Monday, September 16, 2013

A Virtual Mother?


It is only a matter of time...

Remember how your mother would dispense advice such as "don't run with scissors", "eat  your vegetables, they're good for you", "don't sit too close to the TV", "wear clean underwear when you go out in case you get into an accident",  "don't go swimming for two hours after you eat or you will get a cramp and drown", and "be sure to look both ways before crossing the street"...  But as we grew up, we went places and lived places without our moms, although those pearls of wisdom stuck with us and maybe we even found ourselves channeling our moms with our own kids, dispensing the same advice (although I can see something of an updated version, like "don't hold your tablet too close to your face as you will ruin your eyesight", "don't text and drive" (as if we really need to be told that one) or "don't text and walk", although I think the "don't run with scissors" and "eat your vegetables" ones are likely ageless.

I read a September 8, 2013 post by Laurie Olov on her Aging in Place Technology Watch about The Wireless Health market is ginormous -- so forecasters say.  Ms. Orlov writes in her blog about a mythical person, John X. Wannabee, who has wearable technology  that will help him have a healthier life while lowering his health care costs. She gives examples: it will remind him to slow down when he is exceeding the speed limit, look both ways before stepping off the curb, tell him his shoe is untied and chastise him for forgetting to eat breakfast. The point of Ms. Orlov's blog post was  about the wireless health technology market and investing. By the way, if you don't read her blog, you should add it to your must-reads (after this blog, of course!)

So, that got me thinking...there are fitness devices that keep track of what we are doing, how many calories we are burning, and if we are achieving our goals (I like to think of this as a virtual cheering section). We have all kinds of technologies to make our lives better and to remind us of things that make us healthier.  We are  moving to a time where, like Will Robinson, we will have our own robots saying "danger,  (insert name)."

So it didn't take me long to realize that there are expanded applications for wearable  technology  beyond those mentioned in Ms. Orlov's post. It seems like the potential is endless.  I like to think of  my vision of  health wearable technology as "a virtual mother." Can't you just see it telling you to put back the junk food at the grocery store and head to the fruits and vegetables aisle? Imagine if you wore the technology on a date... 

I  am waiting for its availability and marvel at the potential of having a virtual mother constantly dispensing advice. (and maybe we can personalize its "voice"....)

Becky Morgan

Photo ©2013 by Kim Dayton.

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