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Security, Consolidation & Connectivity: The 3 Things Missing from CES

Posted on by Brian Wong, CEO

There were hundreds, if not thousands, of articles about CES this week. Even if you couldn’t make the event, you probably heard about the coolest car tech, wearable designs and even the weirdest product announcements. It was a trip; I was constantly impressed at every turn.

CES is undoubtedly a gathering place for innovation. But with the introduction of so many fantastic gadgets, important details were lost within the hype. Silent opportunities – how to keep those products secure, consolidated, connected – need to be addressed. Here’s where entrepreneurs could have focused efforts to make consumers feel safer and more satisfied with the rapid evolution of new technologies.

CES 2015

Image source: Flickr, user: SamsungTomorrow

Securing connected devices

Everything at CES was connected, especially in the home: lights, alarms, doors, you name it. Yet no one was talking about how to protect these devices. At first thought, maybe your smart kitchen light bulb isn’t as high a security priority as your bank account, but the personal information about your home, health and vehicle should be kept just as safe.

Especially so recently after the Sony hack, security should be on the top of brands’ minds. The idea of a stranger hacking your car, house door locks or even the watch on your wrist is terrifying. Brands should give consumers the trust they need to rest easy with their purchases.

Looking ahead, brands should focus energy on new anti-virus solutions and security protocols (think HTTPS) for the devices on and around our bodies.

Consolidating islands of data

I counted 56 wearables throughout the CES expo hall in the Venetian, a long awaited add-on that focused just on lifestyle, rather than the tech juggernauts. Each one tracked anything from steps, heart rate, temperature, eye movement, distance moved and so forth.

We’re creating islands of data with these wearables. Between mobile, fitness trackers and smart glasses – and looking ahead to innovations like Jins Meme, a product that tracks your eye movement using electro oculography – people will continue to don more connected devices on their bodies.

What’s missing is a way to control multiple devices from one platform and to access your data in one place. We want to avoid a world where three separate devices announcing step counts in different ways. All of our data should be accessible in one place and intelligently aggregated. Moreover, that information should be sharable with others. I want to connect my data island with my doctor, family friends, whoever, in the blink of an eye.

Apple’s HealthKit is an example of how this information can come together, but it’s only one island. We need another way to consolidate data; a packaging that’s truly open.

Public connectivity in the future

Wired, WiFi and cellular are currently the most popular paths to the internet. We need a new process to enable connectivity, especially with the advent of wearables and smart devices in public spaces.

There is a major need to create a new networking technology or add-on to existing connectivity methods. Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) is currently one (older) key to the puzzle, but there’s much, much more that needs to be addressed. Samsung said they would have their entire portfolio connected to the internet by 2020. How are other companies competing to build public networks that enable seamless connectivity for wearables? If WiFi struggles to handle convention center-level activity for smartphones, think how limiting it will be when you add smartwatches, smart glasses and so forth to the mix.

We’re witness to small wins each day, but at events that look towards the future, we must make bigger leaps to ensure technology delivers. 2015 holds so many surprises and opportunities. I’m excited to see them become reality.

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Tagged security, smart glasses, smartwatches, Advertising, Bluetooth Low Energy, CES, connectivity, jins meme, mobile, wearables

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