Smartwatches and VR products continue to be a niche category and are yet to take off in any meaningful way even amongst the mainstream consumer, but that hasn’t stopped Samsung Electronics from dreaming big. Speculation is rife about Samsung’s next generation smartwatch and it was just a few days ago that the company had shown off the new generation Gear Virtual Reality headsets for their Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge smartphones. They also announced that they were tying up with Hollywood studios and professional sports leagues to bring virtual reality content to their headset through the Milk VR app. Now there are new reports doing the rounds that Samsung isn’t content with just targeting the retail customer for their smartwatches and virtual reality hardware. They want to go a step further and pitch those products to enterprises.
Samsung believes that virtual reality has a huge potential for success in many industries, including automotive and real estate. The company is also optimistic about the enquiries they have generated for their smartwatches from finance and hospitality industries. Speaking at a Samsung event in New York, the company’s VP of mobile marketing, Mr. Eric McCarty sounded cautiously optimistic about their foray into enterprise level smart hardware. He said that although enterprise grade smartwatches and VR headsets would pose challenges to the manufacturer for reasons ranging from security to implementation, the scope is enormous and rewards will be sky-high. McCarty also gave some practical examples like VR headsets being used for in-flight entertainment or smartwatches being used by hospitality staff for more efficient and real-time notifications. Mr. McCarty however did sound a note of caution amidst all this optimism, when he pointed out, that virtual reality especially, is not just about the hardware. It is software and the immersive content available on a particular platform that will make or break a device and he seemed unsure about the development and deployment of such content.
Samsung might paint a very futuristic picture, but there are skeptics abound. Mr. Bob O’Donnell, principal analyst at Technalysis Research believes that we are still a long way away from mass deployment of such smart wearables. He was categorically dismissive of current generation smart devices, and in a damning indictment of the same, he said more “rugged and robust” devices will be needed if and when these are to be accepted by the enterprise. “Consumer-grade stuff isn’t really going to cut it”, he signed off.