January 6, 2015. By Jip Samhoud – &samhoud media
The biggest tech year changer is the coming up of wearables (devices you wear) and swallowables (devices you swallow). Last year, we could already see that some of these devices are getting more attention, but gadget trend watchers all come to the same conclusion: In 2015 wearables and swallowables will be taking over.
This week all eyes are on the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) from the 6th till the 9th of January in Las Vegas, where all mayor tech brands present their new developments and technologies and everybody is expecting a lot from wearables. The long anticipated coming of the Apple Watch is, of course, expected to give a big stir as Apple is a leading organisation in making new innovations be quickly accepted and adapted by a large crowd. But also companies like Nike and Adidas are expected to present sport wearables to help you to organize and control your workouts. These devices, attached to body parts, will be able to diagnose a lot of functions: from your blood pressure to the air humidity of your location.
Where to keep an eye on?
Big brands like Montblanc and Swarovski presented this week that they will present their new wearable jewelry during the CES. I am very excited about the skin-like tattoo’s created by mc10inc.com that is able to collect information directly from your skin. Also, chipmaker intel is jumping in to the wearable market, with an announced partnership with fashion brand Opening Ceremony. Brands like l’Oreal and New Balance have announced to be presenting during the CES about their new wearable products. Can we expect a measuring shampoo?
Wearables are not something totally new. The biggest change maker however is that major fashion brands and innovative millennial lifestyle brands are now adopting wearables that will target masses. Smart devices will be combined with high fashion jewelry and will become the fashion statement of 2015. Moods can be tracked and devices will be even able to track the health of your pet for instance. A wide adaptation of wearables in daily life will become socially accepted.
The amount of data that will be collected will be vast which will undoubtedly start new debates on positive and negative effects on society like functional benefits versus guarding our privacy. Marketers and entrepreneurs will be capable of targeting their audience in ways they can only dream of. As privacy is becoming even more a valuable asset that consumers will sell for hard cash to brands, wearables will increase this specific targeting. Big brands need to give a total new experience for wearables in return. They need to really add value to the consumer and enrich their experience in exchange for their valuable data.
A more individual society – Insurance companies at risk
With all the data collected you can take control of your own fitness and health. The constant measure of blood pressure, activity and blood values by swallowed measurable pills will provide a constant data stream and give you a clear image of your fitness and health.
The general concern is that organizations like insurance companies will use all this data with a negative effect on our society: They will use the data to exclude individual people or charge them more money in order to make a big profit. Although I can understand these concerns, I would like to think that the biggest danger is not for the consumer, but for the insurance companies themselves. I think that, when consumers will be more and more capable of assessing their own health and risks, their acceptance of a classic insurance system that relies on accepting –and paying for – unforeseen risks, will quickly decline. Why pay for shared risk when you are able to adequately calculate your own risk?
The arrival of wearables and swallowables will not help us to function better in our societal system, it will change the system as such; it will force us to think of and design new solutions to possibilities and problems that we will certainly encounter. It will make our life more healthier, efficient and safer and I am very excited to see this new future coming soon.