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Logitech and Wearable Computing

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Introduction Wearable computing is the study or practice of inventing, designing, building, or using miniature body-borne computational and sensory devices. Wearable computers may be worn under, over, or in clothing, or may also be themselves clothes (i.e. "Smart Clothing" (Mann, 1996a)). Unlike a laptop or a palmtop , wearable computer is constantly turned on and interacts with a real-world task. Information could be even very context sensitive. Wearable computers are especially useful for applications that require more complex computational support than just hardware coded logics. Logitech International is a Swiss global provider of personal computer and tablets accessories with headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland and Americas headquarters in Newark, California. The company develops and markets products like peripheral devices for PCs, including keyboards, trackballs, microphones and webcams. Logitech also makes home and computer speakers, headphones, wireless audio devices, as well as audio devices for MP3 players and mobile phones. More recently, the company has begun making keyboards and covers for tablets. In addition to its Swiss and Americas headquarters, the company has offices throughout Europe, Asia and the rest of the Americas. Logitech's sales and marketing activities are organized into three geographic regions: Americas, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. Part 1 Value Creation There are a number of wearable computing applications and can be divided by product as explained in the figure below: Google Glass Google Glass comes under Eye-Wear and is a wearable computer that is being developed by Google with a mission of producing a mass-market ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays information in a smartphone-like hands-free format, that can communicate with the Internet via natural language voice commands. Google is considering partnerships with sunglass retailers such as Ray-Ban or Warby Parker, and may also open retail stores to allow customers to try on the device. A touchpad is located on the side of Google Glass, allowing users to control the device by swiping through a timeline-like interface displayed on the screen. Sliding backward shows current events, such as weather, and sliding forward shows past events, such as phone calls, photos, circle updates, etc. Some of the applications of Google Glass are: Logistics One of the biggest opportunities for Google Glass and other wearable computer technologies is in the logistics industry. Already warehouse managers and trucking companies have tools to monitor stock levels and positioning, the new devices though offer more effective, compact and less obtrusive ways to collect real time data. Taxi industry GPS devices have become an essential tool for the modern taxi driver. Google Glass could put the directions right in front of the driver along with booking information and traffic conditions. The glasses could give drivers warnings about the likelihood of fare evasion, assaults or robberies in the neighbourhoods they are travelling through. In the most extreme cases, the glasses could even help network controllers communicate with drivers in dangerous situations without passengers being aware of the conversations. Trades people Building sites have some common feature with mines, particularly when it comes to visualising how designs are going to work in real life. Having devices like Google Glass could have helped those NBN contractors stymied by bad mapping data in the project’s early stages. For the working tradesman, using augmented reality and Google Glass could help with estimating job costs and maintenance works, such as finding blocked pipes or malfunctioning parts. Architects and Engineers Staying in the building industry, wearable computers could help designers planning new buildings or infrastructure. Fly-through computer simulations of new buildings are standard architectural design tools today. With augmented reality displays designers, clients and stakeholders can visualise what anything from a new freeway, apartment block or kitchen extension is going to look like and the effects on the neighbours. Government agencies Emergency services, medical treatment and law enforcement are areas where devices like Google Glass will prove invaluable. Having a mobile head up display of critical information during life threatening situations will prove to be an essential tool for early responders. Nike Fuel Band The Nike+ Fuel Band is an activity tracker that is worn on the wrist and is to be used with an Apple iPhone or iPad device. The Fuel Band allows its wearers to track their physical activity, steps taken daily, and amount of calories burned. The information from the wristband is integrated into the Nike+ online community and phone application, allowing wearers to set their own fitness goals, monitor their progression, and compare themselves to others part of the community. Application The Fuel Band comes with access to the Nike+ web community that is setup via the Nike+ Connect Software. The Nike+ web community allows product owners to create an online profile where they can showcase their personal statistics, such as how many goals have been met, how many steps have been taken, and how many Nike Fuel points have been amassed. Upon logging into the Nike+ site, users are given a graphical display of their daily activity, proximity to hitting their goal, positive feedback, and recommendations for more activities. Pebble watch The Pebble is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology and released in 2013 that was funded via the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. The Pebble is compatible with iPhones and select Android devices. When connected to your phone, it is able to receive a vibrated alert to text messages, emails, incoming calls, and notifications from social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter. Some of the applications are as follows: Check sports scores For sports fans, the ESPN Pebble app might be the most tempting reason to get a smartwatch yet. At a quick glance, users can check NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, NCAA Football or NCAA Basketball scores, making boring dinner parties and piano recitals a little more bearable. Send texts from your watch Major cellular providers usually provide email-to-text services, which deliver short emails to your phone as SMS messages. The Email to SMS app takes advantage of this, letting users create a few pre-written texts—such as "On my way!" or "Driving now. Will text you later"—that can be sent directly from the watch. Maintain your health As a wearable tech device, smart watches and health features should go great together. Looks like Pebble app developers got the memo. A scan of the store reveals numerous options for monitoring steps, sleep patterns, calories burned and more, thanks to apps like Runtastic, Let's Muv, Movable and many others. Or, if you're not into quantifying yourself, just load 7-Minute Workout and get illustrations of exercises, for easy reference on your watch. Get directions Apps like Pebble GPS & Map, PebbGPS and Maptastic can geo-locate you using your phone's GPS. But if displaying maps on your arm is not enough, you'll love the turn-by-turn directions some of them can put there as well. Nothing says tourist quite like checking your phone's maps on the street. Don't let it happen to you. Part 2 Managerial planning and goals PEST Analysis:
Political Economical
These factors are related to what the government intervenes in the economic climate. Specifically, political factors include areas such as taxation policy, employment law, environmental law, trade barriers, taxes and prices, and political stability. These factors include growth in the economic , foreign exchange rates and the inflation rate. These factors have major impacts on how companies operate and make strategic choices. For example, interest rates affect a firm's cost of capital and therefore to what extent a company grows and expands. Exchange rates affect the costs of exports and the supply and price of imports.
