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Evolving Millennial Connections Using Wearables

Don’t look now, but that guy’s app just measured his heartbeat when he saw you and we think it’s a match! Sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not.

In a very interesting (and possibly draining) year-long dating social experiment, a Newsweek contributor discovered that finding love has gone beyond reviewing online profiles, as some of the industry’s largest match-making companies are developing “wearables” and apps that are becoming the newest weapon in match-making. Utilizing everything from musical playlists to physiological reactions (like that racing heartbeat) the apps match daters in close vicinity with similar-minded interests. Not surprisingly, millennials are becoming some of the fastest adopters of the wearables movement.

In a recent survey, more than half of millennials revealed they were excited about the growth of the wearables market. And it’s no wonder, considering the fact that overall, millennials are an extremely connected and influential generation. They’ve grown up in a world where smartphones are the norm, social media apps are preferred communication platforms and an untold number of studies have been conducted on best practices for marketing to them. And the lens from which they view technology – as an expected day-to-day necessity – is part of the reason they’re the power behind the growing widespread adoption of wearable technology.

As the Internet of Everything continues to evolve and connect more people, process, data and things, wearable technology is not only delivering more information to us – but also bringing us all closer together. Holidays like Valentine’s Day are the perfect reminder that connections matter and go to the heart of who we are as people. Considering our natural inclination to seek out meaningful connections and the technology we have on-hand, wearables are on trend to become an invaluable networking tool, empowering an entire new level of collaboration and opportunities between employees, clients and business leaders.

According to the Cisco 2014 Connected World Technology Report, millennials believe a wearable device will be an important part of workplace 2020. Indeed, it’s estimated more than 177 million wearable devices will be in use by 2018. With a smart phone in one hand, and perhaps a fitness tracker attached to their wrist, mobility is an essential part of the millennial lifestyle. In other words, they are data-driven and businesses the world over have taken a new look at everything from their recruiting practices (using Skype for interviews) to mobile-office options to recruit and keep millennial talent on board. Companies who have embraced a holistic approach to mobility are moving in the right direction, as the millennial workforce shuns the idea of carrying multiple devices to perform work-related tasks.

A couple of years ago, I talked about a connected workforce, focusing specifically on millennials and how their perspective, as the newest generation of workers, would alter the employment scene as we know it. I’m by no means a fortune teller, but myself and the entire industry have seen this become reality. Through the tools of the Internet of Everything – wearables among them – millennials are empowered to connect with people who they have never had the chance to meet and learn from. These connections and the cross-sharing of ideas, goals and common experiences are opening up a new world of opportunity as the world changes and our connections evolve.

What type of new experiences and opportunities for wearables do you hope to see in the future? Share your thoughts here and be sure to follow the discussion using #Internet of Everything.

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Mobile Traffic from Wearables Explodes as the Internet of Everything Accelerates

Are you Ready?

Cisco first asked this question in a 1999 advertising campaign when the incredible potential of the Internet was just beginning to become apparent.

Our ‘Are You Ready?’ ad campaign carried a simple message to the world’s businesses, telecommunications providers, and public institutions: get your Internet infrastructure ready now or risk being left behind in a world that is rapidly moving towards online-commerce, supply chain digitization and connected workforces.

Some moved quickly, but others failed to heed the warning. 45% of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1999 were no longer on the 2014 list, with dozens making way for nimbler more web-savvy competitors..

Today, as Cisco publishes its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) study, our biannual global study of fixed and mobile data traffic, I see another ‘Are You Ready?’ moment in the making.

It is two years since Cisco quantified the astonishing $19 trillion economic potential of the Internet of Everything at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Today, just twenty four months later, we’re seeing an acceleration of the impact of the Internet of Everything on global networks. Here are some of the highlights of the VNI study:

• There will be eight billion connected mobile devices by 2019
• 3.2 billion of those – 40 percent of mobile Internet – will be machine-to-machine connections, such as wearable devices
• Cisco forecasts an 18-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices (most of it channeled through smartphones) from 2015 to 2019.
• Wearable device traffic growth will be fueled by a five-fold growth in the number of connected devices, reaching 578 million by 2019, up from 109 million in 2014.

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Wearable 2.0: The #FutureOfMobility

This two-part blog series discusses the future of wearables and mobility in an #InternetOfEverything world. 

Check out the first post of this series that discusses why contact, connections and context will drive the next generation of wearables.

When 24-year-old Jason Barnes lost part of his arm in an electrical accident, he also lost the ability to drum. Thanks to engineers at Georgia Tech, he now has range with his artificial hand that is impossible with a normal human hand. Arguably, now he has new capabilities that other musicians don’t have – all because of an incredibly advanced replacement part.

