I had to laugh at one supposed benefit of wearable technology mentioned in a recent article – that drivers would be better able to communicate with pedestrians. Just imagine, your smart watch beeps as you’re crossing the road:
Hi – I’m about to run you over!
My caustic observation aside – it’s going to happen. We are all going to be wearing technology in the years to come. No more fumbling for your iPhone or shouting at your PC to boot up a bit faster. Instead, you’ll be raising your wrist to your face and chatting, checking out retail bargains or seeing if the weather is about to turn nasty.
I suppose the pioneers of smart wearable technology were ankle tagged delinquents breaking their parole terms – well it seems that Google now wishes to tag us all. Along with other digital giants, they are calculating that smart phone and PC sales have hit their historic highs and it’s time to move the technology up a notch. And some wearable technology ideas are already impacting all kinds of businesses.
Take the MooMonitor for example. Not only can humans wear smart technology – but so can cows. The MooMonitor is a necklace worn by a cow that using heat detection registers the animals preparedness for pregnancy. I know you secretly want to read more about this so click HERE.
When it comes to humans, wearable tech has achieved greatest prominence as an aid to healthy living – monitoring sports activity and bodily functions. There’s also Google Glass with built in GPS and video recording capability. I don’t necessarily chime with the squeamishness about Google glass as a snooper’s delight – instead, my gut feeling is that it’s too gimmicky and as somebody who wears glasses out of necessity, I’m not up for a novelty pair. Aside from anything – it just sounds like a recipe for constant headaches to me.
However, as wearable tech evolves – I suspect wrist watches over goggles – the market will explode with over a 100m devices shipped in 2014 and analysts predicting this will rise to 485m by 2018. Low energy Bluetooth will let these devices run on a tiny battery for months on end. So what could possibly be the downsides?
Plenty for companies. Just imagine how easy it could be for a disgruntled employee to not only discreetly snap documents on their wrist watch but even furtively record conversations and maybe even meetings – then pass it on to a competitor. This excellent article HERE explores these issues and how HR officers will have to re-frame employee contracts in the future to include inappropriate use of wearable technology. In case you think I’m being truly paranoid, there is further commentary HERE on the security aspects which could threaten organisations, government and corporates.
The challenge, as more people own these devices, will be for employers to isolate data in particular areas from which it may not be removed. Otherwise, you could almost imagine someone who works for MI5 being mugged for their smart watch by the agent of a foreign power! OK, bit fanciful but you get my drift.
- What is Everybody in the Wearable Technology Community Looking Forward to on November 7? (wearablecomputingreview.com)
- 2014 Will Be The Year Of Wearable Technology (forbes.com)
- Wearable Technology Market Expected To Surge (misco.co.uk)