Social Technological
These factors include the cultural facets and include, growth in population, demographic set up, job attitudes and emphasis on health and safety. Fluctuations in social factors affect the demand for a company's products and services. These factors include technological aspects such as R&D activity, automation, technology incentives and the rate of technological change. They can determine barriers to entry, minimum efficient production level and influence outsourcing decisions. Furthermore, technological shifts can affect costs, quality, and lead to innovation.
  • As Logitech is a Swiss based company and it has head quarter in US, the company’s new product may be launched in these two countries. However, the Far East market especially China is another avenue where the product can do well. China is Technology intensive and consumers spend a lot of money on electronics. In addition to that, the government has announced a reduction of import tax for international company, which means Logitech can have incentive in tax rates.
  • Due to the recent recession, the Logitech’s sales were decreased. Most companies are still recovering, however this may help the growth of sub sector (strategic groups) that offer value for money (H. Adrian & R. Alison, 2008). Although wearable technological products are expensive, their perceived value is high which may increase the revenue for the company.
  • It is clear from recent developments that the wearable technological market is differenciated. Worldwide wearable technologies sales totalled 285.1 million units in the second quarter of 2013; a 6.2% decrease from the second quarter of 2012, according to Gartner, Inc.
  • Customers demand better technology and also easier to use, hence the company is facing strong competition from its rivals like Google, Nike and Samsung in wearable technology products. The company needs to be equipped with latest innovation in order to have a market share in this new market. The company on the other hand doing well in the electronics market with their latest designs and products.
Part 3 Innovation Management Different entities are combining together in the form of acquisitions, mergers or joint ventures in order to acquire new technology, product or creating economies of scale. However, integration of two companies is not an exact science as culture is the predominant barrier in successful integration to get the desired output. A culture is a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it resolved its issues that has worked well enough to be considered viable and is transferred on to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in connection to those issues. There are a number of managerial implications of integrating Logitech staff with the new high tech company. The effects of this integration on employee morale can be significant if the reorganization of the business is not handled effectively. During the integration effort, there are at least two groups of employees involved, often coming from organizations with distinctly different cultures and styles. Learning a new culture can be challenging, but is especially so when employees are faced with uncertainty about what the future may hold and whose job is on the chopping block. Stress Change is often difficult for employees, especially if they were not directly involved in decisions that impact their jobs. During mergers and acquisitions, change can be especially difficult and can lead to stress which can have a negative impact on morale if not handled effectively. Communication is critical during these times, says Linda Pophal, a communication consultant with Strategic Communications, LLC. To the extent possible organizations should strive to share as much information about what is happening and, most importantly, how the changes will affect individual employees, as they possibly can. Fear of Job Loss When two or more organizations come together, culture clash is inevitable. Rarely do two organizations have the same culture. As these groups get to know each other there will inevitably be conflict and perceived or real losses on both sides, says Pophal. Employees may fear losing their jobs or losing opportunities that they formerly had. This fear can negatively impact productivity and may even result in employees leaving the company to seek jobs elsewhere. It is important for organizations and their managers and HR staff to recognize this and to provide opportunities for employees to get to know each other, to openly address concerns, and to work together toward the creation of a new culture that will merge the best of both worlds.

