I see them everywhere, pedometers, smart watches and Google Glass. Of course, I am in the Silicon Valley and attend many technology related events so I expect to see at least a few extra devices a week but even outside the Silicon Valley, people are purchasing and using sensor enabled wearable technology. This begs the question, in the world of technology solutions, is wearable technology fashion, fad or the future?
Answer: All of the above.
Fashion encompasses not only clothing and hair styles, it includes accessories and even how one behaves. If you’re donning Google Glass, you are making a fashion statement and it has not taken long for people to describe glass wearer behavior, glassholes beware. Wearable technology devices such as pedometers are encouraging people to change their behavior to be more active. In the health arena hundreds of ideas are being hatched to improve health by monitoring and suggesting changed behaviors.
Does anyone remember the cute electronic pets of the 90s? Fad. Some wearable devices entering the market today will fall into this category. They will be here and then gone in a few short years, unlike other 90s devices such as those by Palm which led the way to the smart phones of today. Those designing and launching wearable devices need to make sure their products are really useful or they will become no more than a fad. Don’t take this as me saying fad-like wearables should not be developed and sold; these fad wearables are necessary to pave the way for the wearables of the future. The businesses producing them are going to learn a great deal and pivot on to future ideas that will create the future of wearable devices.
A look at the future of wearable technology has me excited for all the ways technology will be working for people. This leads me to these eight wearable future predictions:
1) Wearables of the future will be more than fad devices; they will satisfy customer needs.
2) Where wearables are silo solutions now, in the future they will be better integrated with other wearables and the wider Internet of Things.
3) Companies that combine the information of multiple sensors in multiple wearable devices will create more value for their consumers than producers of single wearable devices.
4) Wearables will become more intelligent because of developments in sensor technology and the ability to translate data from these sensors into insight via analytics.
5) The cost of sensors will continue to go down, thus enabling more uses and innovation with sensors in wearable devices.
6) Wearable devices will need less frequent charging because of better energy storage and lower energy consumption.
7) People are going to use wearable technology to make a statement about who they are.
8) People are going to use undetectable wearable technology by using wearable ultra-sensitive micro sensors, sensors smaller and more sensitive than the innovative seat belt microphone in Audi’s R8 Spyder that enables clear cell phone conversation with the top down at lightning speeds.
See the introduction to Wearable Predictions 9 & 10 here: An Update on Wearables Predictions
See the Industry Watch for each prediction here:
Who to Watch for Prediction #1 Wearables Will Satisfy Customer Needs
Who to Watch for Prediction #2 Wearables: Silo to Integrated w/IoT
Who to Watch for Prediction #3 Wearable Alpha: More value from multiple wearable devices and sensors
Who to Watch for Prediction #4 Analytics & Sensor Tech Improve Wearable Intelligence
Who to Watch for Prediction #5 Wearable Sensor Costs Decreasing
Who to Watch for Prediction #6 Energy: Improved Storage & Lower Consumption for Wearables
Who to Watch for Prediction #7 People to Make Statements with Wearables
Who to Watch for Prediction #8 People Use Undetectable Wearables
Who to Watch for Prediction #9 Wearable Data Ownership Debate
Who to Watch for Prediction #10 Wearables Enable Contextual Awareness
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