Safety concerns will drive wearables industry
These are tough days for all of us. We find it difficult to go on with our lives but we must. However, some things are changing. The definition of what is a normal life changes rapidly. Security had been an important issue but it is climbing up the most important issues list very fast.
Technology is adapting to the “new” normal as always. Having CCTV systems all over our major cities was almost unthinkable thirty years ago; now we want more and more cameras everywhere. Police find it harder to find suspects if they are not caught on a camera. Having a lens pointed at us at all times has become the new normal.
The second wave of change is coming from wearables. A Business Insider report has exposed the following findings in the industry: While adoption levels are growing, the wearables market is still in the early phases of expansion. We estimate global shipments will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.8 percent over the next five years, reaching 162.9 million units in 2020.
Emerging consumer and professional healthcare trends are driving interest in wearables. For consumers, interest in quantifying personal health metrics is translating into demand for fitness tracking devices and smartwatches. Meanwhile, businesses in a variety of industries have been quick to sense the opportunities for harnessing health data from employees, consumer and patients to help drive efficiency and enhance services related to healthcare.
Barriers remain blocking the widespread adoption of wearables in the healthcare sector. Device accuracy and regulation are two major sticking points for device makers and technologists to address. Concerns surrounding privacy and a lack of utility must also be addressed.
Consumer-facing products will eventually be used for more advanced medical care. Tech giants, including Apple, Google, and Samsung, are investing significant resources into developing devices that will help bridge the gap between fitness tracking and actual medical care. Future products will serve both consumer and professional markets.
However, the above findings are missing a very important issue: safety. I foresee that safety will be the strongest driver for wearables. Tracking your loved ones is a big issue for everyone. Signaling help when you are at distress is of great importance. We will all want to alert officials at one click to come and rescue us. That is the reason why last year Vodafone Turkey got a Grand Prix at Cannes last year with an application that is used to secretly alert officials if a woman is subjected to violence.
After thousands of years in the little rock that we call earth, as the human race we still have not developed beyond apes in many aspects. As long as there is violence, the need for security applications and technologies will be great. That’s why if the main driver for wearable technologies is health, the second driver will most definitely be security.