Last week, PRIME attended an event held by Wearable World on The Future of Design in IoT. The event featured an interesting panel discussion led by Eliane Fiolet from Three panelists were there to discuss the relationship between design and wearable devices

  • Denise Gershbein, Executive Creative Director at frog design
  • Mitchell Webber, VP of Business Operations at Skully Helmet
  • Stuart Evans, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University

Here are the key insights from each panelist that you can take away:

“Some industries don’t go through disruptive innovations for many years, it’s because most innovations come from technology and a lot of companies don’t do technology”, Stuart Evans. It was the case of the helmet industry before Skully Helmet arrived with its idea.

“Don’t get caught on the shiny aspect of your product, go where your product will be really useful”, Denise Gershbein. It is easy to develop a gadget that will ensure sales for a couple of months; but if you are here for the long run, then don’t take the easy path.

“Being valuable for a wearable device does not necessarily mean that you provide more information, just that you provide information that matters for the customers”, Mitchell Webber.

Despite this interesting panel and the key take-away of the discussions, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. I did not learn a lot of new things on wearable devices. I am not pointing my finger at this event in particular; it is more of a general feeling. The feeling of excitement that something big was happening right in front of my eyes has kind of disappeared these past months, as far as wearable devices are concerned. Is it because we have already said everything that was newsworthy on this topic? NO, or at least, I don’t think so. It is just that nothing really new is happening in that field right now. Even revolutions take time to break out.

This is well explained by Singularity University:


As Singularity University explains, there is a time where a technology or a set of innovations are most expected and don’t deliver as well or as much as expected. This was the case with the Internet, there was a period of time where the Internet was foreseen as a major breakthrough but most people could not believe it as most of its applications were just promises. This, is what is currently happening with wearable devices, and the IoT at large. For the past few months, we have been told so many things that wearable devices would make possible; still most of the devices launched on the market are gadgets and me-too products. This is just the normal course of action of any new technology. In a couple of months or years, wearable devices will achieve great & amazing things that, despite all the meetups you are attending, you are not able to even fathom yet.

And this may be the most important take out of this event: Keep calm, wait and you will eventually be disrupted