Intelligent Future & Wearables

Author: Kerstin Bock, Openers

A panel at last year’s Tech Open Air in Berlin started off with the question: “If the best sex you ever had was with a robot, would you ever ‘go back’ to human sex?” Ten years ago, this might have been a hilarious and even absurd question. These days, though, it’s nothing more than perhaps a bit offensive, depending on the listener. This only demonstrates how smart technology has penetrated every aspect of our life nowadays: smart homes, connected cars, mobile health, fashion, and, yes, even sexuality (it’s just starting, but a market growing like crazy) can be hooked up to the net. With wearable technology, our bodies are literally interconnected and meshed with the realm of data. The Internet of Things (IoT) finally suspends the distinction between the real and virtual worlds.

Smart, connected things are made possible by fantastic miniaturization of sensors that continuously track our environment, actions, and behavior. The data collected by these sensors is analyzed and interpreted by algorithms, which are meaningfully benchmarked from the data of other users. As a matter of fact, in addition to controlling our devices, making decisions, and essentially substituting human judgment, these algorithms feed the results to us. This technology can even answer emails on our behalf, drive our cars, interact with smart clothing, and may eventually understand our physical needs.

However, despite all the promises, “the connected fridge” and other smart appliances often appear strangely out of place, rendering them undesirable. Good design is essential for these to become real-world products that succeed in competitive markets. The maker culture fills this gap and provides the necessary tools and skills to rapidly shape prototypes and experiential showcases, something German Haus at SXSW 2017 will highlight; at our German Lab there will be lots and lots of interactive experiences in the fields of Intelligent Future & Wearables and beyond, to connect with the future today.

>> Monday, March 13th @ German Haus