Many have looked to wearables as a way to enhance lifestyle and fitness practices, but their biggest value comes in helping companies boost productivity and engagement.

Much has been said and written about the potential of wearables. But when we picture them, we still tend to imagine a Fitbit, Jawbone, or somesuch device that’s meant to help us to live a more fit and connected lifestyle. But that’s just the tip of the wearable iceberg — the breadth and depth of wearable potential extends far beyond the simple monitoring of steps and heart rate.

Productivity, Accessorized

For virtually any situation in which a person can wear clothing, a wearable device has the potential to collect relevant data, analyze it, and enhance performance. Indeed, the functionality of wearables can extend to authentication capabilities, productivity optimization, augmented reality, virtuality, environmental sensing, and on and on endlessly.

Backed with increasingly powerful analytics, wearables are utilizing new technology in the area of sensors, networks, and other methods of data gathering (most famously, the Internet of Things). And as their numbers grow, companies gain the ability to make more coherent, dynamic, and actionable insights.

They’re no longer just a customer-facing product, and many organizations are looking to wearable solutions to operate more efficiently, provide a higher quality of service, and drive innovation. It’s no surprise that 51% of technology or business leaders identify wearables as a critical, high, or moderate priority for their organization, according to Forrester.

Physical Solutions

These ideas have already taken specific form. A badge from Sociometric Solutions, for example, uses a variety of sensors to capture behaviors from employees, which can include everything from face to face interactions to their locations in the office. Management can then analyze this data to identify shortfalls in collaboration and productivity.

In fact, by mapping communication and interaction lines across a company, companies can specifically identify where processes break down, when poor office layouts contribute to lowered collaboration and other insights that traditional surveys or interviews could not uncover.

Other wearables, like the Oculus Rift, give users a virtual reality experience of your brand. By slipping on a pair of goggles, consumers immerse themselves in a world of the programmer’s design.

This device has obvious applications within the gaming industry, but it also holds tremendous marketing potential: the company recently teamed up with Lexus to create a virtual reality simulation of test driving a new Lexus prior to its release. Applicable to car shows and dealerships alike, the Rift is a powerful tool that helps Lexus to viscerally connect users to a product before it hits the market.

Wearables can also enrich brand experiences of paying customers. One great example is the Disney Magic Band, which acts as a digital key card, credit card (for any in-park purchases), entry ticket, and FastPass+. The less customers feel the seams of the outside world, the more Disney World transforms into an immersive, magic experience (think personalized greetings from every maitre d’).

To develop this game-changing product, Disney analyzed the customer journey and, discovering multiple pain points, used data as fuel to create a device that permits a frictionless Disney experience — a simple, digitized wristband.

Taking a Pulse

In the same way that watches transformed and personalized user’s a conception of time centuries ago, wearables empower businesses and individuals to reconceptualize brand engagement and productivity through data-driven insight. All courtesy of a device that sits in the palms of our hands (or wrists, more accurately).

As businesses continue to adopt wearable strategies and create new ways to use them, the power and applicability of their data will only grow. And savvy businesses will look to those who have mastered digital transformation strategies to guide the delivery of tangibles.