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The hidden economic boom at CES

Patrick Thibodeau | Jan. 7, 2015
The show appears to be mostly about novelties or expected tech toys -- unless you look hard enough.

LifeQ has received about $11 million in funding so far, and plans to begin offering its services this year.

The cost of the optical sensor is low, and Conradie said the intent is to keep wearables as inexpensive as possible.

Wearable makers can include the optical sensor in their products. The data is sent to the cloud, and the resulting data streams will be made available to application developers and wearable device makers.

The business model that LifeQ pursues is along the lines of the type described by Michael Porter, an economist at the Harvard Business School and James Heppelmann, president and CEO of IoT firm PTC, in their recent Harvard Business Review essay.

They see IoT leading to new services, better products and new types of economic activity as various products, services and industries connect in new ways. They believe it will lead to an economic boom.

At CES today, wearable makers offer what amounts to rudimentary data, such as distance traveled while walking. But once these inexpensive devices are linked to large amounts of scientific data -- data that represent the sum of our knowledge -- then these wearables will no longer be nice-to-have novelties.

They'll be must-haves.


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