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May 31, 2016

Wearables are not the magic cure people want them to be

Consumers and commentators alike seem to expect much from wearable devices. They believe anything is possible when it comes to how wearables can improve their health or way of life. A case in point, according to James Stables, is how people seem to expext wearables to help them with every day thing such as why someone doesn’t fall asleep.

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Stables points out on Wareable.com that not very many people know the ins and outs of wearable tech and thereby also its limitations. This lack of knowledge makes unrealistic expectations not only possible, but also likely. Take this idea written about in an article by Louisa Pritchard about issues faced by women who use wearable tech.

Stables finds one sentence in the article alarming “I want more. I want my wearable to tell me why I’m not sleeping, to help clear my mind while I’m running or just make me feel better in myself. “ Stables states this might be on the wish list of many app developers en wearable vendors, but it’s not available. The current measurements of deep and light sleep, Stables writes, are frankly a joke. Wanting wearable tech to help you feel better about yourselve is even worse expectation wise, it makes wearable tech more of a voodoo tech.

Wearables not a magic cure

Wearables are not a magic cure yet. Or better, people should stop believing they are. This prevents from happening what is the real problem: people are disappointed in their wearable devices. Wearables are the most personal devices to have ever been created, but they’re still way too impersonal. Killer features are missing, new data is slow coming forward. No device feels like it knows an owner properly. So people make up their own features.

Wearable technology can track and perhaps it can analyse measurements on it’s own and give advice based upon the readings. Stress tracking is the next big metric, and is set to tackle an epidemic in our modern lives, Stables believes. More analysis and more personal interpretation of measurements is next. But there are and will remain limits.

Let’s call the health tech era we arrived in an exciting and creative roadmap of near future features, while not forgetting it’s not going to take the steps or do the sleep for us.  That bit remains human control.

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