This week, the Wall Street Journal posted a story about wearables as health monitoring devices for babies. The story featured Mimo Baby, a set of three bodysuits for $200 that measured the skin, respiration, and body position of children. Another brand, Owlet, has manufactured a sock that measures the baby’s oxygen saturation and heart rate. Both send a smartphone alert if they notice something out of the ordinary.
This new wave of wearables signals a potential shift in the industry from fitness gadgets and fashion accessories to medical devices. Owlet emphasizes that its product is not meant for sick babies, but aims to be approved as a medical device.
Much of the debate around wearables centers on utility. Usage data suggests wearable tech devices are abandoned in drawers a few weeks or months after the original purchase, and Google Glass has yet to find a captive audience outside of Silicon Valley. Perhaps because none of the data is particularly useful. For example, heart-rate data will not make runners any faster, and most know when to stop before over-exertion. But monitoring heart rate and breathing of those who cannot take interpret those signals and take action (babies and the elderly) fills a void, and looks promising as an industry.
For more insights on the wearable tech industry, stay tuned for our upcoming Intelligence Report.