This is part 3 of 4 in a series about wearable tech, written by our founder and wearables expert Liza Kindred, and was originally published in The Internet of Things Quarterly (get your copy here.)
We’ve looked at the hype and the meh around wearables; now let’s look at why they still matter so much.
So Much Matters
It can be tempting to tune out the hype and to throw the rubber bracelets in the junk drawer and forget the whole thing… except for the fact that this stuff really matters, and that this is a rare place and time where the decisions we make can help shape our new world.
In some ways, our very identities are at stake. Wearables such as the Nymi bracelet and the Motorola password pill allow our physical bodies to become our digital identities–our very presence is what unlocks our devices, our heartbeat unlocks our homes. Instead of becoming cyborgs, we can become more of ourselves; our very humanity begins to matter more, and not less.
Nearly all of us will face the prospect of caring for children or for aging parents, and wearables like the Mimo connected onesie (above) and the Proteus pill can allow us to more easily keep track of the health and well-being of those closest to us. The quantified self is becoming the quantified other.
Some of the best Wearables to date have solved simple problems: the attractive June bracelet from Netatmo tracks sun exposure for those with histories of skin cancer and the EnChroma color blindness correcting glasses allow the full spectrum of the world to be seen. Phone-charging fabrics will make our lives easier, of course, but think of the implications for users in developing countries without reliable infrastructure. We can make the world slightly better, or open entirely new doors–or even both at the same time.
In the next installment, we’ll explore what we should really be asking ourselves when we build wearables.
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