IoE wearables will have a major impact on consumers and businesses in the next few years–take a look to see what the future will bring.

The coming age of Internet of Everything (IoE) promises a radical shift in our world. It will have impact on how we live, solve problems, and create value for consumers, while bringing together people, data, and processes in new ways.

Many envision this solely with mobile (moveable) devices and objects, but it will include everything large and small—from the cars we drive on the street to the buildings we live and work in. This network connectivity that will exist between technology and everyday life will create new capabilities, experiences, and economic opportunities for governments, business, and individuals.

While the IoE has the potential to transform supply chains, factories, retailers, and mega-projects globally—creating an estimated $14.4 trillion value from 2013-2022—the impact and effects can also hit a little more close to home.

The impact of IoE wearables

Of the 1.5 trillion “things” that have the potential to be connected, 97% of them are directly related to the consumer. How? Through the increasing popularity of IoE wearable devices. In fact, Gartner predicts that wearable fitness and personal health devices alone will be a $5 billion business by the end of this year (2016), with huge potential for growth beyond that.

Today, wearables come in many shapes and sizes, including watches, clothing and accessories, wearable body sensors, and dozens of other items. The information received from wearables joins that collected from fixed objects IoE including appliances, light bulbs, thermostats, and more. This combined data can then be obtained across this entire spectrum and could have the potential to impact our real-time environments, and how we live, work, and play in extraordinary, valuable ways.

Wearables are connecting people to what currently is unconnected and can provide a whole new slew of real-time insights about our environments, workplaces, and ourselves.

Currently, the rise in wearables mostly benefits retailers, researchers, and technology firms, but a new future is emerging with the potential to benefit the consumer, including compensation for data in addition to improvements in day-to-day activities and living. We’ll be more self aware in every aspect of life, from exercise to financial management, use of energy and utilities, learning, etc.

For example, wearables that monitor our health have the potential to transform the entire healthcare industry from the doctor-patient relationship to the way drugs are administered. Eventually the role of the doctor might become that of a medical consultant—someone who views the data collected from a patient’s wearable device and makes recommendations based on the information.

Some of this data will be captured from such sources such as social media interactions. Other data will come from sensors embedded in clothing and wearable bands. Along with advances in collaboration, analytics, and mobility, the availability of cheap, ubiquitous sensors is driving the transformation. Such sensors will compile data on moods, habits, diet, drug combinations, and just about anything we do. In the process, we will gain key insights on personal trends.

Wearables combined with the ability to connect via the key pillars of IoE, such as cloud, mobility, video, and analytics, individuals will be able to monitor and quantify their lives like never before—and make changes in real-time with larger capacity for benefit.

Current and Emerging Challenges

While IOE is the next big trend, it’s far from where it needs to be to truly reach its potential and provide the value it promises. Before the IoE wearables market become mainstream, issues like security, privacy, hardware compatibility, software compatibility, synchronization, wired infrastructure, wireless infrastructure, data mining, data analysis and dozens of other things that will make IOE really work globally will need to be solved. This will not be easy.

While the internet as an infrastructure is designed to be fault resistant and reliable, always on and always accessible, service interruptions to the network in the IoE environment will require more than simply rebooting a router at home or work. Substantial efforts are underway to resolve these issues, and ultimately usher in the full potential and promise of our world’s new connectivity. Without it, it will be impossible to make IoE a reality.

For businesses, governments, and consumers, the key is to watch and be ready to adapt as advancements and opportunity in IoE wearables emerge. There’s a truly more inter-connected and personalized future ahead—and the potential for improving life and business as we know it is seemingly endless.