A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and Current Challenges (2023)

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Computer Networks

Volume 193,

5 July 2021

, 108074

Under a Creative Commons license

Open access

Abstract

Technology is continually undergoing a constituent development caused by the appearance of billions new interconnected “things” and their entrenchment in our daily lives. One of the underlying versatile technologies, namely wearables, is able to capture rich contextual information produced by such devices and use it to deliver a legitimately personalized experience. The main aim of this paper is to shed light on the history of wearable devices and provide a state-of-the-art review on the wearable market. Moreover, the paper provides an extensive and diverse classification of wearables, based on various factors, a discussion on wireless communication technologies, architectures, data processing aspects, and market status, as well as a variety of other actual information on wearable technology. Finally, the survey highlights the critical challenges and existing/future solutions.

Keywords

Wearables

Communications

Standardization

Privacy

Security

Data processing

Interoperability

User adoption

Localization

Classification

Future perspective

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Aleksandr Ometov is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tampere University (TAU), Finland. He is currently working on H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. He received D.Sc. (Tech) in Telecommunications and M.Sc. is Information Technology from Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland in 2018 and 2016, correspondingly. He also holds his Specialist degree in Information Security from Saint Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (SUAI), Russia, 2013. His research interests are wireless communications, information security, blockchain technology and wearable applications.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (5)

Viktoriia Shubina is a Doctoral student at Tampere University (TAU), and an Early Stage Researcher at H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. She received her Double M.Sc. in Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien, Austria, and M.Sc. in Business Informatics from National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia in 2019. Topics, which interest her most are location privacy, privacy-preserving mechanisms, indoor positioning, and wearable technologies.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (6)

Lucie Klus is the Early Stage Researcher at Tampere University, Finland and Jaume I University, Spain as a part of H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project since September 2019. She received her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from Electronics and Communications at Brno University of Technology in 2019 and 2017. Her research interests include modern approaches in wireless communications, data processing and analytics, crowdsourcing methods and machine learning techniques.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (7)

Justyna Skibińska is the Early Stage Researcher and Ph.D. student at Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic and Tampere University, Finland as a part of H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. She obtained her M.Sc. and B.Sc. degrees from Biomedical Engineering with specialization in Computer Science and Electronics in Medicine at University of Science and Technology in Kraków, Poland in 2018 and 2017 respectively. Her research focus is on machine learning techniques and wearable technologies.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (8)

Salwa Saafi is a joint Ph.D. student at the Department of Telecommunications at Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic and the Unit of Electrical Engineering at Tampere University, Finland. She received her engineering degree (2017) in telecommunications from the Higher School of Communication of Tunis, Tunisia. Her research interests include cellular radio access technologies, future wireless architectures, and wearable applications.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (9)

Pavel Pascacio is currently an Early Stage Researcher of the H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project at the Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and Tampere University (Finland) respectively. He received his M.Sc. in Automation and Control Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, in 2019 and a B.Sc. in Electronics Engineering from Instituto Tecnológico de Tuxtla Gutiérrez, México, in 2009. His main research interests are in the areas of infrastructure-less indoor location & positioning, machine learning, collaborative indoor positioning systems, peer-to-peer communication and mesh networks.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (10)

Laura Flueratoru is currently pursuing her joint Ph.D.degree at University Politehnica of Bucharest and Tampere University as part of the H2020 MSCA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. She received her M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from ETH Zürich in 2019 and, prior to this, her B.Eng. degree (with highest honors) in Electronics and Telecommunications from University Politehnica of Bucharest in 2017. Her main research interests are in wireless communications, localization systems, ultra-wideband communications, and embedded systems.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (11)

Darwin Quezada Gaibor is an Early Stage Researcher and Ph.D. student at Universitat Jaume I (Spain) and Tampere University (Finland). He received his bachelor’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Universidad Tecnológica América, Ecuador, 2013 and his Master’s Degree in Radioengineering – GNSS receivers: Hardware and Software from Samara National Research University, Russia, 2017. His main interests are VoIP, Cloud Computing, Networking, Servers, and open-source software.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (12)

Nadezhda Chukhno is an Early Stage Researcher at A-WEAR and Doctoral Researcher at Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy and Jaume I University, Spain. She graduated from RUDN University, Russia, and received her B.Sc. in Business Informatics (2017) and M.Sc. in Fundamental Informatics and Information technologies (2019). Her current research activity mainly focuses on wireless communications, 5G networks, D2D, and wearable technologies.

