It’s happened: There are no hypothetical IoT wearables anymore

[written by Eve Maler, VP Innovation & Emerging Technology, @xmlgrrl]

The year was 2000, and those of us who had invented XML were going around talking it up. Dan Connolly of the World Wide Web Consortium would use a hypothetical example of a schema, the Pig Farmers’ Markup Language, to discuss XML’s benefits. Only a few years later, I ran into an agricultural group that had basically created that language. There were no hypothetical “MLs” anymore.

Fast forward to 2015. While machine-to-machine computing has been around for over a decade, the Internet of Things only became white-hot last year, when it could be married to the API economy. Recently I had a delightful conversation with futurist Heather Vescent to kick off her new Future of Wearables podcast series.  We touched on issues like the need for user-managed access  to enable wearable data sharing and the need for robust trust frameworks.

My go-to example of a hypothetical wearable has been “smart socks”. Well, silly me: Of course they exist. Sensoria is a company that makes socks with sensors that help walkers and runners figure out how to optimize their form. And the hits just keep coming. On a recent flight, I saw a magazine ad for a portable CPAP machine that comes with an iPhone app “to view and share data”.

Wearable device companies are going to have to figure out how they give customers privacy “context, control, choice, and respect” when it comes to sharing data selectively. Check out Heather’s podcast series for more food for thought!