Technology is now something that we can’t live without. It gives us the ability to do so much, from weather reports to driving safely and even keeping us healthy. Our obsession with technology and the information that it provides us on a daily basis has grown rapidly.
We’re now seeing technology that people are willing to wear and even implant into their bodies such as heart monitors and Fitbits, whereas before people were too paranoid to even enter their credit card number online. These devices are now being leveraged by companies to collect as much data on customers as possible.
With wearable and implanted technologies, you’re carrying and generating large amounts of data with you everywhere you go, 24/7. This gives the companies that manufacture these devices a 360-degree view of their users, allowing them to serve them with appropriate products, services and marketing campaigns.
Cloud and big data integration software company Talend, recently carried out a report that found 33% of consumers already own wearables such as the Apple Watch or smart clothing and another 30% are expected to make a purchase within the next three years. This will give companies a lot more information from all the new sources of data, of which they can go on to use to accurately define the preferences and needs of their customers.
How Wearables Are Used
When it comes to the leading user of implant technologies, healthcare is the clear winner here at 57%. An example of how the tech is used in healthcare can be seen with the introduction of advanced tracking devices such as Medtronic’s FDA approved Reveal LINQ Insertable Cardiac Monitor with TruRhythm detection.
This device can accurately identify irregular heartbeats and is implanted just beneath the skin. It communicates with the patient’s bedside monitor wirelessly, which uploads device data to the Medtronic CareLink network. This data is then run through algorithms which determine if everything is okay with the patient. This is incredibly useful to physicians, as it helps them find answers, which they can take away and go on to better manage a range of patient populations.
The second biggest use for embedded wearables is physical security at 28%. Biochip implants are starting to be utilised by companies to replace key cards and manual entry codes for employees. An example of this in use can be seen at the company Three Square Market – they offered staff the chance to have these biochips implanted. 50 employees took part in the minimally invasive procedure and believe that the chip streamlines their daily processes, allowing them to go about their day with a lot more ease.
The Privacy of Wearables
The survey from Talend shows that while consumers seem to be getting more comfortable with wearable technology, companies now have a greater responsibility to protect their data.
It was found that 78% of consumers want to have full visibility of what companies are doing with their data. If a data breach occurs, they are more likely to take their business elsewhere. As technology improves and implanted and wearable technology become much more common, the trade off between data privacy and convenience will only increase.
In the future wearable technology could end up allowing us to interact with the world in ways we can’t even imagine right now – implanted contacts could allow us to visualise and see the world around us in practical ways? Or audio wearables could allow us to translate languages in real time? Whatever the future brings, we may need to prepare to relinquish some of our privacy and personal information to gain these benefits.