Although smartwatches from major vendors are rapidly becoming the norm, it’s clear that wearable technology is still in its infancy — but the Apple Watch is expected to jumpstart the industry when it launches early next year. In fact, Samsung, LG and other competitors are banking on Apple’s success, as it could be the push their products need to attract widespread attention.
Analysts are expecting the market to explode in the coming months, but it’s worth pumping the brakes and examining the potential effects of these devices before they’re strapped on all of our wrists.
Speaking with The Wall Street Journal, social media expert Jay Oatway runs down the pros and cons of a wearable-equipped society.
“These devices aren’t just for telling time,” says Oatway. “It’s going to be a business tool; to have employees use biometric data, to lock them into secure facilities, into hardware systems or the ability to make payments.”
This tool comes with a cost to our privacy as well. Smartwatches are being billed as some of the most capable health and fitness devices on the market — this means that they will be gathering more personal data about us than ever before. The Apple Watch also features a remote camera feature which could incite some of the same fear that Google Glass did when it was first announced.
Oatway believes that with the proper understanding of how to use (and how not to use) the upcoming wearable devices, they could serve us well. We have to make sure “these tools are used for good and not evil.”