Wear Your Cloud Technology
We hear a lot about the benefits of cloud computing for businesses, the cloud price-wars between major providers, and how cloud-based computing is being incorporated into schools, collaborative projects and other facets of everyday life. But wearable cloud-based devices? That’s certainly a more revolutionary concept.
• In a survey of 4000 UK and US adults, 18% reported that they used some kind of wearable technology.
• Of these users, 82% of the US group and 71% of the UK felt that the devices have enhanced their lives.
• 61% of users felt more informed, whilst 47% felt more intelligent.
• 37% said that the wearable cloud devices helped with career development
• Meanwhile, 61% said that their personal efficiency improved.
• 51% listed privacy concerns as a reason for not adopting the technology.
• 20% of the respondents felt that cloud devices should be banned outright
• 62% think that devices such as Google glasses should be regulated in some way.
• Of the people who made use of wearable devices, 13% never removed them, and 7% checked them every 5 minutes.
• Google Glass is probably the most prolific wearable device at the moment. The slim, clear glasses can do virtually everything – capture pictures, record video, obey voice commands, livestream video to other devices, provide the user with directions in the form of visuals (i.e. an arrow that appears in front of the user which points the way), translate your voice into other languages, transcribe and send text messages based on what the user dictates, answer search questions via the internet, and more. The user essentially wears a powerful micro-computer that operates hands-free, and stores all the data that it captures in Google’s cloud drive system. In that manner, the wearer can access the information at any time, from anywhere. The lightweight glasses come in 5 colors, and have a wireless touchpad that is worn on one arm.
• Pebble Watch: The Pebble E-Paper watch is compatible with both iPhone and Android smartphones, and vibrates to alert the wearer to new calls, messages and emails on their phone. The Pebble has a small black and white screen, and uses Bluetooth to wirelessly connect with the user’s phone. Furthermore, there are multiple applications that can be used to add functionality to the Pebble watch – for instance, cyclists can use the Pebble to display their speed, route and pace. Runners will be able to do the same. Users will also be able to control their music playlist and skip tracks while they exercise, and prospective golfers will soon be able to use the golf rangefinder application that is currently in the works. The watch was created to be used at a glance, and thus it does not take on the functionality of smartphones. This simplicity is echoed in the plain yet functional and stylish design of the watch.
• Jawbone UP Wristband: This particular wristband tracks the user’s sleep, movement and eating habits, and then displays them on the UP application, which can be used on smartphones, tablets and computers. When it comes to sleep, the sophisticated wristband measures the wearer’s light sleep, deep sleep, waking moments, and total hours of sleep. For daily activities, the band monitors the intensity of the activity, the amount of calories burned and the distance covered. Finally, the application also tracks the daily amount of food consumed by the user – the barcode of the food product can be scanned to access the nutritional information, or the user can search the application’s ingredient database.
Of course, these are just a few of many wearable devices that are on the market or in development. Other brands have come up with their own variations of the aforementioned products. Wearable people-tracking devices, smart clothing and wearable cameras are also examples of this new kind of device.
“Wearable technology will form an integral part of the ‘Internet of Things’ – a growing network of devices – from wearable tech and smartphones to road traffic sensors – that connect to the internet to share data in real time,” say the authors of the wearable devices study. “It is likely that the public sector will look to capitalize on the wearable technology trend with a view to boosting tele-health and smart-city programs.”
When it comes to the future of cloud computing, think less hosted desktop provider, more smart glasses and timepieces.
Grace Matthews is a London-based lifestyle blogger who relies on Nasstar cloud computing to allow her to work on collaborative projects with colleagues.