I am away this week at an IBM #NewWaytoWork conference as an invited “Influencer” for my work writing about the future. For this week I am going to highlight a view posts that discuss some of the issues of mobility that we will be discussing at the conference.
Originally published in July of 2015 I discuss the possibility of mobility being provided by devices embedded in employees. It sounds a bit freaky but in reality we are already doing it with many medical devices. It is not a far step to embedding productivity devices.
How does the thought of being able to embed a device in your body to make your job easier appeal to you? What about an embedded device to improve your health or make you live longer? Would you do it? Many people cringe at the thought, yet there may be just such a device in your future, if not already present in your life.
What to embed?
People get uncomfortable with the concept of “embedding” devices in their bodies. Yet many people are alive today because of embedded devices in their hearts. Many of us have a better smile because of an embedded device in our mouth that fills a gap in our teeth or we can walk better because of an embedded device in our knee. Many people see better because of embedded lens that have replaced their natural lens. We have already, in many cases, accepted the idea of embedded devices. Newer technology has even been developed to help blind people see for the first time in their lives. Why is the thought of embedding something that makes your work life easier so far of a stretch?
Technology to improve work
Contact lenses that can detect diabetes have already been developed. What if there was a contact lens you could insert that would help in facial recognition? Would this not be a boon to the HR professional? What about being freed from your desk because you were able to have your computer as a heads up display? We already have GoogleGlass that offers that technology, but people are resistant to becoming a “Glasshole”. What if you had that capability on a contact lens that no one could see? Interested?
This is some of the technology that is being worked on according to Andy Goodman, a futurist at the design firm Fjord. This technology is a move toward what Goodman says is called Zero UI (user interface.) This is the ability to interact with machines with gestures, speech, and even thought. Many machines are already being designed to deal with these interactive capabilities, you may even have some in your home. \
How long will there be resistance?
Goodman, speaking in an article in the New York Business Journal, said “The idea of putting machines into our bodies does seem strange, ugly and horrifying in a way. We don’t want to be the ‘borg or ‘The Terminator.’ We’ve been putting them in our bodies already for years with pacemakers and artificial limbs. As they get smaller and more sophisticated, they’ll do some amazing things. “ I, for one, would be interested in something that would improve my capabilities and I would have no fear of being a “borg”, what about you? Or will you continue to be resistant, even though you have a pacemaker, replacement knee and dental implant?