Blazing fast networks, cheap silicon, always-on devices and a torrent of data will fundamentally change everything — how we consume media, how we work, and even who we are. We examined 10 areas that show how connectivity is profoundly changing the present and future of technology.


Body: Your doctor is a chip

by Stacey Higginbotham

“Put down the fried chicken!”

Today, my smartphone doesn’t watch what I eat, but in the future, it might. And Siri, the iPhone’s personal assistant, might not just answer my spoken request for fast food places with local recommendations, but could actively monitor my food intake, physical activity and let me know what to eat in order to maintain my weight. The tools are already there, and we’re just waiting for services that bring them all together.

In the above scenario, an app like MealSnap, which allows people to take pictures of their food and get back a rough calorie estimate, could connect with a Nike+ app on the handset or a bodybugg that connects data about my daily physical activity and calories burned to the web. These services can crunch the math and tell me to put down my KFC, or more likely just let me know that if I eat that drumstick I’ll be 400 calories over my limit for the day.

Already plenty of die-hard fitness fanatics use tools like the bodybugg to track their activities and manage their weight in conjunction with a variety of web-based services. Integrating the hardware into mobile phones isn’t hard, just take a look at Motorola’s new ACTV service and the connection Apple has with Nike+.

For most, connected bodies will begin in the health and fitness arena, thanks in part to the prevalence of mobile phones and apps that take advantage of that hardware platform. A medical app store called Happtique notes that there are 23,000 health related apps on the iOS and Android platforms alone. However, the more exciting services will arise on the healthcare side.

Applications such as connected insulin monitors, pacemakers and even ultrasound scanners exist today for specialized use. And as wireless networks evolve, and people figure out business models and standards around connected health, more applications for physicians and remote monitoring will arrive. The Food and Drug Administration is currently evaluating the standards by which it will assess the quality and safety of mobile applications.

So from diets to diabetes, connected devices will help you manage your health and create a digital doctor at your finger tips.

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  1. The SmartPhone inside the car will change Telematics and the insurance industry. You can now track driving behavior leveraging your smartphone to provide data about your driving. Usage Based Insurance (UBI) will now be a reality. See http://www.locationlabs.com/#

  2. Katie @ Women’s Magazine Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    Nothing great in the list still you have covered all of them in one place that’s a unique idea. The best thing according to me is Wireless connectivity of PC’s and my iPhone.

    1. That is only the beginning. The wireless connectivity of your phone with everything in your haouse and your workplace and to pay your bus ticket is nor far ahead.

  3. Katie Fehrenbacher Tuesday, November 1, 2011

    @akash agarwal, totally agree on this. thanks!

  4. @akash agarwal I agree, but why not extend this to other aspects of driving, instead of issuing speeding citations police could just send a standard bill for excessive speeds. We could reduce the cost of policing the roads. Just saying this makes me cringe btw…

  5. What’s “devalued” in this… the person. You are worth nothing because someone anywhere else can do the same job for a fraction of the money. Your work becomes their work with the push of a button….

    1. @sdinfoserv, Your comment makes me think of a recent talk I saw from Thomas Friedman. His message: Basically in this connected world people can’t afford to be average anymore, there’s too much competition with people competing for jobs on a global scale.

  6. took you long enough :-) Holonomy, david bohm, karl pribram… the interconnectenes theory and holonomics, et al, have been waiting for the market to catch up so they (these innately interconnected works from both physics and neuropsych) could be their as guides… For me , I have waited almost 30 yrs for the marketplace.. my own human and hu-sys evolutionary ontology, and associated products born from it – “The EvoReVo!”, EcoMind, OneMind, LeToonz and LeCozmos, and the LeToonz Ah-Ha and Flo (and other) characters-as-variables within the next big shell/OS shift platform, apps and metrics. Thanks for working at punching a whole into the next wave.

  7. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  8. A new startup to add to the list is Favabank @ http://www.favabank.co.uk where a virtual currency supports the sharing of time, skills, items and resources.

  9. If you’re in the UK and interested in collaborative consumption, check out Ecomodo.com. A marketplace to lend and borrow your everyday goods, skills and spaces with other’s locally and beyond!

  10. Boissou Jérôme Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/zxM8DQbw

  11. ‎2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL #4sqkr

  12. 2016년 위치기반 시장 100억달러, 구글 모바일 검색의 40%가 지역검색이라네요 http://t.co/CL6nF7GL http://t.co/tnXeEYwF

  13. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/obaNE7Sc

  14. For trips that are not too far, carpooling is a great travel option to go anywhere instantly. In Europe, it is very popular: students love it for last minute travel when trains or planes are full or too expensive. Mobile apps give you access to rides anywhere: a great back-up plan when you are stuck at the airport and your flight is cancelled.

  15. Jean-Marie Gilliot Thursday, December 1, 2011

    How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/ykTPXisQ joli tableau via @learningdrip

  16. Andy Hadfield Sunday, December 4, 2011

    What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. Watch these spaces y’all. http://t.co/MwaODsiX

  17. PRT @andyhadfield: What an incredible collection of digital trends and themes for the year coming. http://t.co/XCeuULdk

  18. How connectivity is revolutionizing everything http://t.co/KTNv20hJ

  19. Connectivity is great but there is a point at which it is time to shut it off. People need down time and there is too much potential to be connected 24 hours a day

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