Cool Tech Wandering issue 6

I want to point out, in my cool tech wander project blogs, that they truly are top of mind, a stream of consciousness around the tech I am thinking, using and considering. They are not intended as a review or as anything other than a high-level view of what I am thinking about.

The reason to share this for the 4th or 5th time now is that I keep getting emails about the cool tech wanderings, with suggestions as to what I should talk about. That doesn’t work, mostly because what is top of mind, is what comes out.

IMG_0359Recently I have bene thinking a lot about wearable technology. The whole thing about wearable technology is the reality of what you are wearing. There are some schools of thought in the reality of wearable technology. Should the device be seen or unseen? What are you tracking? Should the device report automatically or should it only report when you choose to report. Beyond that, there are newer medical wearables that help you build, track and manage various illnesses.

(picture is of the Automatic plug for your car. Not wearable, but something you can use to find out more information about your car and your driving).

Wearable tech is very impressive. By-the-way Fitbit, the wearable step-tracking device sets off the new metal detectors that the TSA uses. I found that out last summer, twice. The first time I triggered the alarm because I didn’t know that a Fitbit had enough electronics in it to set off the detector, and once because I forgot after the first time. The second time I felt stupid leaving it attached to my pocket because I knew it would set things off. Oh well, there is a life lesson in there somewhere.

I can laugh about it now, at the moment I was mortified. There was a time when I was traveling every single week of the year that I would have never made the same mistake twice. I am out of practice now, and that was embarrassing.

From a wearable perspective, some interesting new devices are appearing. Wearable devices that are intended to replace existing components like buttons and other things. Or coats that incorporate batteries both for warming you and for charging your devices. The concept of what is possible with wearable tech continues to be interesting. I still think wearing a camera on top your head is a little strange, but now there is a backpack you can get with an integrated camera in the straps.

Devices that integrate more and more functionality are always interesting. One of the cool tech things I loved from the past was the highly functional family radios. We used to, many years ago, take them to the amusement park and that way we could stay in touch all day. Or we would, the times we had two cars on long trips, put one in each car. There are a few technology products right now that are integrating external batteries, family radio shells with your cellular device. Beyond that, there is the Beartooth device that gives you, even more, functionality than the old family radio. You can, in connecting to another user with a Beartooth talk, without using cellular for up to 10 miles. In an amusement park that reduces the risk of you losing your cellular signal. The more machinery you are around, the less likely you are to maintain a good signal.

The interesting reality is that wearable tech is changing. The services that you can acquire now, compared to what was possible just 3 or 4 years ago, is impressive. The things that you can measure, monitor and evaluate on a daily basis continue to expand.

IMG_0260Now all you have to do is reach the goals you set for yourself! Be it monitoring and managing your blood sugar (Dario is a product that connects to your phone, and helps you take and manage readings all day long) or just how many steps have I taken? (I have been a Fitbit user for more than six years now. I do also on occasion refer to my Apple iWatch, but the Fitbit remains my primary pedometer. I try to hit 15,000 steps per day. I haven’t been below 15,000 steps since December 27th, the day we drove home from Indiana. 12 hours in the car reduces the number of steps I can take in a day).

Wearables are here. Wearables are coming. You can measure almost anything you need to measure, monitor almost everything you might need to track and you can control who knows about it!