Is it your glasses, is it your watch, is it your phone or is it YOU?
What exactly is wearable technology? Well it’s currently being hyped, it’s going to be everywhere and it’s coming to something you are going to wear very soon.
From a pure marketing standpoint, it’s the final access point that some of the biggest brands are looking for to connect with consumers. A recent study by GlobalWebIndex called Know Your Audience revealed that 71% of 16 to 24 year olds are interested in wearable tech.
And if you think it’s going to be limited to uber chic items such as the new Apple watch and Google glasses, you couldn’t be more wrong. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Teams of R&D engineers are working to integrate tech into everything we wear. There are teams working to produce smart bandages and sportswear that will record your every ache, pain and your achievements.
One company SmartLife has developed patented intelligent technology which uses a series of soft sensors sewn into garments to monitor and record your body’s electrical impulses and create real-world body data with laboratory accuracy that can then be analysed and used to improve your sporting performance or lifestyle.
Andy Baker, CEO of Smart Life, says “Any garment or device can be made smart so it’s a huge playground for developers at the moment. It’s the data that will be created from these garments that is the real player though. What we do with the data that these items generate and how we commoditise it is the next big thing.”
So how can your business embrace this and use it for the benefit of employees and customers? The data from wearable tech items will become the marketing ‘holy grail’. If you know when a person is feeling stressed, that they have a spare half hour before a meeting (using integrated calendar services), you might want to suggest that they have a break in a nearby coffee house and then push them a discount coupon and a map of the nearest coffee outlet accepting that coupon.
Whilst this might appear to be consumer targeting gone mad, apply the same scenario to a remote African village suffering an outbreak of a disease. A plane could drop a range of wearable items into the area, once applied to those affected, the results can be analysed to provide the incoming emergency medical teams with an indication of what they face, who needs urgent treatment and what supplies to take.
But this data is only of use if it can be stored, analysed and acted upon in real time. iomart’s technology partner EMC² is developing and bringing to market new products and services around advanced data management as the migration of workloads to the cloud continues to speed up. Software Defined Storage, data-driven security and converged infrastructure are part of a raft of new technology being worked on so the insight gained from the data created can be used to produce real efficiencies and advances.
EMC² Business Manager Chris Hemingway explains, “Cloud is the art of the possible. It’s all about accelerated time to market and increased agility around the mobile devices we use. Business is demanding more from its IT and leading companies are making forward-looking decisions using all available data and the cloud and how it deals with Big Data is going to driving this new industrial revolution.”
If you are an entertainment provider you can identify and react to feedback about new content and products much more quickly. If you are a media company you can analyse tens of thousands of real-time tests against millions of users daily to measure reaction to and adjust adverts.
Forecasts for the value of the market of what we’re calling the Internet of Things vary widely from Gartner’s $1.9 Trillion to IDC‘s projection of $8.9T but everyone agrees it’s going to be significant. Gartner predicts that the comparative spend on data storage to deal with this is going to reach $14 Billion by 2020.
The variety, volume, complexity and speed of this new data means more and more businesses are going to have to rely on the cloud to help. Most businesses are operating in circumstances where CapEx budgets are being tightened. The Cloud works to OpEx, allowing budgets to be more carefully tailored to demand and use. More businesses are looking to Network-Attached Storage so they can share data across geographies, and locally cache data for high performance. Simple storage systems that offer enterprise-class storage and are optimised for the cloud are the way forward.
Bill Strain, Chief Technology officer for iomart, says, “Most of the data we are creating, up to 90% of it, is unstructured and it’s growing at a rate we really can’t predict. We have to change the way we think about it, embrace the change that’s taking place and take advantage of the new technologies that can help us.”
Slow data management and poor analysis will result in many missed opportunities so let’s act now to make sure we’re not working to the mantra Wear Today, Gone Tomorrow.
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