Wearables solving real ‘jobs to be done’

click to enlargeThis Editor strongly believes that the heart of a great product is that it addresses, in Clayton Christensen’s terms, a ‘job to be done’–or as pre-social media marketing writing put it, ‘not a ‘nice to have’–a must-have’. Venture Beat, usually a facilitator of the D3H (Digital Health Hypester Horde), has an unusually sober and personal article from writer Christina Farr highlighting five wearable devices and how they could be ‘must-haves’, improving quality of life for significant groups of everyday people.

  1.  The OrCam computer-assisted vision device (above) for those with low vision, which interprets nearby visual inputs, including letters, faces, objects, products, places, bus numbers, and traffic lights–and describes them to the wearer through a bone-conduction device heard by the user only. From Israel and available only in the US at present, the initial pricing is around $2,500.
  2. Physician, surgical and law enforcement decision support may be the best use of Google Glass–not exactly the ‘hipster on the L train’ picture promoted by Google.
  3. Emotiv’s mind-controlled wheelchair, which is controlled by a headset (EPOC) capable of picking up electrical signals.
  4. For autistic children and adults, Neumitra and Affectiva are both bands that measure and alert for physiological stress that may lead to inappropriate wandering or acting-out.
  5. Red-green color blindness affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. It can be dangerous–think of traffic lights and wiring–and EnChroma’s correcting set of glasses is a simple, useful solution. Reportedly there is a 30 percent improvement in color identification and a 70 percent improvement in color discrimination. The pricing is fairly standard at $375-460.
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