Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
Australians are embracing wearable technology at a faster rate than their international counterparts, according to a new study into usage across consumers nationally.
The new report from Rackspace Hosting, The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity, claims to be the first such study into the impact of wearable technology on individuals, as well as its impact on customer data management and the cloud. It comes as the industry prepares for the onslaught of new wearable devices in the mainstream market stretching from Google Glasses to Samsung’s new Galaxy Gear smartwatch and Apple’s iWatch.
The survey found 35 per cent of Australians have used some form of wearable technology to date such as health and fitness monitors, smart glasses, watches, clothing or cameras. This is nearly double the percentage of consumers in the UK and US (18 per cent).
Of those who have used wearable technology, 64 per cent believe it has enhanced their lives. Health and fitness was the most prevalent example, with 67 per cent claiming such devices contributed to improved health and fitness. One in four also claimed wearable tech has helped their career development.
In addition, 32 per cent felt more intelligence thanks to wearable technology, and 46 per cent felt more informed. Thirty-seven per cent also claimed to have experienced a self-esteem boost by having access to wearable technologies, while one in three felt more in control of their lives.
Surprisingly, 22 per cent claim wearable technology even improved their love lives.
Rackspace Australia director and general manager, Angus Dorney, said the industry is on the cusp of mainstream wearable devices uptake, and forecast the rise of a new ‘human cloud’ of personal data. As consumers become permanently connected, organisations will be given richer data streams and access to new opportunities to understand individuals, but will also face challenges around customer data management, privacy and interaction.
“It is important to note that wearable technology and the cloud go hand-in-hand,” Dorney said. “Cloud services, such as computing, storage and a suite of new databases, will power the wearable technology revolution.
“The rich data created by wearable tech will drive the rise of the ‘human cloud’… with this comes countless opportunities to tap into this data; whether it’s connecting with third parties to provide more tailored or personalised services, or working closer with healthcare institutions to get a better understanding of their patients.
“Organisations need to assess whether they are ready to capture and process this rich new source of data. They also need to consider how they will drive deeper customer understanding and new benefits from this technology revolution.”
The Rackspace sponsored survey was conducted by Pure Profile and included responses from 750 Australians between 18-64 years of age.