The world is changing so rapidly at this point that you can almost see it happen before your eyes. There are several different bits of technology on a collision course that will forever change how we live and work. Among these technologies are wearable computers and the “internet of everything” or the “internet of objects.”
What Does It Matter?
You may think it’s trivial, or that it won’t impact you in any great way, but you’d be mistaken about that. Do you want to know what the workplace of the future will look like? Here’s a setup we’re less than two years from realizing:
Imagine working in an office where a standard piece of office equipment is a smart watch. The smart watch comes pre-installed with an app for health maintenance and monitoring. If you enable it, you get a 15% discount on your insurance, so there’s good incentive to let it run while you’re working. The watch can monitor your heart rate, your blood pressure, your body temperature, and a whole array of other things about you. It can even analyze your sweat. It would also have round the clock, real time drug testing. Did you take up smoking again? If you did, the watch will “know” and then HR will know in real time. Your next check will have an increased charge for health insurance.
You start your day as you always do, with the morning cup of coffee and a pastry that the new guy brought in. Then, you get down to business, but the spreadsheet you’re working with is being ornery and not cooperating with you. It’s frustrating. Really frustrating.
Two hours in, you get an email from your watch, telling you that your BP is spiking and recommending a ten minute break. You take one, clear your head, and resist the urge to reach for those cigarettes, then go back in, greatly refreshed. Suddenly, you look at that problem you were having in a whole different light and it’s much easier to solve for.
It’s Going To Happen
That’s coming. All the components to do that already exist, it’s just a matter of assembling the pieces and making it secure. ETA, two years, and that’s going to be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.
It is hard to understate just how big an impact the “Internet of Everything” will make on your life in the very near future. When all things are connected, both to us and to each other we become, at least in some way, one thing: one giant, interconnected, beautiful organism, part flesh, and part machine.
We will be able to reach through virtual space and manipulate real objects on the other side of the world. We’ll be able to perform feats that appear to “primitives” living in today’s world, as nothing short of magical. Even better, all of this will be absolutely trivial. It will be mundane. You will be manipulating objects around the world by reaching through v-space with no more thought than when you reach for the light switch today. It will be wonderful!
And not least, you health will be greatly enhanced by the continuous background monitoring which will be available to you.