The wearable future is indeed upon us as it seems every company in tech will have to seriously map out a wearable technology strategy right after they ensure their mobile strategy is working as well as possible. Taco Bell recently announced customers will be able to use a smartphone to buy food at their drive thru locations -other companies have been doing so for a while but for those on the sidelines, this news probably was the push they needed to put 100% behind mobile commerce.
This weekend has some good reading on what some of the major companies in tech are up to. First off we have Google - they recently purchased a huge hanger for blimps which speculators beleive will be used for Project Loon, Google's base station in the sky concept which in theory could provide free, balloon-based wireless access throughout the world. I have been a huge advocate for white space technology also known as shared spectrum or Super WiFi. Google has been an enormous supporter of this area as well and seeing them deploying these baloons in the US to provide free wireless connectivity wouldn't suprise me at all.
Next up is Apple who is said to be seriously considering the sale of a medical device which could among other things act as an early warning system for heart attacks. There is already speculation about an iWatch - if Cupertino is serious about the medical device market as well, it would make sense to imagine they are looking to revolution the healtchare system we have today.
In other words, imagine if Apple continues to adorn its customers with sensors - similar to the ones in its phones which detect motion and more. And then consider what would happen if it made this data available to developers who could write apps which could monitor your health in new and innovative ways. I am talking about an App Store for medical specializations. Lets say you have a skin condition, there may be an app for that which helps you diagnose a particular issue with doctor supervision and also prescribe you treatment. Talk about Silicon Valley revolutioning medicine!
In other news, Sony after deciding it cant compete in the PC business is said to be looking squarely at the wearable market. Sure, Sony is known for its mistakes these past few years but decades back they revolutionized TV recording, television and portable music. Apple was once down-and-out and then turned itself around... Sony could potentially do the same in wearable tech.
In all, this news tells us wearable technology will seriously be ubiquitous and the health, fitness and medical spaces are natural intersections for such solutions. Moreover, sources tell me Google Glass will see serious competition in the near future from a wealth of vendors. This will be a booming market and the exciting part for users should be that form factors haven't yet been solidified and there is also no gestural language standard. I would imagine we will see much progress in both areas in the coming months and years.
The question you may think you need to ask is "Does my company need a wearable tech strategy?" but it really isn't a matter of if, its when. My answer is the sooner the better.