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A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (13)

Olga Chukhno is an Early Stage Researcher within H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project and a Ph.D. student at Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy and Tampere University, Finland. She received M.Sc. (2019) in Fundamental Informatics and Information Technologies and B.Sc. (2017) in Business Informatics from RUDN University, Russia. Her current research interests include wireless communications, social networking, edge computing, and wearable applications.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (14)

Asad Ali is an Early Stage Researcher in the H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project and a Doctoral Researcher at Tampere University, Finland, and Brno University of Technology, Czech Republic. He pursued his B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with majors in Telecommunication from COMSATS University Islamabad, Pakistan (2015), and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Rostock, Germany (2019). His research interests include, but are not limited to, mmWave communication, wearable technology, and 5G network.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (15)

Asma Channa is an Early Stage Researcher in the H2020 MCSA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project and a Doctoral Researcher at University Politehnica of Bucharest, and Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, Italy. In 2015, she graduated from Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro, Pakistan with B.Sc. degree in Electronic Engineering. She holds her M.Sc. degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the same university (2018). Her research interests include, biomedical signal processing, wearables, eHealth and artificial intelligence.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (16)

Ekaterina Svertoka is a Ph.D. candidate at Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania as part of H2020 ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. She received her M.Sc. in Radioengineering from Saint Petersburg Electrotechnical University (LETI), Russia in 2018. Her research interests are wireless communications and wearable technology for work safety.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (17)

Waleed Bin Qaim is an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the H2020 MSCA ITN/EJD A-WEAR project. He is a double degree Ph.D. student affiliated with Tampere University (TAU), Finland and University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria (UNIRC), Italy. He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science and Engineering from Koc University, Turkey in 2018. He completed his B.Sc. in Telecommunication Engineering from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (NUCES), Pakistan in 2011. His research interests include Wireless Communication, IoT, Wearable Networks, and Distributed Computing Systems.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (18)

Raúl Casanova-Marqués is a joint-Ph.D. student at Brno University of Technology (BUT) and Universitat Jaume I (UJI), working as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the A-WEAR project. He graduated (2017) in Computer Engineering at Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) in Spain and he received a M.Sc. (2018) in Information and Communication Technology Security from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), and a M.Sc. (2018) Indra Master’s in Cybersecurity from U-tad. He is currently involved as a researcher in several scientific projects focused on novel cryptographic protocols for attribute-based authentication, privacy protection mechanisms of users in electronic systems and secure algorithms on wearable devices.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (19)

Sylvia Holcer is currently an Early Stage Researcher and a Ph.D. student at Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain with a secondment at Brno University of Technology (BUT) in Brno, Czech Republic. She is focusing her work on location privacy in wearables. She majored in Geoinformation for her M.Sc. and B.Sc. at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. Her primary research interests are new technologies, machine learning, and spatial analysis.

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Joaquín Torres-Sospedra is CEO at UBIK Geospatial Solutions. He has a Ph.D. since 2011 about Ensembles of Neural Networks and Machine Learning from Universitat Jaume I. He has authored more than 120 articles in journals and conference proceedings. His current research interests include indoor positioning solutions based on Wi-Fi & BLE, Machine Learning and Evaluation. Dr. Torres-Sospedra is the chair of the Smartphone-based track of IPIN Competition since 2015. He is also the chair of the IPIN International Standards Committee since 2018.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (21)

Sven Casteleyn received his master and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. He is currently an associate professor at the Universidad Jaime I, Castelln, Spain, and previously held a Ramon y Cajal (Spain) and a Marie Curie (Europe) individual post-doctoral fellowship. Sven supervised 6 Ph.D. and over 50 master theses. He published over 100 scientific articles in the broad fields of the Web, mobile computing, geographical information science and technology, and their application fields.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (22)

Giuseppe Ruggeri received the master degree in electronics engineering in 1998. In 2002 he received the Ph.D. in electronics, computer science and telecommunications engineering. He is currently assistant professor at the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria. His current interests include self organizing networks, Internet of Things, Social Internet of Things.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (23)

Giuseppe Araniti (Senior Member, IEEE) received the Laurea degree and the Ph.D. degree in electronic engineering from the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria, Italy, in 2000 and 2004, respectively. He is currently an Assistant Professor of telecommunications with the University Mediterranea of Reggio Calabria. His major area of research is on 5G/6G networks and it includes personal communications, enhanced wireless and satellite systems, traffic and radio resource management, multicast and broadcast services, device-to-device (D2D), and machine-type communications (M2M/MTC).

