Bring Your Own Cyber Human (BYOCH) – Part 1: Self-connected humans

Perhaps some of my readers and followers have ever played in their infancy the “Rock, Paper or Scissors” game. During each match, we simulated with our hands one of these three things, although in those years we could never think that any of it could connect to the Internet.

A few years later, we are not surprised that somewhere in the world is designing connected stones, connected papers or connected scissors. Just read “The abuse of shocking headlines in IoT or how many stupid things will be connected ? “. To this end we have arrived in Internet of Things (IoT).

But far from conforming us just connecting things, some enlightened like Elon Musk do not dream of electric sheep, they dream building human-computer hybrids. Elon Musk’s Neuralink company goal is to explore technology that can make direct connections between a human brain and a computer. Mr. Musk floated the idea that humans will need a boost of computer-assisted artificial intelligence to remain competitive as our machines get smarter.

Facebook Engineer Asserts That Augmented Reality Will Replace Smartphones in 5 Years. Facebook’s uber-secretive Building 8 (B8). The division is currently working on a top-secret brain-computer interface (BCI) like Elon Musk’s Neuralink, but that BCI project isn’t the only “future tech” Facebook currently has in the works. According to Michael Abrash, chief scientist at Facebook-owned Oculus Research, super augmented reality (AR) glasses could replace smartphones as the everyday computing gadget in the next five years.

A little intimidated, right?

Everything started with Bring your Own Device (BYOD)

I was very sceptical about the promised benefits that IT Vendors sold us with the famous Bring You Own Device (BYOD).  Many IT departments struggled to keep up with yearly technology changes, company employees increasingly wanted to use their own devices to access corporate data. It was part of a growing trend dubbed Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which encompassed similar Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) and Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) initiatives. All of them evolved to empower workforces through the so-called ‘consumerisation of IT’.

But BYOD also had a darker side. On one hand for enterprises, it threatened IT security and put a company’s sensitive business systems at risk, and on the other threatened employee’s satisfaction and happiness.

Have any of you improved your work-life balance because you used your own device to continue working after you leave your office?. There are so many things that improve productivity and increase innovation, how enterprises can ensure that it was because you BYOD?

In my opinion this was the first filter to hire or fire employees who decided to accept or refuse the BYOD company policy, and the fact of bringing our devices was the first step in being cyber humans.

BYOW (Bring your Own Wearable) is coming

When I wrote BYOW (Bring your Own Wearable), Are you scare ? , I just followed one of 2013 trends that analysts and tech writers started to hype, “the next big thing will be “Bring Your Own Wearable”.

Let’s admit that one of the reasons why this trend has not had the impact we expected was the miserable failure of Google Glass.  But not only was the giant Google, also the giant Apple failed with the little useful Apple Watch.

Other sound failures such as those of Fitbit, Nike FuelBand or Tohsiba Glasses, have created a bad reputation to the still awaited success of the BYOW. If you are one of those who disguise with the technological disasters, here you can read “The biggest wearable tech disasters”.

Let’s be optimistic, the past numerous wearables failures mean nothing. Large enterprises, are using wearables. It’s hard to predict when success will come, but it will happen. Wearables technologies will be adopted in mass in the enterprise world because very soon will be economically and financially profitable. Let´s trust on the component revolution in wearables reported by Techcrunch.

And this will be the second step in being cyber humans.

Towards Augmented People with Wearables, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligent

The most connected human on the planet wired up to 700 sensors. Chris Dancy from Denver uses a range of sensors, devices, services and applications to give him real-time data about his body. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96hlHUkxe6c .  Chris may be the first case of Human as a Service Business Model.

Augmented workers

Augmented reality (AR) is scaling in industrial settings and wearables are providing the human interface to industrial IoT with new and compelling results. Industry 4.0 presents a unique opportunity for machines and humans to communicate with each other.  A combination of technologies at the edge of IoT allows human workers are getting predictive maintenance notifications and alerts for better operations in manufacturing. The convergence of machine sensors, big data, and artificial intelligence tied to AR Smart Glasses will create augmented workers needed for this next industrial revolution.

Augmented patients

Heart rate, ECG, Blood pressure, Blood glucose, body temperature, blood oxygen saturation, etc are vital health signs that have been widely used in the medical field to assess the state of a person’s health. In the past these measurements were typically carried out in a doctor’s office by trained personnel using specialized equipment only when the person visits the doctor’s office.

The novel use of AR, AI, devices and wearables are enabling easy use of devices and wearables by individuals, employees and families to measure all these vital signs anywhere and remotely and securely send data to the healthcare provider.

For years, new companies have been launching new products and services around the concept of Open Data on health and healthcare. And once these healthcare providers have access to this consolidated view of our health they will be able to identify early signs of health risks and preemptively take measures to address the issues. This capability can significantly lower the cost of healthcare for organizations and governments.

If new advancements in technologies (AR / AI / IoT / wearables) are demonstrating that can aid patients and maybe changing the human condition, I wonder why is not growing the number of augmented patients?

Note: Other companies to follow:

  • Google Glass and Recon Jet in conjunction with VicoVR a Kinect like device allows for skeletal tracking on mobile and wearable devices.
  • Ceeable is developing a mobile augmented reality (AR) device to aid people with low vision disorders such as age related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy and retinitis pigmentosum.
  • Profusa have developed tiny wearable biosensors that allows for long-term continuous monitoring of your body chemistry. This wearable smart tech device provides actionable data on your body’s key chemistry in one continuous data stream which changes the way we will monitor our health

Augmented citizens

The city of Boston is collaborating with Waze to use driver data to reduce traffic congestion. Also in Boston, another way the citizen as sensor concept is being used is with Street Bump app. Using sensors in phones to map bumpy road. Armed with this knowledge the city worked with utility companies to fix covers and therefore reduce cost and improve citizen satisfaction.

An increasing number of people are voluntarily contributing the data they generate to improve public spaces. The ‘citizen sensor’ recent trend is not just limited to activists and data enthusiasts — rather, it encompasses regular, everyday citizens empowered by a new generation of connected technologies that makes it easier than ever to contribute their data for the public good.

Citizen sensor data is being used for many purposes including to improve public infrastructure, enhance public services, and increase public safety. Local government leaders look to the ever-increasing number of citizen sensors to augment their capacity to use data to make better decisions.

If we are convinced to share our data and we are on course to wear wearables 2.0 all day, we will become augmented citizens.

Augmented Athletes

In my post “The future of “The Internet of Olympic Games” I predicted that In Tokyo 2020, technology and innovation will be pushing human performance to the limit. Technologies such as wearable technology, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and Artificial Intelligence are becoming core ingredients of training and preparation for competition. How close are athletes to becoming augmented athletes?

How far can we, and how far should we, push these technologies? If we do not act, we risk creating psychopath and sociopath augmented people?

And this will be the third step in being cyber humans.

So far the first part of this article. In the second part I will write about whether we could choose to become Cyber Human and when it will happen. Finally, I will describe one day in the life of a Cyber Human.

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