In the fourth part of a week long series of blog posts, Senior Trends Consultant Richard Cope reports back from the inaugural Wearable Technology Show at London’s Olympia, examining the devices on show and the recurrent themes and human needs that bind them.

Wearables can seem to have a relentless focus on youth – whether it is through adventure sports cams, sensory gaming gear or smart exercise apparel – but as in many areas of innovation, it’s the needs of an aging population that may drive uptake further. During this event’s ‘Meet the Wearable Entrepreneurs’ panel discussion, Mike Barlow of My Health Pal talked about how his own experience of Parkinson’s disease had driven the creation of its health platform, aimed at helping others with chronic health conditions. Barlow talked of how it helped track the impact of diet on medication, creating a data partnership between doctor and patient so that neurologists were better equipped and empowered during irregular consultations between the two.

During the Lifestyles discussion, Muhammad Abdurrahman spoke touchingly of how his Playtabase ‘wrist mouse’ concept was inspired by his desire to help deliver “access for people” to the ‘Internet of Things’ after his father had suffered a stroke. Developers had been encouraged to go about home tasks with one eye closed and one hand in their pocket to try and understand the needs of their target audience. Initiatives like these are fired by a passion for the ‘human right’ of access and connectivity, but their uptake and success will be secured by the needs – and finances – of an ageing society.

If you would like to know what these trends – and others – mean for your business please contact Richard to discuss our trend presentation, project and facilitation services. E-mail: rcope@mintel.com; Twitter @Richard_Mintel

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