When the first iPhone was released, it not only dramatically expanded the market for devices, it represented a mainstream adoption of technology as an integral presence in our lives.
That was six years ago, and nothing has been so transformative since. But we’re about to see it happen again in the form of wearable technology devices.
The hardware resurgence, combined with an unprecedented interest in quantified self data, makes the market ripe for wearables. We now have the hardware and software technology to produce high-quality wearables that present our data in a convenient, easily digestible format, and this technology will continue to advance. This data is valuable because we generally have a better understanding of physiological measures—the average consumer understands the value of tracking activity. It’s incredible that we’re able to unlock data generated by our physical bodies. And that’s just the beginning of what the new generation of devices will be able to do.
Wearables that present us with quantified self data are already helping us to be more aware of our daily activities and positively affect our habits. Imagine what's possible beyond the ability to track your daily activity—we can use these devices to monitor insulin levels and blood sugar, which would be key for those with Diabetes; we can share this type of information with doctors to expedite diagnoses, determine causes of disease and identify allergic reaction triggers.
Wearables allow us to better integrate tech into the person, shifting the paradigm away from screens that command our attention. iPhones—smartphones in general—and our subsequent dependence on them, opened the door for a digital lifestyle. Many of these wearables, such as the FuelBand, aren’t about the technology at all; they are lifestyle products. They represent the next step in “smart” devices with their potential to make technology less obtrusive.
It's no coincidence that our demand for wearables is growing at a time when we’re also getting bored with smartphones. We want devices that provide a less obtrusive user experience, a seamless connection of technologies available all around us. As wearables evolve, we'll see more of these transformative applications become realities.