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (24)

Radim Burget is an Assoc. Professor at Brno University of Technology and is heading Signal processing program at SIX Research Centre. He has been involved in research of artificial intelligence for many years and in plenty of research projects which include projects funded on European level, national level or privately funded projects. Companies he is cooperating with include Honeywell, Mitsubishi Electric, Rapidminer, Konica-Minolta and others.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (25)

Jiri Hosek (Senior Member, IEEE) received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Communication, Brno University of Technology (BUT), Czech Republic, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. He is currently an Associate Professor and the Deputy Vice-Head for Research and Development and International Relations at the Department of Telecommunications, BUT. He is also coordinating the WISLAB Research Group, where he deals mostly with industry-oriented projects in the area of future mobile networks, the Internet of Things, and home automation services. He has (co)authored more than 130 research works on networking technologies, wireless communications, quality of service, quality of experience, and IoT applications.

A Survey on Wearable Technology: History, State-of-the-Art and CurrentChallenges (26)

Elena Simona Lohan is a Professor at Tampere University (TAU), Finland. She received an M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnics University of Bucharest, Romania, in 1997, a DEA degree (French equivalent of master) in econometrics at Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France, in 1998, and a Ph.D. degree in telecommunications from Tampere University of Technology in 2003. She is now a professor at the Electrical Engineering unit at Tampere University, Finland and the coordinator of the MSCA EU A-WEAR network. Her current research interests include wireless location techniques, wearable computing, and privacy-aware positioning solutions.

© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

FAQs

What is the importance of wearable technology in today's generation? ›

Wearable technology provides us with the ability to monitor our fitness levels, track our location with GPS, and view text messages more quickly. Best of all, most of the devices that allow us to do this are hands free and portable, eliminating the need to take our devices out of our pockets.

What has been one of the biggest challenges facing wearable displays? ›

Many wearables have a video display or a touch screen for user interaction. A significant challenge for such small displays is ease of use. Even a high-resolution display on a smart watch doesn't offer much real estate.

What is the impact of wearable technology in society? ›

When it comes to improving people's access to better health and a better quality of life, wearable technology is bringing the future firmly within reach. Wearables have limitless untapped applications in the fields of health, wellbeing and fitness.

What is wearable technology examples? ›

Modern wearable technology falls under a broad spectrum of usability, including smartwatches, fitness trackers such as the Fitbit Charge, VR headsets, smart jewelry, web-enabled glasses and Bluetooth headsets. Wearables work differently, based on the category they belong to, such as health, fitness or entertainment.

What are the challenges for developers of wearable apps? ›

Challenges in wearable app development
  • Battery issues. Thinking about ways to expand a wearable device's battery life is a must for anyone in the wearable business. ...
  • User interface. ...
  • Privacy and security. ...
  • Functionality. ...
  • Regular updates. ...
  • Multi-platform support. ...
  • Tethered devices.

Are wearable technologies can help you in learning now a days? ›

They can improve your punctuality, increase productivity, and provide you with more spare time. The educational sphere is not an exception. Students can use wearables to listen to audio lessons, make voice notes, or receive notifications. Such technologies can also be beneficial to parents and teachers.

How is wearable technology helping humanity? ›

Wearable Technology Saves Lives

Certain types of wearable Remote Patient Monitoring devices can even alert caregivers when the person falls. This device allows patients to maintain independence, prevent complications, and minimize personal costs. Another interesting device is the LifeShirt.

Are there any privacy issues raised by wearable technology? ›

Wearables enable the surveillance of individuals and their behaviors and surroundings as well, which can lead to major privacy threats and risks. These issues not only affect the individual user but also the society and the organizations involved too, for instance when the data collected are misused.

Which one among the following is the key technical challenges in the adoption of wearables *? ›

One of the critical attack on wearable technology is authentication issue.

What are the benefits of wearable devices? ›

They're lighter, smarter and more comfortable than ever to wear. They're also easy to setup, as most devices either seamlessly integrate with your smart phone or work independently. Most wearables, if not all, offer easy portability and increased user friendliness.

