'The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Production'

Barth, Jenn. 2013. 'The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Production'. Rackspace: the open cloud company, [Article]

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We have witnessed an exponential rise of smart devices over recent years as cloud computing and ubiquitous Internet connectivity connects consumers to information, anytime, anywhere. This demand for smart, portable devices has seen sales of smartphones and tablets skyrocket. However, the world of technology moves quickly and we are already observing the emergence of a new kind of portable device which can be worn on the body.
Google Glass, due to be generally released at the end of 2013 or in early 2014, is the most high profile of these wearable technology devices. However, there are already examples of wearable technology on the market. The most recognisable are health devices including the Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone UP, which capture the wearer’s activity data in the cloud and provide fitness analysis.
Others include wearable cameras such as Autographer, which are enable users to ‘lifelog’, capturing their daily experiences.
Wearable technology has the potential to be both useful and entertaining. However, how interested are we in using these devices? Can they enhance our lifestyles or will they just cause more stress as users suffer from information overload? And will concerns around privacy hamper consumer adoption of these devices? Finally, do we need more cloud infrastructure to support these devices, managing and analysing the huge volumes of data that will be created?
In collaboration with experts in the field of social studies and technology at the Centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) and supported by quantitative research among over 4,000 UK and US adults, Rackspace analysed how 26 everyday people use wearable technology.
The result is a social study, The Human Cloud: Wearable Technology from Novelty to Productivity’ which reveals our attitudes to wearable technology and examines how cloud computing is enabling this new generation of smart devices.
The report outlines:
• Take‐up of wearable technology and how these devices are enhancing users lives
• Emergence of six distinct profiles of wearable technology users
• The data generated by wearable technology will form part of a Human Cloud, hosting consumer insights that will be used by private companies and public bodies to improve services.

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Date Deposited:

01 Dec 2015 09:45

Last Modified:

23 May 2016 16:47



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