Internables are the new wearables

Meso Trend – 15/09/2016 – Evaline Vlaanderen

Health trend following-consumers today enjoy improving their physical wellbeing, by monitoring and evaluating their progress using wearable devices. However, the problem with these devices can be that they are aesthetically unattractive and impractical, getting in the way of performing everyday tasks. When looking at consumer interest and the development in the technology, the next generation of body-monitoring technology may not be worn, but may instead be found within the human body.

Internables will initially have similar aspects that focus on the same things current external body monitoring devices a.k.a wearables do. Research shows that half of all smartphone users believe internal sensors will give updates on their health and wellbeing in three years. (Ericsson, March 2016) But this is most likely only the beginning. Eight out of ten smartphone owners would like to improve or augment their sensory perceptions such as vision, memory or hearing. As well as physical improvements, more than half of the asked people would like to improve their communication trough wearables. (Steemit, September, 2016) Research showed that one in three is very interested in implants that add internet information to what they see and hear, indicating that these internables will be connected to the internet. Internables will, in effect, become the new wearables. (Fierce Healthcare, December 2015)

There is a change in the trend of technology, as it is being repurposed from curing illness to improving wellness. For example, smart glasses are for people who already have good eyesight and the Bragi Dash earphones (worlds first ‘intelligent’ wireless earphones)  similarly use technology from hearing aids to improve hearing for those who have good ears. (G2innovation, June 2016)

In 2015, an employee at Ericsson inserted NFC chip implanted in his hand. His findings were that at the time he found that its utility was limited by a lack of understanding and readiness in other systems. (Ericsson, March 2016) Perhaps the experience will already be much different if tries again now, one year later. Still there is some work to do, legislation is not ready, health systems are not ready and people still need to get used to the idea of internables. (Quartz, June 2016) The trend of internables still at the beginning of its life cycle, so there lie many opportunities in exploring this trend. I think in the future it is posited that wearables will take over smartphones in usage and become the ultimate personal device.

Seen from the trend pyramid, this meso trend lies in the future. “These ‘internables’ will initially have a similar focus to the current external body monitoring devices,” Ericsson write in their report, “Half of all smartphone users believe internal sensors will give updates on their health and wellbeing in three years.” (Ericsson, March 2016) This trend is a meso trend, and not a hype or such because it will have a big lasting impact on society and consumers. The possibilities are endless, especially in the Health and Fintech sector. For example, implanted chips under your skin can be used to secure our online banking accounts, without ever having the need to remember passwords. Or perhaps a pill which F1 race drivers can take that will measure their temperature during a race. Or an implanted device that can help diabetes patients better monitor and regulate their blood sugar levels. (Steemit, September, 2016)

Even though the future seems to be heading towards internal sensors, several people believe internables are unnatural. A way of changing the natural process of nature. Two questions you can think about: Will there be huge negative side effects of these implants on human health? And do you think internables will be a risk for peoples privacy?

Michael Björn, Ericsson (March 2016) Internalizing wearables

Retrieved on 14/09/2016 at:

https://www.ericsson.com/thinkingahead/the-networked-society-blog/2016/03/23/internalizing-wearables/

Judy Mottl, Fierce healthcare, (december 2015), Patients see shift from wearables to ‘internables’

Retrieved on 15/09/2016 at:

http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/mobile/patients-see-shift-from-wearables-to-internables

Infovore, Steemit, (September, 2016) The Rise Of The Human Cyborgs – Outsmarting Smartphones and The Internables Trend

Retrieved on 15/09/2016 at:

https://steemit.com/artificial-intelligence/@infovore/the-rise-of-the-human-cyborgs-outsmarting-smartphones-and-the-internables-trend

Elizabeth Williams, G2innovation, (June 2016), Future trend alert: internables,

Retrieved on 15/09/2016 at:

http://www.g2innovation.com.au/blog/future-trend-internables

Shelley Hepworth, Quartz, (June 2016) This company will help you become a cyborg, one implanted sense at a time.

http://qz.com/716095/this-company-will-help-you-become-a-cyborg-one-implanted-sense-at-a-time/

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2 thoughts on “Internables are the new wearables

  1. Great read, I have always wondered how far these technological implants would go. Whether they will be harmful for the human body is completely down to research. However I believe it would take a large amount of time to form a conclusion as these are a very new phenomenon. In my personal opinion, anyone has the right to modify their body as they wish. For me, it looks unattractive and the idea of a body modification does not appeal to me at all. However that is my own opinion, which is subjective, and body modifications may seem like a great idea to many others.

    The trend may increase as more innovative ideas are developed in the future. It could possibly become a fashion, especially as it is part of physical appearance. If data is being collected from human implants, then people will always run the risk of exposing their privacy. Who’s to say they won’t be able to be hacked and manipulated by other sources. Nevertheless, one can only wonder the possibilities that the future holds for human implants.

    Written by Henry Gibson

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  2. Will there be huge negative side effects of these implants on human health? And do you think internables will be a risk for peoples privacy?

    I don’t think there will be huge negative side effects of these implants on human health, although this depends on the quality of the implants and who is implanting them. I can imagine there will be people who like it as cheap as possible, with weird cheap implants that might start rusting or whatever and minor infections if these aren’t placed correctly and in a sterile environment. If you count human mental health as well, there might be some side effects. I think people can easily get over obsessed with their own status and get addicted to the monitoring of their health. This might be combined with the obsession that people want to live as long as possible and freak out as soon as their temperature rises a few degrees. On the other hand I see some advantages as well, for diabetic people it might be really useful to measure their blood sugar levels automatically.

    The whole privacy debate is quite different I think. You can ask yourself questions about your privacy if you own a smartphone or do anything with google. I don’t think wearing internables will change this. Although it might be scary if you go to an insurance company for a health insurance and they are able to see that your lifestyle is quite unhealthy so you should pay a higher monthly fee.

    – Cashmyra Rozendaal

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