How does wearable technology affect economy? ›

The role of wearables on economic development

On top of saving lives, wearable technology will also save money spent for example on things like hiring people to do checkups and data collection. That money could then be invested in other parts of the national budget for example education or infrastructure development.

What are the positive impacts of technology? ›

Positive Effects of Technology
  • Modern Technology Improved Connectivity and Communication.
  • Modern Technology Made Our Society More Efficient.
  • Modern Technology Has Improved Learning Process and Education.
  • Modern Technology Improved Healthcare.
  • Technology Helps in Transportation.
  • Modern Technology Changing Agriculture.
21 Jul 2022

What is the main concept of wearable technology? ›

Wearable technology refers to mobile electronic devices that are comfortably worn on the user's body or attached to their clothes.

What was the first wearable technology? ›

The first wearable technology traces back to the 13th century, when eye glasses were invented by Salvino D'Armati, an Italian from Florence.

What are three major issues with Mhealth applications and wearable devices? ›

This is very important because the adoption of apps and wearable devices in health care might give rise to challenges about security, data protection, and data reuse [8,9].

How does wearable technology revolutionized the way people access information? ›

Wearable technologies have ignited a new type of human–computer interaction with the rapid development of information and communication technologies. This technology facilitates mobility and connectivity for users that they can access online information conveniently and communicate with others immediately while moving.

What is wearable devices in healthcare? ›

Wearable technology in healthcare includes electronic devices that consumers can wear, like Fitbits and smartwatches, and are designed to collect the data of users' personal health and exercise. These devices can even send a user's health information to a doctor or other healthcare professional in real time.

What is adaptive learning in education? ›

Adaptive learning is a methodology for teaching and learning that strives to personalize lessons, readings, practice activities, and assessments for individual students based on their current skills and performance.

How is wearable technology changing healthcare? ›

Wearable medical devices provide clinicians the ability to remotely monitor patients 24/7 in almost any setting. This is especially important as hospitals continue to expand their telehealth and “at home” care capabilities.

What is the future of wearable technology in healthcare? ›

The future looks promising

One of the key growth areas for wearable healthcare devices integration is implantable medical technology. Wearable devices for vital signs monitoring will reach USD$980M market by 2024, growing at 21.7% CAGR.

How many types of wearable technology are there? ›

The different types of wearable technology, often known as wearables, refer to intelligent electronic devices that can be incorporated into clothing or worn as implants or accessories on the body.

How can technology be improved? ›

Modern technology has paved the way for multi-functional devices like the smartwatch and the smartphone. Computers are increasingly faster, more portable, and higher-powered than ever before. With all of these revolutions, technology has also made our lives easier, faster, better, and more fun.

What are two different applications of wearable technologies? ›

Application of Wearable Technologies in Different Industries
  • Fitness trackers and heart-rate monitors.
  • Smartwatches.
  • Headphones.
  • GPS trackers.
  • Smart glasses.
  • Other gadgets using AR/VR.
5 Aug 2021

Do you think wearable technology will be commonplace in the near future? ›

In fact, according to MarketWatch and Statisa research, there will be more than 1 billion connected wearable devices by 2022, each with its own network and interactions. We no longer need to pull out our phones or open our laptops, but instead can just glance down at our wrists.

What security or privacy concerns might be associated with a smart watch or health monitoring sensors? ›

It's possible that hacked smart watches could create threats on private networks. Consider this: A smart watch links to a mobile device, which could provide a door for cybercriminals to enter. In turn, that mobile device connects to the company network. That could lead to the exposure of valuable information.

Which factor should be given major importance in design of smart wearable? ›

Low Power Design: One of the most important factors to consider while building a wearable device is power consumption. Low power consumption is critical to wearable designs and many designers are moving to low power consumption design that will make the device last longer before each charging cycle.

Which are the 5 elements of a mainstream wearable system? ›

He identified five broad elements that affect the acceptance of wearable technology in the mainstream: wearability, ease of use, compelling design, functionality, and price.

What do you mean by wearable computing comment on its present and future applications? ›

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)).

How does wearable technology increase productivity? ›

Wearable technology streamlines the receiving process and can reduce errors. It also offers users greater inventory visibility, which can improve worker productivity by eliminating congestion at the dock door. It can also help increase the speed at which the put-away process is conducted.

