Home » Transcript: How Wearable Sensors Expand Human Potential by Lauren Constantini

Transcript: How Wearable Sensors Expand Human Potential by Lauren Constantini

And like it or not, the data from our bodies is as honest as it gets. We all feel that we have a pretty good handle on our stress levels, but Spire is a device that one wears that tracks your breathing patterns, and it will identify when you’re calm and focused, when you’re getting a little bit tense and when you’re getting completely frazzled. And when you get completely frazzled, it sends an alert to you and tells you to stop what you’re doing, take ten deep, cleansing breaths, and it will honestly tell you when you’re most focused.

We also feel that we have a pretty good idea of when we get enough sleep. We could probably use more sleep every night, but a good night’s sleep is pretty easy to identify. But when your wearable sensor tells you that you only reached deep sleep for seven minutes, and that you woke up twelve times during the night and you didn’t even realize it, your wearable sensor is telling you honestly that you can make some improvements in your life on how to get deeper sleep.

And finally, the data that’s radiating from our bodies is individual as it gets. The data radiating from your body is very different than the data radiating from your body. For instance, every woman has a monthly cycle, and within one normal woman and across all women, that cycle changes very subtly each month, and fertility changes each month. OvuRing is a device that a woman wears that continuously tracks those changes every month, and when she’s most fertile, it sends an alert to her smartphone. Now, this is a wearable sensor that is empowering women to decide when to conceive a child, the most primitive aspect of being a human.

So let me tell a little bit about the most connected man in the world. His name is Chris Dancy, and on any given day, he’s wearing 20 or 30 wearable sensors. They’re connected to his body, they’re connected to his house. They’re connected to his dog. And when he was being interviewed, he started talking about a time in his childhood, and he got very emotional. And at that moment, all the lights in his house started flickering. And he stopped what he said, and he closed his eyes, and he started the sentence over again and told the story in a different way. That was the wearable sensor that he’s been using to try to keep his tension down and his emotional level more intact.

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He also was wearing a wearable sensor that, whenever he loses his temper at home, classical music starts playing throughout the house, so that he knows to take a step back, and reanalyze what he’s saying and how he’s handling the situation. He also has a sensor in his bedroom that can tell him the exact air temperature and air flow that will provide him with the soundest night’s sleep. So in the process of all these improvements, he also lost over 100 pounds.

Now, he didn’t do this with an activity tracker or a nutrition app. He learned through all these wearable sensors that his calorie intake was directly correlated with the people he was with and the lighting in the restaurants where he went. So, by changing these two triggers, he was able to lose a hundred pounds without even dieting. And he would never have known these triggers if he weren’t tapping into these technologies.

So Chris is, of course, trying to find a better version of himself, which we all are for us, but we’re also using technologies to find better versions for others. There are now activity and monitors for babies, that will tell us when their diaper is wet, if they’re breathing normally throughout the night, and even some early indicators of autism. So, with technologies like this, we become better parents.

There’s a shoe that Alzheimer’s patients can wear, that tracks the number of steps they take, and when they reach outside of the perimeter of the home, an alert is sent to their caretaker, letting them know that they may be wandering a little bit too far away. So, with this technology, we become better caretakers.

And then, there are the pheromone sensors. Yes, pheromones, those wonderful chemicals that we all produce and secrete, and our direct correlation with romantic compatibility. Well, scientists are developing pheromone sensors which will compare your pheromones with everyone else’s in the room, so that you can beeline directly over to your soul mates and never have to sift through those Match.com profiles ever again. And so, with this technology, we become better mates.

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Now, I’m certainly not suggesting that we all go out and wear twenty sensors for the next five years, but think about these technologies as training wheels, to allow us to improve our lives in many different ways. So, about one-third of consumers are abandoning their wearable sensors within six months of using them, and it’s not due to them losing interest. Behavioral modification is occurring. They can then remove those sensors, removing the training wheels, and they maintain that enriched life that that technology enabled them to have.

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