Yes, it’s that time of year: Internet Queen Bee Mary Meeker, maker and breaker of companies back in the day when she was the securities tech analyst on Wall St, releases her hugely anticipated Internet Trends report.
The 117-page deck is, as ever, packed with data and analysis about the State of the Net. This year it includes the concept of ‘Everywhere Computing’ and a third computing cycle going from Smartphones to Tablets to “Wearables, Drivables, Flyables, Scannables”. This comprises of everything from connected cars and drones to image recognition and tags like QR codes (up 400% year on year in China), and obviously resonates quite well here at EVRYTHNG Towers.
Given the number of digital sensors being embedded in devices, wearable tech and everyday objects, Meeker reports that by 2015 the volume of data generated and shared will hit 8 zettabytes. For instance, self-quantifying health and fitness apps like JawboneUP whose users (including me) have, apparently, already recorded and shared billions of steps, over 700,000 hours of sleep and are interacting with the app around five times a day.
In fact, over the next few years this kind of personal lifestyle tech could play an important role in behaviour change shifts for healthier living. In 2007, 40% of premature deaths in the US were caused by destructive activities like smoking, excessive alcohol, obesity and inactivity. Wearable technology and connected personal items could reduce this somewhat tragic stat by helping people become more aware of how their daily behaviour impacts their health.
Meeker thinks we’re on the cusp of something big since most major manufacturers are either producing or rumoured to be producing some sort of wearable technology and crucially we’re seeing an acceleration in the typical 10 year cycle for major new technology platforms.
And for those who might dismiss wearable tech like Google Glass, Meeker reminds us that we’ve under-estimated these tech cycles before:
“There’s no reason anyone would want a computer in their home” – Ken Olsen, Founder, Digital Equipment, 1977