Every morning, you wake up to infinite data at your fingertips. You know how well your car is running, your watch’s battery percentage, or how many impressions you received on a photo you posted on Instagram last night. Your TV, your bank, the apps on your phone are all pushing you to make better-informed decisions based on information they’ve collected from and about people like you and it seems that there’s no limit to what will be accessible next.
It seems crazy, then, that most of us go through our lives knowing close to nothing about the way our bodies are performing on a daily basis. But, that’s about to change.
The era of wearable technology is more than upon us and as our culture becomes more and more data driven, we are more and more interested in finding seamless ways to access and quantify our bodies’ functioning. In the past, wearable devices were bulky, ineffective, and approximate. This is no longer the case- from straps to jewelry to clothing, new technologies are becoming one with our bodies to help us live better lives at peak physical performance.
So- what will make for a good wearable device in the future?
Wearables will be more accurate than ever: In the past, wearables have relied on sub-par technology to interpret and approximate information. Consumers who didn’t know any better trusted companies to provide accurate readings, but there would be no way for them to know for sure. As more of the population demand external validation by credible bodies, wearable devices are going to be held to a higher standard.
Data also needs to be more actionable than ever. Tracking your mileage on a run is nice, but wearable users want to understand the way those steps impacted their body and then learn how to make those steps more effective the next day.
Wearables will be individualized: Each one of us is different. In performance and health devices, understanding individual baseline is crucial. What is your medical history? How much do you exercise? What keeps you motivated and accountable? Wearables will use this information to give you the best experience possible. They’ll also learn to evolve with you: Artificial intelligence will be incorporated into getting to know you and your habits better each day. As your preferences, moods, health, lifestyle, and general context change, wearables of the future must be able to keep up.
Wearables will integrate seamlessly: Gone are the days of heavy, bulky wearables that don’t make sense or that need to be hooked up to heavy-duty lab equipment. Compare an old-school house phone (complete with stretchy cord to trip over) to the now sleek, infinitely more powerful smartphone. Devices will get smaller and more integrated into what you’re carrying or wearing already.
Wearables will be privacy- aware. As personal data becomes available to the world with the click of a button, consumers are fighting back and demanding protection from the products and services they use. Wearables of the future will take consumer privacy into account every step of the way.
Wearables will be holistic: We know that our bodies’ performance is never reliant on a single measurement and future technology will take multiple aspects of function and response into account when providing data. Wearable devices won’t operate in a silo and will need to learn to interact and interpret data from other devices to give its human the best possible information on a regular basis.
Wearables will help you become better: Individuals who take on new training endeavors with a partner or group tend to follow through more often than those who don’t. A sense of accountability is another way wearables will change the way you think about your health and fitness. Helping users stay educated, motivated, and connected to others will become a necessary part of the wearable device.
From the way elite athletes train to the way we get the most out of our days at the office and beyond- our ability to interpret information is rapidly changing. Through accountability, gamification, and genuine value add, the wearables of the future will help us unlock our full potential. We’ll be the better version of ourselves- whether that’s more performant, healthy, or happy.