jawbone-wired Wired

Wearables still aren’t anywhere near as widespread use as smartphones, but the CEO of Jawbone, Hosain Rahman believes that they’re going to be. Moreover, he thinks it’s likely that we’ll be putting sensors inside our own bodies that will interact with a slew of devices at some point in the future. At a conference on Wednesday, he explained that the use of wearables will contribute substantially to what is called the Internet of Things, which is the increased commonality of smart devices that are able to communicate with each other.

Jawbone has been investing a considerable amount of resources into developing internal sensors, said Rahman. The company has also been researching fitness sensors that the user would swallow or implant. These sensors would remain in a user’s bloodstream and would be capable of actively monitoring a variety of factors. Basically, the idea is that these sensors could be used to interact with other smart devices like thermostats, by telling the thermostat if our body is too warm or cold and adjusting according, and the list goes on. 

These sensors would remain in a user’s bloodstream and would be capable of actively monitoring a variety of factors.

Of course, the concept of implanted wearables isn’t new. Last year, Brian McEvoy showcased an embedded compass, and Grindhouse Wetwear revealed their embedded, Bluetooth-capable computer system “Circadia.” It looks very likely that human-integrated technology is going to be a very real part of our everyday experience. Rahman certainly agrees.

“Wearables are going to be at the center of that and they’re going to make all of these things smart,” said Rahman. “If I know your blood alcohol level, I can tell your car not to turn on.” Whether or not we want our wearables to have that much control over our lives is debatable, but there are certainly some positive implications as well (like preventing drinking and driving). 

Jawbone is responsible for the Up line of fitness trackers, and they have found themselves in the position of competing not only with other fitness devices (like Fitbit), but also against wearables like Android Wear and the Apple Watch. Although the wearables market is expected to expand by 300% in the next five years, becoming a $25 billion industry, Rahman said that Jawbone no longer considers itself a hardware company. Their future endeavors are expected to focus primarily on software, such as their upcoming Up app for wearable devices.

We have to ask, would you be “okay” with the idea of a wearable that lives inside of you? Do you think that wearables are the future, and are you excited or afraid of a future where such wearable (or rather, ingestible) sensors actively communicate with the other devices around us? Let us know what you think in the comments.