Take a glance at the wrists of your co-workers, and you\u2019re likely to see more and more of them adorned with smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearable technology. In meetings, you increasingly see colleagues surreptitiously glancing at their tiny screens, hoping in vain that no one is noticing.\nIt isn\u2019t just you. The latest smartwatch numbers all say that smartwatch shipments are growing fast, and the internet-connected devices are beginning to achieve mainstream acceptance: Last month, The NPD Group's new Smartwatch Total Market Report noted that smartwatch unit sales jumped 61 percent in 2018, while dollar volume rose 51 percent to approach $5 billion in sales. Some 16 percent of U.S. adults now own a smartwatch, the report said, up from 12 percent at the end of 2017.\nThe March 2019 edition of IDC\u2019s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, meanwhile, reported \u201cstrong growth in the worldwide wearables market, led by holiday shipments of smartwatches, wrist bands, and ear-worn devices.\u201d More specifically, fourth-quarter 2018 shipments hit a record 59.3 million, while over the full year, wearables shipments grew by 27.5 percent to top 172 million units.\n\nEnteprise wearable predictions haven\u2019t come true\nNo question, that\u2019s a lot of smartwatches. And their entering the enterprise on employees' wrists has raised security, network performance, and wireless connectivity concerns. (We're going to need Wi-Fi 6 to handle them.) But as for their transforming the workplace, not many of the devices\u00a0are being used for business purposes beyond checking messages and calendar appointments.\nThere isn\u2019t a lot of research on wearables and workplace use, but I thought a 2015 Salesforce Research report called Putting Wearables To Work, Insights on wearable technology in business was very illustrative of what many folks were expecting. The report takes an optimistic view, among other things predicting 300 percent growth in enterprise wearables in the next two years\u2014but I couldn\u2019t find any research to confirm or deny whether that growth actually happened.\nMore interesting than the growth predictions, perhaps, the report splits enterprise wearable use into two parts: employee use and customer applications. The top employee uses include workplace security, employee time management, and employee communications. From my perspective, though, much of that sounds like messaging and checking the time (for which your watch does not have to be particularly smart).\nThe customer application side seems more promising. Common customer applications predicted include loyalty programs, point-of-sale (PoS) uses and something called an \u201cintegrated shopping experience.\u201d I don\u2019t know about you, but I\u2019m not seeing a lot of smartwatch-based loyalty programs or PoS applications. I have no idea what an integrated shopping experience is, but I\u2019m pretty sure I haven\u2019t seen one on of those on a smartwatch, either.\nThe report cited the lack of applications as the biggest barrier to B2B adoption of wearable tech, and that problem doesn\u2019t seem to have disappeared. Nor have other concerns in the report, including cost, device capabilities, and security.\nStill waiting\u2026\nAll of those concerns have been with us since at least 2015, and I don\u2019t see any resolution on the horizon. Just about every productivity app you can think of has a mobile version optimized for smartphones, but very few of these tools have smartwatch versions. Does your IT department support even wearables? If so, it\u2019s the first one I\u2019ve heard of that does.\nFrankly, I don\u2019t see a lot of incentives for app vendors or IT departments to make smartphone versions of productivity and business tools. For one thing, since none of the various smartwatches use standard browsers or anything like that, vendors would have to build separate versions for each device. And while the Apple Watch consistently leads the market share charts, IDC ranks it as only a little more than a quarter of all smartwatches.\nPut simply, it\u2019s hard to see how the potential market justifies the development of smartwatch versions of existing enterprise and productivity software, much less the creation of new tools specifically for smartwatch users in business settings. And until and unless that changes, smartwatches and other wearables are likely to remain consumer devices that show up in the enterprise largely when individual workers bring them in, with little or no official role.