Competitiveness

When employees are concerned about their own job security they are more likely to become competitive with others and this competitiveness can result in conflict--sometimes even violence. During the integration, it is important for managers and HR professionals to be alert to signs of negative competition and to ensure that employees are being kept informed about impacts on their jobs and their futures with the company. While some competition is good, competition is not good when it creates tension and negative conflict in the organization. Part 4 Strategic Leadership Companies that have flourished in the 21st century are those that have learned to respond to turbulence by managing change effectively. Some of the proposed programs to influence cultural and organisational changes are: Make culture a major component of the change management work stream. Often the main change management task during integration is providing "communications." This focus may minimize the importance of change management, when communication becomes reporting the decisions of others, belatedly, rather than driving actual decisions. If culture is recognized as a major challenge that the change management team is responsible for, then this team assumes an essential role in achieving integration goals. The change team needs resources whose numbers and caliber are consistent with enacting a critical role. Identify who "owns" corporate culture and have them report to senior management. Choose owners from both companies to the integration to allow for representation of all views, even in a takeover. These "owners" typically will be senior Human Resources or Organizational Development practitioners. This is also an appropriate task for outside assistance, given the value of external insights in identifying culture. To drive home the importance of the issue, culture should be on the agenda of regularly scheduled (monthly/biweekly) Steering Committee meetings. Insist that the cultural work focuses on the tangible and the measurable. The Steering Committee should reject soft, vague, and poorly defined presentations of culture. Instead, culture owners should be required to discuss issues that are specific, well defined, and supported by specific examples that can be tied to business results. This is the difference between culture being addressed by general exhortations to enact "teamwork" and being addressed by analysis and interventions to increase measurable collaboration among the members of, for example, the new company's merged sales force. If the culture program focuses on whether members of the sales force are effective in selling the products of each other's companies and removing the barriers to doing so, that will be a more substantial contribution than a culture effort that creates communications to inform the sales force about the desirability of teamwork. Implement a decision-making process that is not hampered by cultural differences. Decision-making style is often deeply ingrained in a company’s culture. However, few things have a greater impact on integration results than the ability to make speedy decisions. Customer and employee loyalty can erode quickly if a company is perceived as unable to reach decisions. Leaders of integrating companies find themselves thrust into a situation where they have to make decisions quickly. While varying decision-making styles may hamper this, the differences among decision-making styles are often less important than the difference among these styles and the decision-making style required for an effective integration. This is an urgent matter. The leaders of the integration project must address this with the support of the culture team by:
  • Identifying decision-makers for each area of the integration.
  • Understanding the decision-making style of each company both in terms of what the style is and the assumptions, processes, and structures that support that style. Use this as a basis for assisting decision-makers in moving beyond their assumptions to a point where they can act effectively.
  • Communicating expectations to those decision-makers, including the deadlines when decisions are required. The demand for speed can be used to force changes in how decisions are made. Specific techniques can be used to support this, such as encouraging 80/20 decision-making rather than complete certainty before a choice is made.
Build the employee brand with a view toward how it will be understood by employees. If retaining the employees is a goal of integration, then an effort must be made to secure their loyalty, just as customers' loyalty must be reinforced. When one company is acquiring another, then the emphasis should be on making the acquiring company's brand attractive, in terms of the career opportunities, rewards, and the sense of identity that it offers to acquired employees. When equals are merging, it is important to find a common point that will not be so novel as to appear alien to all employees. It should neither install one company as dominant nor fail to recognize that employees from the merging companies have different expectations. Conclusion Wearable computers have a huge impact on different fields of sciences and arts. They also have enormous potential for uses in health and fitness, navigation, social networking, commerce, and media. The wearable computer provides the ultimate in network access-- hands-free, heads-up operation with complete mobility and ample computing power. Now personnel can connect to enterprise information systems without interrupting their work. With the convenience of voice activation and head-mounted or touchscreen display options, they can meet their ever-broadening responsibilities, supported by immediate access to on-line manuals, catalogs, parts lists, drawings, supplier information, work forms and more.Whether on-site, in transit or at home, wearables could enable users to maintain communication with company computers through direct connection or Internet. The device brings forth a whole new concept in mobile computing, offering the ultimate in PC portability. Much like conventional hand held and palmtop computers, wearables can upload and download data and software from various systems to desktop PCs. References https://www.businessinsider.com/hottest-companies-in-wearable-tech-right-now-2013-10?op=1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Glass https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_(watch) https://readwrite.com/2014/02/10/10-cool-things-a-pebble-smartwatch-can-do#awesm=~ozlR82QYsnp2qw https://www.itnews.com.au/News/341535,making-the-business-case-for-google-glass.aspx https://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120718141757AAelhD8 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Glass https://www.itnews.com.au/News/341535,making-the-business-case-for-google-glass.aspx Page 1 of 16
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