When we were at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona a few weeks ago, we had the chance to take a look at Qualcomm’s Connected House. This vision of the very near future was a fully integrated heating, entertainment, communication and security showcase using the "Internet of Things" at its most clever and most personal level. The use of the internet's inherent connectivity to keep us warm, keep us entertained, keep us safe and of course keep us in touch.
This human connection with technology happens these days primarily with the smartphone in your pocket or the tablet on you knee. You are actually making a sensory connection with your device and we think it is now only a short step to wearable tech as we head down a future path of embedded tech into the human body. Already there are great strides in medical applications for those with sight and hearing issues, particularly.
The long awaited Google Glass is nearly available (with a lucky few being able to buy them without a Google invite in the US for one day last month) but what is available pretty much now, and looks to be the next big thing is the Smart Watch. The Pebble is available to order and with more choice on the horizon from the likes of Apple and the superbly useful Android Wear, this trend is coming at us quickly.
We can imagine a world now where people video call on their watch, rather than their phone. Where you can see updates on your sports results without getting your phone out of your pocket, and where directions and traffic info is constantly in view. The ability for a device on your wrist to measure physical activity and heart rate offers huge opportunity to improve health and wellbeing or alert help if something goes wrong. This type of functionality appears to the person working on their fitness to the older people who can feel confident that if something happens, help will be on its way.
With the ever increasing pace of enhancements in technology, and with new devices appearing at speed, the time is right to think about how you leverage the opportunity this presents, and if Smart Watches aren't the next big thing, you can be sure that smart jewellery, smart cufflinks or smart hats aren't far away.