one for serious work-only devices and another for everything else.

The smartwatch fits in the “everything else category.” Allow the giddy wearable gear owners to connect their toys to your less vulnerable wifi network. Today there are no known ways that a smartwatch can hack your network, but one day there will be. There’s no need to allow a watch to have access to your critical data.

Be Smart About Smartwatches

Don’t wait until half of your employees own smartwatches. Now is the time to be smart about smartwatches and wearable devices. Do you want them to connect to your guest wifi? Or should they only connect to your employees’ data carriers? Open the discussion now! The answer depends on the level of critical data your organization handles. Government and military organizations would be wise to skip allowing wearable devices to connect to the enterprise wifi; unlike tablets and smartphones, there’s no reasonable productivity or work claim to an exercise watch. The guest wifi is the perfect place for wearable devices.

By the end of 2014, we will know a lot more about the wearable device trend. Is it a niche market or something everyone is going to jump in on? How many of your friends and colleagues own a wearable device and are you considering buying one?


Kenny Sahr

Wearable devices seem like a recent fad. Maybe not. Since the 1980s, people have been wearing devices that go way beyond the common watch. Who cares about time when you can get a high score at Pac-Man or count how many paces it takes you to walk to the store?!

The First Wearable Device

In 1955, Edward O. Thorp of MIT conceived the idea of the first “wearable computer.” The goal was to predict roulette results and it came to fruition in June 1961. That year, Thorp and his colleague brought their device to Las Vegas.

“We used ten cent chips and often turned a few dimes into a pile as yet another octant “hit.” When the computer was working, it worked very well.. Once a lady next to me looked over in horror. I left the table quickly and discovered the speaker peering from my ear canal like an alien insect.”

By 1985, Nevada banned the use of devices that aided in counting cards or predicting the outcome of games. Thorp went on to make hundreds of millions thanks to his ability to make 20% yearly returns on the stock market.

The Calculator Watch

The next big step in wearable devices was the calculator watch, which became popular in the 1980s. The Casio Databank was a calculator watch that also stored appointments, names, addresses, and phone numbers. High school students were finally able to calculate basic math problems with a calculator watch on their lap. 80s nostalgia fans can buy the Casio Databank on Ebay for $20 – $50.

As cool as the calculator watch was, you couldn’t connect it to your 1200 baud modem. It was no threat to enterprise. BYOD went unnoticed.

Pac-Man Watch!

In 1982, Nelsonic released the Pac-Man watch and disrupted more classrooms since the Sony Walkman. Retailing for only $25 – $35, every young video game fan begged his parents to buy him “a cool video game watch.” I had one and so did most of my friends. Nelsonic released a series of video game watches – Donkey Kong, Frogger, Ghostbusters, Q*Bert, The Legend of Zelda and much more. Today, collectors buy and sell them on Ebay for $20 to $200.

Meet the Smartwatch

In 2014, a calculator is a built-in app on every smartphone. The smartwatch turns the smartphone into a “smart hub,” allowing watches and other wearable devices to connect to it. Smartwatches are like teenagers, searching for their purpose in life. They currently serve two functions.

The first is the “notification smartwatch.” The Sony SmartWatch 2 and Samsung’s Gear 2 are among the most popular smartwatches. Both connect to your phone and notify you when you receive messages. You can read Gmail and Facebook messages and download smartwatch apps. The question is, do you really need to read emails on your wrist? Yes, it is a lot easier than reaching into your pocket for your 5 inch phone, but not everyone needs Facebook on their arm. There are other body parts much more deserving.

The second type of smartwatch is the exercise smartwatch. One popular brand is the Garmin Forerunner. For $399, you get a touchscreen GPS watch that tracks distance, pace and heart rate. It (as do all exercise smartwatches) connects to wifi and uploads your latest stats. Exercise smartwatches create maps of your walks and runs so you can go back to them again. Yes, there are Android and iOS apps that do a few of these features, but exercise aficionados will always prefer a dedicated device that handles everything.

The Casio Sports Gear series takes a different approach than the modern looking exercise watches. The screen looks like an updated take on the lcd screen of the 1980s. You don’t need a color screen to track your heart rate, distance, elapsed time and much more. The Sports Gear’s bare bones screen is easy to look at while actually exercising. It’s goal isn’t to wow your friends, but to give you useful information.

Which wearable device is your favorite? The Pac-Man watch, the calculator watch or the modern smartwatch? What do you think is coming next?