A few decades ago, the microchips currently resting inside our smartphones would have cost millions of dollars to manufacture, and only a few people in the world had access. Now, not only are they a fraction of the price, but nearly everyone has access. There are a few parts of the world that still aren’t online, but the number of people going without internet support will be drastically reduced over the next five years.
The era of the embedded microchip sensor is finally here. But what can they do and where will they be embedded? In a little bit of everything: cameras, phones, cars, fridges, toasters, walls, dresser drawers — even toilets. Each new device using an embedded microchip sensor will tell us a little bit more about how we live our lives, and how we could be living them better for longer.
For example, the toilet sensor would analyze our waste for vitamin deficiencies. We might one day get a call from our healthcare provider: “Johnny, what have you been eating? It looks like you haven’t been getting enough roughage in your diet. You’re at a higher risk for colo-rectal cancer if you don’t start turning things around.”
Then again, an app on our phones might automate the process so the doctor doesn’t have to get involved at all.
Sensors in our beds might help analyze sleep so that we can learn to regulate it better. If we’re drinking too much too close to bedtime, the wirelessly connected toilet and bed sensors might communicate that we should reduce liquid intake after a specified time based on exactly when we routinely go to bed — and the sensors would also let us know when that should be based on when we need to wake up and go to work the next day.
The world is changing fast, but what does that mean for athletes?
A time is coming when wearable devices contain personalized “coaches” that are built to help us analyze how we work out. In time, they might actually turn on automatically to urge us to go out for a run or walk based on constant heart rate and performance monitoring (if we turn these applications on). That means athletes will be able to get into shape easier and faster.
Again, our connected devices will communicate exactly how we should be eating based on how much exercise we want or need, and then tell us how to go about getting that exercise or achieving that diet.
Right now, most wearables monitor heart rate. But they can do so much more. As they get cheaper, they will be more likely embedded within the very clothes we wear. We’ll barely notice they’re there at all. Some people might be apprehensive about the technology — but truly it is making a better future for all of us. We’ll be living longer, happier, and healthier lives!