I really need to get (make) me one of these programmable wearables

Last year, I brought a group of young women in my career exploration program to a company visit at Cisco, located in San Jose, California. We learned about some of their innovative work in creating solutions for various industries utilizing the Internet of Everything (IoE). I had heard of the concept before but seeing it and hearing from company employees firsthand was an enlightening experience about the possibilities for IoE in just about any career field. One of the examples that was demonstrated during our visit, was the ability for doctors to use IoE devices to examine, test, diagnose, and prescribe treatment for patients in remote locations. While there was still a lot of IoE technology to be developed and tested to make this a fully functional solution for medical practice, it was inspiring and exciting to see the resources and collaborative effort being applied towards this concept. While any corporation like Cisco could be viewed as directing its research efforts to ultimately generate new revenue streams and ultimately profits, they are also contributing a significant amount of money, time, and personnel to innovating, testing, and research that will impact our everyday lives.

“At its core, IoT [Internet of Things] is simple: it’s about connecting devices over the internet, letting them talk to us, applications, and each other.” (Kobie, 2015, para 4).  As I thought about my work in a non-profit organization and participants in my career exploration program, I’ve wondered what kind of IoT device would be useful in my work. There is so much time spent on logistics and managing data that any device that makes this easier would be a welcome addition; I also think about the ease of use for our participants and something that would appeal to them as well. Cisco makes the distinction of the Internet of Everything, “allowing people, processes, and things to harness that data to improve decision making for organizations and assist us in our daily lives.”

If I could devise an IoE device for our organization, I would create a programmable wearable device that tracks a wide range of data about and for our participants. As an avid Fitbit user, a similar wearable device, that is aesthetically appealing, practical, and easy to use would be an ideal fit. I think the concept of a “quantified self” (Stern, 2015) appeals to young people because they have grown up in an age where technology has been integrated into many aspects of their lives. They are much more receptive and adopt wearables and other personal tracking devices and applications much more readily than I would.

This device in my program, would have a mobile app that syncs with a desktop version and participants could select from a wide range of data to track as well as monitor their progress in the program. Most participants do not own computers at home so this personal wearable cloud device could be accessed through their mobile devices through a simple app that allows them to view and edit documents as files as needed. Participants would receive the wearable device upon enrollment and learn to program it and analyze their own data, upon completing the program, they would keep the device and continue using it to track whatever information is useful for them. The wearable device would also be a personal cloud storage device that functions much like a portable usb flash drive but would work wirelessly or with Bluetooth. Rather than downloading files to work on, participants could access it through a computer or mobile device and work on their files stored on their wearable cloud device. Their files could be exported to a mobile device or computer and can be shared online as well.

Some of the programs that participants could use to track their own information (some of which are related to the program) – budgeting and spending, job applications, cover letters and resumes, multimedia portfolios, health/diet/fitness data, journals, file storage for projects – music, pictures, videos, etc, a panic button might even be a handy safety feature as the participants are all high school girls living in an urban community. Participants could also program their devices to contain other identification such as library cards, school IDs, bus passes, and other similar cards that could be automatically scanned from their wearable.

For my purposes, I would be able to track and monitor their progress on tasks, send them information or resources as needed, send evaluation forms and surveys for participants and receive notifications when they have been completed, attendance would be automatically logged as participants enter and exit our space, permissions for using laptops and other devices would be programmed into their wearables so they could automatically log in as needed throughout our building. Groups could collaborate on their projects remotely and asynchronously and all of their data would be stored on their devices and backed up daily. The most important features of this wearable would be the high memory and storage capacity and that it would be programmable so that participants could design uses that meet their needs and would have access to their own information at their convenience.

References:

Cisco. (2014, October). The Internet of Everything: Fueling Educational Innovation.  Learning@Cisco. Retrieved from: http://globalstemalliance.org/media/filer_public/b9/c6/b9c609e0-deb9-479a-bc19-94770297fd3a/14cs4580-iot_whitepaper-charts-r2.pdf

Kobie, N. (2015, May 6). What is the internet of things?. The Guardian, San Francisco, CA. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google

Stern, C. (2015, July 13). The wearable tech market could reach 385 million people and change how we ‘consume and use information’. BusinessInsider.com. Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/wearable-tech-could-soon-reach-385m-people-2015-7

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