Wearables, wearables, wearables

unnamedWearable is certainly a hot topic these days.  The definition is accessories using technology.  Although there is a much bigger picture than that.

The wearable market includes anything from Fitbit to Ringly to the Apple Watch (when it is available).  Each one does different things.  Fitbit can track your activity including activity, exercise and sleep.  Ringly connects you to your phone so if your phone is somewhere deep inside your handbag and you can’t hear it ringly lights up so you know your phone is ringing.  You can program it for your own needs.  The Apple will probably do a little bit of everything.  That is one end of the market.

There is also new fabrics that are coming on to the market.  Fabrics that will change the face of military wear in regards to heat, wind and cold resistances.  There will be fabrics that block the sun from your skin.  Fabrics that have scents, that moisturize the skin, that are so pliable that you can develop unique clothing.

It is all quite fascinating to see where this is all going.  I happen to be a bigger fan of the fabrics than I am of the wearables.  Fabrics have always been changing for as long as I can remember.  Yet this time around the fabrics will take design and the word wearable to another level.

I don’t find the personal wearables all that interesting.  The look and feel of them are so incredibly personal.  What is more interesting to me is the actual middleware behind these products.  The middleware is essentially a computer software that is behind the operating systems of these wearable products focusing on specific purposes.  That is the key to all your personal data.  How far did you run, how many calories did you burn, how did you sleep, etc. and that is recorded and kept for you on your app but it is the middleware behind it that makes this work.

I believe the future is that everything you buy from a watch (costume or high end) to a costume ring or perhaps even a belt will have a small opening for you to move your data chip like you have your phone chip.  That chip will allow you to stay with the middleware company that you connect to in order to keep and track your data.  You can take it with you as you move from wearable to wearable.

I am an investor in Focus Motion and that is where I am placing my bets.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Ryan Drew

    I am fascinated by wearables/haptics (W/H), which have applications beyond the military. Data driven haptics (i.e. running tights that correct your stride based on personal and demographic data to increase performance and lessen the risk of injury) seems both far-fetched (a nascent technology) and attainable, which is a weird paradox.Wired recently profiled Microsoft’s virtual reality (Oculus Rift-like) offering with cautious optimism, but I envision W/H as a bigger (and in some cases, complimentary) market.

    1. Gotham Gal

      the applications will be huge. no doubt. i am not sure that we have identified how huge this will be.

  2. LE

    My thoughts on the Apple watch is that it will be in part an authentication play. In other words given that you have a watch and a phone and that the watch is securely on your hand (and can’t be stolen or forgotten) paired with your phone it opens up a wide range of possibilities that don’t exist now for both payment and authentication. Using Apple payment still requires you to fool with a thumbprint and your phone. Pairing it with a watch means you don’t need to thumbprint anymore to approve.Separately, last month I was at Walt Disney world and they have these things called “magic bands” which you wear [1].The band allows you to open up your room (without a key card) and pay for things (restaurant meals) as well as anything that you want to buy at the themepark. Enter the themeparks also. And so on.Now keep in mind that I literally haven’t worn a watch in perhaps 25 years or longer. But I have to tell you that the minute I wore this “magic band” I thought “this is where Apple is going with the watch”. I think that Apple watch will be huge based simply on my own personal usage (as well as my families usage) at WDW with the magic band which essentially does very little but solves a problem (pulling a card which can be lost out of your wallet.). A magic band (or Apple watch) is way more practical for authentication than a phone is and even more powerful when paired with a phone.In a sense you have system that can be quite similar to ezpass (which is the greatest thing since sliced bread). You can do things simply because you have two items that pair together one which is secure on your hand all the time but importantly needs to be paired with a phone. One without the other has much less utility.[1] https://disneyworld.disney….|G|4151322.NG.AM.02.01&keyword_id=sX37LLiAO_dc|disney%20magic%20bands|68978719648|e|15402cl14044The link gets messed up so here is another one:http://www.disneystore.com/

    1. Gotham Gal

      nice analogy to ezpass.

      1. LE

        You could enter the subway with an Apple Watch and your phone but not just one of those.

  3. kenberger

    i’m with ya.some other vc blogger out there is bearish on wearables this year:http://avc.com/2015/01/what

    1. Gotham Gal

      and we will see who picked the right horse. 🙂

      1. kenberger

        I think you mean who picked the right *racetrack*, or actually, *sport* !

  4. Rohan

    Interesting. This stuff always makes me wonder if I’m even able to comprehend the size of the change this will bring..

  5. William Mougayar

    I like this one. What they are doing is being done by individual players like Samsung and Apple, but this is a play for developers who don’t want to be tied to these 2 platforms. I think it’s a sign that this space is maturing, and that’s a good thing.

  6. Erin

    A friend of mine has developped a rare condition that makes her react with intense heat to wifi radiation, cell phone towers, halogen lights, etc. Apparently we’re all affected in the long term by this radiation, but her body just can’t take it. She bought some clothes online that promised to diminish the effects of the frequencies, but they did nothing for her. As people become more aware of the effects of radiation on their bodies, if anyone wants to get into this wearables market, it’s there for the taking.

    1. Gotham Gal

      really interesting.

  7. Lei

    This is amazing – having third party providers build platforms around “you” as a person. I think the even bigger play here is to tie quantitative signals, such as motion, with qualitative and contextual information, such as whom I’m with, what I’m doing, where I am. The challenge is these data are only open to a certain extent. For example, the access into data within Whatsapp, Wechat, etc. is very limited.Are you aware of any companies that are aggregating data beyond motion? Or would you say this is still too early?

    1. Gotham Gal

      I don’t know of companies specifically but this is happening