Quantified Self, if you are not familiar with the term, is one that came out of the biohacking world, and was coined by Wired Magazine editors Gary Wolf and Keven Kelly (we love Wired!). It has to do with using technology to gather data in various ways, including use of wearable sensors and bluetooth connectivity to track activity output, sleep, food intake, mood, etc in order to improve daily life.
In the words of David Asprey (the Bulletproof executive),
“[quantified self aims to] monitor yourself when you’re well so you can be even more well. In fact, if you do that enough, you can become so resilient physically and mentally that you’re…bulletproof.”
Well, businesses like to be bulletproof too!
By encouraging their workers – sometimes even their customers – to use various types of wearable technology, they can begin to accumulate data that could assist in better performance and a better experience. The goal is to make a person’s job safer, more interesting, and more rewarding as opposed to improving productivity.
Of course, they are aware that when people are happier with their job, productivity tends to go up as a side benefit – a happy employee is a productive employee. Sounds like a win-win situation!
What are some of the devices being used?
Football players are wearing monitors under their shirts that track their speed and exertion.
Office workers are wearing devices that can track how stressed they are in meetings – or how much they are participating. Some devices will track where they go within the office, how much and how well they communicate with others in the office giving them feedback and encouraging collaboration.
Visitors to Walt Disney Word are using wristbands designed to make their visit even easier by using them as a hotel room key, park entry ticket and charge card. It can also allow employees to pick up signals from the wristbands that allow Mickey to greet young Tommy by name, and ask about his pet frog! (only when the parents enter that information voluntarily).
Warehouse workers can wear special glasses that will scan bar codes and let them know when they need to be careful in how they handle the item, or if they have picked up an item that wasn’t in the order.
Read more detail on these gadgets on the Wall Street Journal.
There is another side to all of this new, wearable technology though. Smart Watches, Google Glass, and other devices could actually cause businesses some difficulty. They will need to create policies that protect them from having confidential material recorded as well as being prepared for the danger of security breaches or bandwidth issues from the extra load on their networks.
The one thing you can be sure of is that technology will be sure to continue its growth, and it will be exciting to see it unfold!