Co.Design

7 Reasons Why Wearables Are Poised To Disrupt Our Lives

Fjord organized a brainstorming session on wearables. Here are the highlights.

If you don’t think the Nike+ Fuelband is ridiculously important, then you’re missing the big picture. In the next five to 10 years, wearable technology—the sensor-based appcessories that use our phones as brains and connections to the cloud—has the potential to change our lives every bit as much as having the world’s information in our pockets. Why? Because with wearables, we’ll have something even more important: our body’s information in our pockets.

Service design specialists at Fjord recently had a "kitchen" panel and brainstorming event, and we can learn a lot from the melting pot prognostications of developers, designers, and analysts. Feel free to watch the short clip above. Here are the highlights we distilled from the conversations, or the seven reasons why wearables are poised to disrupt our lives:

  1. The smartphone’s novelty has worn off, and people want new toys.
  2. Now that digital has impacted our lifestyle (we already share our lives on Facebook), digital can become a lifestyle product (we’ll let the tech seep deeper into our personal lives).
  3. These devices can appeal to techies, by looking like tech, or everyday people, by looking like fashion.
  4. Sensor-based appcessories are unlocking data that we’ve never had before on the human body and the way we live.
  5. By blending so well into our lives (and our bodies), wearables can paradoxically reduce the time we spend on our cell phones, which everybody wants.
  6. A wearable’s immediate feedback can guide us to choices that make us feel better, immediately.
  7. But all this data will merge atoms and bits in ways we can’t predict.

Not included in this talk, you could easily add the facts that 1) thanks to smartphones, sensors like accelerometers are now absurdly cheap and 2) new low-power Bluetooth standards will drive more passive connectivity between wearables and our phones.

For a bit more background on the topic, read about the recent Forrester report on wearable technology, or see what we’ve had to say on the first big wave of wearables, including the Nike+ Fuelband, the Jawbone Up, the FitBit Flex and the fashion-forward BodyMedia Core 2.

See more here.

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4 Comments

  • Danny C

    a merging of natural/familiar with inorganic/foreign. we want to bake our cake and eat it too. the next era is here. it starts with wearables.

  • Arne Liedtke

    the "big picture" of digital innovation is an illusion which wont make anyone happier. instead it will even more distract. and all the stuff will finally end up as blinking plastic on the sell out table. because nike will say: you have to buy the new one. good boy!

  • Lloyd

    Do you exercise Arne? If you did you'd know that sensors give you an edge you didn't have before. Answering questions such as "How long can I maintain a heart rate at this level?", "How should I replace these calories I have burnt so I can continue to perform at the level?" and "What is my pace and will I accomplish my goal?". The effectiveness of the GPS, heart rate monitors and calorie counters is amazing and helps me transcend my fitness goals and achieve personal best times weekly. Understanding how my body works from a measurement point of view is priceless.