SXSW 2013: Wearable tech to revolutionise healthcare

Interactive fashion, or ‘wearables’ as they’ve been coined this year, are all the rage this week at South-by, but with Australian fashion week just around the corner, can we really expect any of these connected accessories to be making the retail runway anytime soon? I doubt it, but sure, by the end of the year you can bet your Ray Bans they’ll be stocked items at leading youth fashion stores.

Google Glass, Apple iPod wristwatches, fitness wristbands taking your data by the second – this type of wearable technology is on the verge of becoming mainstream and I for one am super-sized excited.

As too is Jennifer Darmour from Seattle based company Artefact who spoke in depth about wearable technology and the idea of an integrated ecosystem of consumer health companies and manufacturers all accessing the same consumer health information held in a cloud-based storage system.

ipod watch

This open health API already exists for software and service providers and developers in America, but in Australian we are slow to adopt it. However, the sooner brands in Australia get behind the open API health movement the sooner the Government is likely to support it and the sooner we can all start to work together to deliver better versions of wearable technology and then perhaps it’ll be brands who can really start making a difference in community health.

We’re not just talking about measuring calories, we’re talking about data that will help solve health crisis like obesity, like heart disease, depression and addiction.

Speaking of addiction, I’m off to get my first coffee for this event from the GE Electric coffee van (I don’t drink coffee except in exceptional circumstances when I have only managed to sleep a few hours in just as many days). With a software enhanced frother that uses facial and image recognition to take a photo of your face or business card, the robot-assisted barista then ‘prints’ it in the creamer as the coffee is poured (see pics below).  I’m pretty excited and hopefully it may just get me though the last keynote for today.

Cheers for now,


brilliant brew coffee truck

robot barista


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Mike Crebar
BY Mike Crebar ON 14 March 2013
Mike Crebar is strategy director and co-founder of Sydney and Brisbane based digital agency, Pusher.