What can wearable technology measure? ›

What a wearable device can measure depends on its sensors and its software. Lower level algorithms turn the noisy output of photodetectors and the like into heartbeats. Higher level programs combine, say, heart rate, temperature and movement into measures of the duration, and quality, of sleep.

What is wearable technology examples? ›

Wearables make up a broad category that includes any device worn or attached to a user's body. Smart watches, VR headsets and wearable electrocardiograms are a few examples. These devices support purposes related to areas like health and fitness, entertainment and everyday use.

What is the importance of wearable gear in sports? ›

One of the greatest benefits from the advent of wearables in sports is better injury management, meaning preventing injuries, decreasing the severity of an existing injury and improving rehabilitation after an injury is sustained.

What are some disadvantages for employees of wearable tracking technology? ›

What are the disadvantages of wearable technology?
  • Wearables are expensive. ...
  • Some wearables are not stand-alone devices. ...
  • Wearables can have health risks. ...
  • Wearable technology may pose security risks. ...
  • There are some privacy concerns regarding wearables. ...
  • There are limitations to the use of wearables because of their size.
17 Jan 2017

What are the positive and negative effects of technology on society? ›

What are the effects of technology? It has both positive and negative effect. Some of them are increasing satisfaction, better communication channels, eliminating geographical boundaries and some negatives are obesity, health issues, sleep problems, etc.

Is technology helpful or harmful to society? ›

Technology has a more positive impact on humans or society as compared to negative. It makes our life easier and reward us by providing resources or tool that make our life much easier.

What are three major issues with Mhealth applications and wearable devices? ›

This is very important because the adoption of apps and wearable devices in health care might give rise to challenges about security, data protection, and data reuse [8,9].

Which one among the following is the key technical challenges in the adoption of wearables *? ›

One of the critical attack on wearable technology is authentication issue.

Are there any privacy issues raised by wearable technology? ›

Wearables enable the surveillance of individuals and their behaviors and surroundings as well, which can lead to major privacy threats and risks. These issues not only affect the individual user but also the society and the organizations involved too, for instance when the data collected are misused.

Are wearable technologies can help you in learning now a days? ›

They can improve your punctuality, increase productivity, and provide you with more spare time. The educational sphere is not an exception. Students can use wearables to listen to audio lessons, make voice notes, or receive notifications. Such technologies can also be beneficial to parents and teachers.

What do you think will be the impact of wearable technology in the workplace? ›

Productivity. Wearable technology will allow workers to process their tasks more efficiently. In an instant a freelancer can use wearables to scan a business expense receipt and forward it into their client's expense account. The impact of wearables will touch every industry.

What are the disadvantages or problems of using wearable devices? ›

Cons of wearable technology
  • Data security concerns. ...
  • Technical concerns. ...
  • Capabilities are limited. ...
  • Wearable technology is expensive.
9 Feb 2022

How can wearable technology help healthcare? ›

This includes devices like bedside monitors, fitness trackers, and smart watches. Such devices can keep tabs on health parameters such as blood pressure and blood glucose levels for patients with hypertension and diabetes, Tan shares.

What are the advantages of wearable technology in healthcare? ›

With the introduction of IoT wearable devices, doctors can monitor a patient's heart rate, glucometer readings, calorie count, and other vital signs. This information can help doctors better manage patients' health and safety. It can also help doctors monitor the compliance of medications with treatment plans.

Which factor should be given major importance in design of smart wearable? ›

Low Power Design: One of the most important factors to consider while building a wearable device is power consumption. Low power consumption is critical to wearable designs and many designers are moving to low power consumption design that will make the device last longer before each charging cycle.

Which are the 5 elements of a mainstream wearable system? ›

He identified five broad elements that affect the acceptance of wearable technology in the mainstream: wearability, ease of use, compelling design, functionality, and price.

How has wearable technology revolutionized the way people access information? ›

Wearable technologies have ignited a new type of human–computer interaction with the rapid development of information and communication technologies. This technology facilitates mobility and connectivity for users that they can access online information conveniently and communicate with others immediately while moving.

What security or privacy concerns might be associated with a smart watch or health monitoring sensors? ›

It's possible that hacked smart watches could create threats on private networks. Consider this: A smart watch links to a mobile device, which could provide a door for cybercriminals to enter. In turn, that mobile device connects to the company network. That could lead to the exposure of valuable information.

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