When I was a kid, I desperately wanted a calculator watch. Not only was it a watch, but you could do your math problems on the fly. MATH PROBLEMS ON THE FLY! In my mind it was the absolute pinnacle of technology and the most amazing thing I ever saw. Younger me would be blown away with the current trend and products in the wearable tech space. You can get a bracelet that tracks your fitness, or make phone calls and check text messages with your watch. My young head would have exploded knowing that eventually those glasses I hated to wear would allow me to take pictures of what I was seeing in real time and let me know where in the world I was standing. There are even smart shirts that allow people to monitor their vitals, track their position and even monitor fatigue levels. We have come so far in such a short time that it makes the future possibilities look endless.
However all of these technologies come with a big asterisk above them. They allow people to be privy to our personal worlds. Anything with a GPS can let people know exactly where you are at, if they look hard enough. Microphones could allow other people to hear what you are saying, even if you are just talking to yourself. These devices are monitoring, tracking and storing tons of data that younger me would never dream possible.
With every advancement in technology there is a drawback. Almost nothing will come out of the box and fit perfectly into our lives without some weakness, and right now privacy seems to be it. As consumers we need to make the decision. Is giving up a little privacy worth these great pieces of technology being brought into our lives? Is losing some privacy worth knowing exactly how much sleep you get at night, or being able to look up directions to the best sushi place in the area while walking around downtown?
I, for one, say yes. Giving up a little privacy is worth knowing my location at all times. I do want to be able to wow my friends with my ability to get directions to a local hot spot. Currently, I don’t feel as if I am in the minority, but as the technology advances I can definitely see a day when we have absolutely zero privacy due to our wearable technology. And I am not completely sure if that’s a bad thing.
Jim Korona is the Staff Accountant at Airfoil, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Silicon Valley, Detroit, London and Hong Kong. Follow Jim on Twitter: @koronajim