Wearable Tech: Some Naked Thoughts

I don’t often get excited but if I do….it would be about monitoring, data and control. Who doesn’t enjoy being in control? Who doesn’t like to look at his life and can say that things are in order, things are on track and you are moving in the right direction.

This, of course, could be based on your financial situation, your weight loss (gain), your gym programme, your career, or even your BMI, steps, heart rate, glucose level… name it! That is when I get excited about the wearable tech wave that is about to hit us — or partly already hit us. Facebook just bought Moves, one of my most favourite apps and step counter, which not only gives them location data but also an insight into all the “moves” you make.

Basically, you already get those apps that measure your sleep, steps, cycling, energy consumption; the apps you can input your alcohol and food intake and they give you feedback whether it is the norm or not. Who determines the norm is another question of course.

Why I am so excited is very simple: whilst I personally haven’t got a “band” around my wrist yet which monitors everything and anything, I do want one. I will get one once Apple will release their own version, if they will, and the phones will have one app that combines and analyses the data in one summary feedback per day. I believe that is what the likes of Nike or Apple are working on. They must.

The ultimate us. The ultimate device that monitors our body status constantly and alerts us for being out of the normal range based on our age, gender, weight, and lifestyle.

We are in control already. Not many people actually monitor their life as much as I do, but essentially what we are looking at is personal data. And data, as we know, is going to be big. I find it fascinating to be able to monitor anything and then analyse my health. Knowing whether you should watch your food intake or whether you should exercise more or less this week. How a common cold affects your concentration and how your happiness will influence your body’s performance. 

Whether you sleep, and, of course, wake up at the right time, or when you do some DIY, sitting in the pub, the constant feedback will change our lives. If we think a bit further, just like “Star Trek,” we may soon wear a device that gets a blood analysis done that sends info to a 3D printer to print the food we like with the nutritions we need: I expect that we will be there in less than 10 years.

But ideally you want to make this available to the masses, rather than the rich, reduce the costs for the national health service and almost make it compulsory to monitor yourself. Yet, whether you are allowed or wish to send the data to your doctor on a regular basis is another thing. And what if, based on self-medication, we get people dying? There is a moral question to it, too.

Of course, I understand people’s concern to not wanting to be in control, not wanting to know and just getting on with life. That is fine.

But isn’t there something fascinating about it to know that only you know why you are the way you are; why you sleep and wake up, and which drink influenced which illness? To be in total control, and one day you might just know how many days you have left to live.

What do you think?

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