In mid-September of this year, China’s Huawei will be launching its newest addition to the wearable tech market: the Huawei Watch. This Android-based device can link to your mobile phone, providing you with Google tools and more cool features that you can use wherever you may be. And did we mention that it looks oh-so-classy?
The brand ambassadors of the Huawei Watch are supermodels Karlie Kloss and Sean O’pry. Forget about smart watches that look just like little mobile phones on your wrist. The Huawei Watch has been crafted to look just like a pricey Swiss watch, with a round 1.4-inch face and beautiful steel and leather accessories to match.
The Huawei Watch also proudly claims that it can also link up to the iPhone, and not just Android devices. Through this smart watch, you can track your heartbeat and check the number of steps you’ve taken whether you are walking or running. The watch also has a long battery life, possibly reaching up to five days on a single charge. Through the Huawei Watch, you can be updated with notifications from messages, mail, and calendar. Plus, with voice activation, you wear with you a Google assistant that you can consult whenever you need to.
By comparison to the Apple Watch, known as the top-selling smart watch in the market today, the Huawei Watch brings with it the same luxury, style, and innovative tech. Plus, the price of the Huawei Watch can compete quite nicely, which will fetch from a range of $350 to about $800 USD. This price tag difference may make you think twice before buying a slightly costlier Apple Watch at about $500 to $1,100 USD apiece.
Whatever the brand may be, fashion experts have been predicting that the future of wearable technology has only just begun. We may now see tons of brands of smart watches that seamlessly link to our mobile devices, whether it be on iOS or Android. But according to Dr. Sabine Seymour of Parsons the New School of Design in New York, smart watches like the Huawei Watch will not be the only tech-related item that we can wear.
Dr. Seymour is known to be an expert in the field of future fashion technology, having under her belt a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Social and Economic Sciences. She currently is an assistant professor at Parsons, lending her knowledge and expertise in the design of functional fashion pieces that integrate both innovation and style. Dr. Seymour has also been one of the consultants in the design of the up and coming Huawei Watch.
In a press conference held with the Huawei Business Group, Dr. Seymour has presented her vision of what smart and wearable tech can be. Eventually, our undergarments may be embedded with sensors that can track our vitals like pulse and body temperature. She also came up with concepts of how our outfits can adapt to our changing environments. For instance, a sweater can become thin or thick depending on the temperature outside.
Dr. Seymour’s presentation also mentioned that while our clothing can be linked to our mobile devices and watches, we may soon have the ability to alter how our clothes look just by pressing a button. Imagine how you can change the pattern of your dress to match the color of your shoes!
Fashionable tech has gone a long way from basic bracelets or wristbands used by joggers or exercise buffs. The Huawei Watch signifies that it can be an intelligent luxury item, helping even the busiest of individuals stay up-to-date with their daily routines, while still being chic and stylish.
Many may still be unfamiliar with the IoT acronym but in reality come in contact and/or intentionally interact with IoT devices throughout their day/night. IoT stands for ‘Internet of Things’ and is increasingly the latest craze in technology, with most of the attention focused on consumer gadgets.
You may be wondering what devices are considered in the category of IoT? What do they look like? Well anything form smart TVs, refrigerators, to sprinkler systems have been developed with certain key characteristics including: embedded electronics and sensors, ability to interconnect, relevant software, and capability to receive and transmit data with its maker, users, or other devices. It’s these capabilities that classify them as IoT.
The days of racing back home when you’re off for a vacation, to turn the lights off or set the alarm are now a thing of the past with IoT. Also most industries, from environmental monitoring, energy management and transportation, to medical and healthcare systems are also embracing this new breed of devices.
Personally, when I think of IoT the first word that comes to mind is ‘conveniences’. Today for instance, ATT Digital life is providing solutions that are marketed as home-automation and digital life experiences. How convenient to check on whether you’re running out of milk from anywhere and adjust the thermostat on demand to ensure ‘home’ is waiting for you, exactly how you’d like. Life just keeps on getting better, doesn’t it?
Did you hear about hackers disrupting innocent infants’ sleep when breaking into any number of baby monitors, meant to ensure the child’s safety and well-being? After hacking these devices, the culprits routinely began broadcasting conversation to scare and rattle the babies. How about reports that Samsung SmartTVs were in the habit of recording ambient conversations and then shipping those recordings off to third parties? Samsung is not alone, LG was reported to be doing the same. Did you realize that gaming systems such as Microsoft Xbox Kinect which captures
movement, sounds and tracks multiple users simultaneously while connected to the Internet, results in many exposures as well?
As the diversity of IoT devices continues to evolve, most recently the announcement by Mattel earlier this week of an IoT version of the iconic Barbie, named ‘Hello Barbie’, heading for stores this holiday season, IT professionals and consumers alike need to take a step back and analyze the implication of these technologies and conveniences. Recently, Hewlet Packard (HP) released a security report having tested a vast array of IoT devices and found a landscape plagued by inherent risk and vulnerabilities. The findings revealed overarching concerns related to the lack of basic security criteria including issues with:
So, what’s my point with all of this? Throw away the devices? Stop the innovation? Never! Innovation, creativity and progress is what it’s all about. Consider this, a dwelling will certainly never pass inspection for a flight of stairs without handrails that meet a certain specification, regardless what the owner wants. Why are we then, willing to accept using technical solutions that collect any number of sensitive data elements without a second thought or care? The only explanation I can think of, is the convenience factor with entertainment following in close second. So many federal and state laws make it illegal to tape record an individual without consent, yet more and more we’re being recorded, tracked, monitored and surveilled without consent. As IT professionals, engineers and innovators we must all do our part to ensure security is integrated into these devices by design.
As a security professional by trade yet an innovator and technologist at heart, I’m certainly looking forward to hyper integration of these devices into my own home and life with the assurance that when my door is closed, that it truly is. I also hope, never to read that someone has hacked the iconic Barbie doll!
• Your Smart TV is spying on you