Looking at the rise of technology some would say that we are currently in the middle of a renaissance. Others might argue that it is really hard to say. What is clear is that technology is revolutionizing our lifestyle, and leading the way is the Internet of Things which has been predicted to touch us in a way we cannot imagine yet.
Today we are in a phase where the technology sector is increasingly diversifying. This is an inevitable process as humans will, in their creativity, always search for ways to make technology work for them in the most beneficial way. Technology is making people more aware of what is going on in the context of their own health. I think it is safe to say that in the last 5 years, it seems that the best offering from technology so far has been in the field of mobile health. Through the popularity of activity trackers consumers are now more able to answer questions like; how do my statistics look? Or how did I do overall when it comes to my activity, sleep tracking or other key biometrics? It is putting people in a position to do something positive about their health or maybe even feel motivated by the knowledge that they are obtaining so they can live a healthier lifestyle.
“A WearableTech Device Will be the Portal to Control the Internet of Things”
As technology advances at such a rapid pace, we are almost wearing the processing power of a our Power Mac G5 on our wrist. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that consumers are starting to demand better looking products that they can adorn on their wrist. People, especially women, want the same technology but will only wear it when the tech is seemingly integrated in the device that they wear. In other words, consumers are ready to embrace the technology but only if it is fashionable, because in the end wearing a product still remains a stylish way of expressing yourself.
Looking at the diversifying process but now in the context of the internet of things, big tech companies are trying to invent future markets by hiring sociologists, anthropologists etc, and putting them in the highest positions. Many claim to be in the know of the direction that humanity is going in terms of need and demand of the technology consumer product and services market. The most interesting thing here is probably that the industry is starting to understand the importance of putting the human factor in the centre of decision making. After all, we will be the ones wearing whatever it is the developers design. Therefore, wearables might look like the safest bet for the technology industry at this point since Wearable Tech devices will be the portals to control the Internet of Things.
“The Superficiality of Technology Will Always be a Decisive Factor For The Adoption of Any New Tech by The Masses”
Wearable technology can be perceived as tech that we can wear and is a label that can be applied to smart clothing or smart textile as well. This makes it easier to imagine that the digital health revolution that’s about to unfold can not be seen as a separate development. This makes it that the superficiality of technology will always be a decisive factor when it comes to the adoption of any new tech presented to the main stream. It is this particular understanding that illustrates how important the merge of fashion with technology actually is, and that the lack of this understanding is showing only how we really are just scratching at the surface of where technology will eventually take us.
Earlier this year I wrote an article which was published on Wired.com. In it I stated that the way forward for the tech industry is to keep things simple and I feel the same applies in this context of understanding the merge of fashion and technology and how these two will drive the Internet of Things. As for digital health, people will be ready to adapt when they are convinced of the added value of the health benefits. Not only when its used to prevent getting ill, but when the question; would they want to wear the technology when it makes them look like the are having a health problem? can be answered. I am convinced that ignoring that question won’t increase medical adherence programs in any way either. The hearing aid industry has experienced this for decades. Where sometimes people would settle for years, accepting their hearing loss, just so that they wouldn’t have to wear an hearing aid device.
What consumers might need most is an ‘Internet of Empathy’ instead of an Internet of Things. Currently the Internet of Things is mostly about collecting data, and since the most valuable data is going to be about people, the best way to put this data context is when it is worn on the body. Collecting this data in real time, will make it valuable, but people will first have to feel invited to wear it.