LeWeb: Wearables and the Future of Health

LeWeb 2014

Paris, 10/12/2014

Day one at LeWeb 2014 was about the increased adoption of wearables to track workers’ health stats, IoT generated data and its attendant issues of privacy and data ownership, and how 2015 will see the collaborative economy take off for good.

At the Crowd Economies on the Rise panel led by Jeremiah Owyang, Founder and Chief Catalyst of Crowd Companies, the debate centered around building trust in the collaborative economy ecosystem, and how adequate government frameworks are needed in order to legislate privacy issues, and this tsunami of data being generated by shared services and products, by wearables, by devices talking to each other.

Olivier Gremillon Managing Director of AirBnB for Europe and Africa, raised the very critical issue of safety for guests, the issues with regulatory bodies of rental markets, and how to build trust into the ecosystem.

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Olivier Gremillon of AirBnB and David Estrada VP of Government Relations at Lyft

David Estrada, Vice President of Government Relations at Lyft remarked that currently most government bodies that legislate the sectors being impacted by the sharing economy do not have an adequate framework to deal with these new disruptive economic models. These platforms allowing peer-to-peer transactions to take place create jobs and income. But not all benefit. The incumbents will see their profits decline for sure. Irreversible? Very likely. There will be adaptations, within the taxi cab, hired car sectors. Even more so as we grapple with urban chaos, an excessive number of cars polluting the environment and slowing cities to a crawl. What then when we have self-driving cars?

Frederic Mazzella, Founder and CEO of BlaBlaCar, a ridesharing startup that connects drivers and people traveling the same way to share costs has 10 million members worldwide and, at last count, according to the company’s sources, 2 million people using the service every month. BlaBlaCar ridesharing makes travel social, and saves money for driver and guest passenger alike. No doubt it is also good for the environment.

Wearables, IoT, and the Future of Health

Forrester released a report parsing where and how wearables will be worn. Textiles are in. As in if these threads could talk, sort of thing. Guess what. They will. They will take your stats, cajole you into better habits, tell you when they need to be washed. And they will communicate with other devices.

As Brian Solis proposed: an ecosystem of IoT, sensors, and vast amounts of data waiting to be crunched and made sense of are already here. Will we able to manage this exponential growth?

Lest we do not forget that, as enticing as having your dress speaking to you is, and as wonderful it will be to be hands free to properly multitask with Google Glass, there are the regulatory frameworks that need to be addressed. As in other sectors, the dearth of tech experts in government bodies that have to legislate our future digital lives suggest, however, that we may encounter more bottlenecks than smart turtlenecks.

How fast can you be hurled into the future of smart homes that keep your fridges stocked, dresses that adjust their temperatures, shoes that keep your blood pressure steady, and t-shirts that improve your posture? In a not too far future we are led to believe, if you were at the LeWeb today.

But as Jack Dorsey reminded us sometime ago, at the brilliant lecture The Future Has Already Arrived he delivered at Stanford Graduate School of Business, in May of 2013, citing the writer William Gibson to whom it is attributed the following quote: “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.”, most of us are indeed already steeped in the future, just not everyone yet.

Day two had also star studded panels, VCs and visionaries alike making waves, triggering thoughts. So, keep your eyes peeled as we are/will be interviewing founders and investors for London London.

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Kevin Rose at @leweb