New research suggests wearable technology may grow by 46% in the next four years, and that colleges and universities may be among the largest consumer group for the technology in an effort to bolster student living and learning experiences.
Schools like Oral Roberts University currently require first-year students to purchase and wear Fitbit devices to track fitness and activity levels. The school uses the synced data to build profiles of student academic, personal achievement.
The projected boom in wearable technology presents additional challenges for campus IT officials, with potential threats to network security and data privacy increasing with the number of personal enterprise devices on campus.
Wearable devices, specifically hardware for virtual reality experiences, will be the next resource colleges and universities will use to recruit top students and to expand grant making opportunities in niche research areas.
Schools like Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin are already piloting VR technology in specific majors to measure student experience outcomes, and while some experts believe the industry for "immersive experiences" will grow to be as big as the mobile revolution, cost and pairing between technology and mission may settle VR to be an enhanced professional training resource for students in STEM and military disciplines.
However, colleges and universities could benefit in finding unique ways to use VR technology for marketing and recruitment strategy, just as QR codes remain on the radar for high school student outreach objectives.