By James R. Lint
Faculty Member, School of Business, American Military University
Contributor, In Homeland Security
CES 2017 begins January 5 in Las Vegas. Approximately 177,000 industry representatives have signed up to attend this trade show.
Wearable consumer electronics are expected to be a controversial headline grabber to attract large crowds during CES, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show. Some industry experts say wearables are a niche market for the fitness industry. Other experts see wearables as having security and safety applications for other markets, including law enforcement and personal safety.
3 Wearable Manufacturers Scheduled to Exhibit at CES
Fitbit is again expected to create a buzz at CES 2017. Athletes will demonstrate Fitbit’s new products and permit attendees to use them in workouts with professional trainers. Fitbit Blaze won multiple awards at last year’s show, including a PC Magazine Best of CES 2016 award.
Samsung wants to be the Swiss Army knife of wearables. Samsung Wearables launched its Premium Design line with Gear S2 Classic Rose Gold and Platinum devices at the 2016 show. This year, Samsung will feature Gear S3.
Gear S3 is more than a fitness device. It can connect to mobile phones and various apps, including Samsung Pay. It also will help joggers, be of assistance to shoppers and assist users in hailing a ride with Uber. Gear S3 will also remotely turn up the heat in a home.
Striiv makes wearable fitness tracking and smartwatch devices for consumers and corporate wellness programs. The company was an early adapter of multiple technologies to be worn on the wrist. Features include notifying wearers when their smartphones are “ringing” in silent mode.
The company has been an industry leader in creating new uses for wearable technology. Striiv’s innovative products and health and fitness apps feature medicine reminders and trackers to be used by runners of all ages.
New Business Avenues for Wearable Devices
The business potential for the wearables market is limited only by the imagination of the companies and their developers. Professional athletics and even Olympians now use data from wearables to plan their workout routines.
Wearable health monitors gained adherents among older people who might have run their last marathon 30 to 50 years ago. Many users found that while their time on a three-mile run might be embarrassing, the data is nice to have for training purposes. Wearables are also helpful for workout enthusiasts who might fall and need medical assistance.
While the ability to track and monitor movement is a helpful tool, these devices could raise some concerns for those who value their privacy. There has to be a balance between risk and reward. CES 2017 might provide some answers.
About the Author
James R. Lint recently retired as the (GG-15) civilian director for intelligence and security, G2, U.S. Army Communications Electronics Command. He is an adjunct professor at AMU. James has been involved in cyberespionage events from just after the turn of the century in Korea supporting 1st Signal Brigade to the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis as the first government cyber intelligence analyst. He has 38 years of experience in military intelligence with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army, government contracting and civil service.
Additionally, James started the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a nonprofit charity that recently awarded its 43th scholarship for national security students and professionals. James was also elected as the 2015 national vice president for the Military Intelligence Corps Association. He has also served in the Department of Energy’s S&S Security Office after his active military career in the Marine Corps for seven years and also served 14 years in the Army. His military assignments include South Korea, Germany and Cuba in addition to numerous CONUS locations. James has authored a book published in 2013, “Leadership and Management Lessons Learned,” and a new book in 2016 “8 Eyes on Korea, A Travel Perspective of Seoul, Korea.”