If you consider how wearables may evolve, we may see a time where people take a perfectly good limb, eye or ear and replace it with something synthetic because it gives them a skill that they haven’t had before. Perhaps it gives a solider infrared vision at night or a baseball pitcher a robotic arm that throws a perfect game.

These new capabilities will propel us into a new phase of human history – this period of self-designed evolution. As the power of Internet of Everything (IoE) technology merges with biology, we can create a self-evolving population. Let’s take a step back and look how this has developed over time.

How it Began

If you look back throughout human history, we’ve always adorned ourselves with some kind of capability. Usually it’s because we want to differentiate ourselves or show status or an association with a tribe or group. This has traditionally been accomplished through wearing jewelry, getting tattoos or piercings and so on. Today, we’re beginning the wearable phase and it’s about smart watches, glasses and jewelry, but tomorrow will bring the era of embeddable technology.

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Wearable to Aware-able: Contact, Connection, Context

This two-part blog series discusses the future of wearables and mobility in an #InternetOfEverything world.

Since the dawn of time, humans have been motivated by an innate desire to be connected to each other and to information. Today, we are seeing this need satisfied as the Internet of Everything (IoE) evolves to connect more people, process, data and things than ever before. An essential part of the growth of the Internet of Everything will depend on how mobile devices, connected things and wearable technology adapts and develops to become more aware and intelligent.

Today, the wearable device market is a nascent, but growing market. There are about 160 unique wearable devices on the market, and IDTechEx predicts wearables will grow to a $70 billion market in the next ten years. However, despite its growing market share, many still have limited views of what a wearable is and the innovation these devices will encourage in our mobile-led IoE world.

In this post, I’ll share some thoughts I presented at the recent Wearable Technology Conference that explores how we will soon see wearables move from being just wearable to becoming aware-able through increased contact, connections and context.

Let’s Start at the Beginning…What is a Wearable?

There is a lot of confusion in the industry about what a wearable is and the role it plays in our lives.  For example, advances in exoskeletons for military applications and sports define a wearable as more than just a device for your wrist.

And it’s not just for humans.

Osaka University and the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT) co-developed a fuel cell that is expected to be used for forming a wireless mesh networks with cyborg insects in emergency situations. In this case, insects can be used for wirelessly transmitting various sensor signals in areas that humans simply can’t go – such as disaster areas or for search and rescue efforts. It may seem a bit crazy now, but connecting these flying sensor insects to the network can create a very interesting, new capability that will challenge our definition of what a wearable is over time.

Why Now – and what’s all the Hype About?

Simply put, the size of technology is shrinking. Technology shrinks every decade about a 100-fold, so while in the mid-80’s we were carrying around a separate music player, telephone and calculator, today we carry all those capabilities into one device: our smartphone. Couple this trend with ongoing advances in microscopic sensors and computers the size of a grain of sand and it’s clear we are just beginning to understand what’s possible for new IoT connections and mobile innovations.

Wearable 2.0: From Wearable to Aware-able

While most wearables on the market today are built to capture WHAT we are doing, they don’t tell us HOW we are doing. We are seeing an evolution of wearables that will focus more on HOW we are doing, and capture insights that can change our lives. For example, while today’s wearable bracelet or watch can tell me my body is moving, it cannot tell me anything about my biological processes – such as my glucose levels or blood pressure.

For this evolution to occur, wearable devices – or aware-able devices – require three things:

Cisco_WearableAwareables - Dave Blog

  1. Contact with your body
  2. Connections with the world
  3. Context by providing relevant information

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these “Three Cs.”

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An Eye to the Future of Mobility: Wearables & Health Care

The explosive growth of the Internet of Everything (IoE) is driving a sweeping wave of transformation across our world. And the health care industry is among the many industries that are feeling its profound impact.

Already, health care practitioners are embracing such IoE-related trends as the surge in mobile devices and the cutting-edge advances in Big Data analytics. An ever-expanding multitude of applications are connecting mobile users (and patients!) in startling new ways. And many health organizations are adopting BYOD and deploying any-to-any connections, which link hospitals across the globe. The rising influx of smart watches and wearable technology that track personal health data also show great promise.

Overall, emerging mobile solutions can have a tremendous impact on the future of health care as they enable increased connectivity and a much deeper dimension and accessibility to key health insights.

In his book, The Human Face of Big Data, Rick Smolan, the renowned photojournalist and author, explores the interrelations among mobility, Big Data and health care. Together, he argues, they are transforming what it means to be connected. For example, wearables are already entering the mobile consumer landscape, where they are complimenting smartphones and tablets. But in the health care industry, wearables have tremendous practical potential. Electronic tattoos, Bluetooth-enabled dental implants, and a myriad of sensors that track our vital signs are changing how, when, and where we receive health care.

MobilizeMag: Healthcare and Mobility and how New Advancements Lead to Better Patient Care from Cisco Business Insights

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