Haven’t We Had Enough of Lifestyle Innovation?

Nike+, SmartWatch, things that make us look cool and feel cool, not just by wearing it, but also by connecting it to our social media accounts so our friends know how many miles we run this morning. Or maybe by adjusting it to our body clock so the device vibrates on our skin when it’s time to wake up. Don’t you think we’ve had enough of it?

There has been a popular term lately called “The Internet of Things” or IoT, which Wikipedia defines as the interconnection of uniquely identifiable embedded computing devices within the existing Internet infrastructure. Simply put, IoT will make safer and more efficient cities and homes. It also comes with some additional benefits like even your coffee machine can order coffee beans by itself (creepy, eh?).

IoT surely comes with a lot of health, safety, and environmental benefits. For example, a doctor can track his patient’s heart rate during exercise from a tablet. We can also get real-time information about where is the nearest empty parking lot.

Not only improving the whole society’s standards of life, IoT will also drive forward lifestyle innovations, which means we will have better smart watches, more fitness bands, smart glasses and action cameras. Yeah, the cool things.

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Innovation itself is significant in how it advances the society around the world, and how it provides people with opportunities to increase their living standard, like what Alva Edison did with light bulb or what James Watt did with steam engine that triggers Industrial Revolution. Now, when it comes to lifestyle innovations, whose life we’re really improving here?

The answer, obviously, is the elite and the affluent; those who don’t need to worry about money. And The Internet of Things will just keep satisfying the affluent, feeding their ego. Innovation is meant for the greater good. And having a smart watch that can wake you up according to your body clock does not contribute to the greater good. It simply contributes to the greater you. Yes, you, rich guys.

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I think as a human equipped with brain, logic, and self-awareness to manage our life, 100 years from now we can still order coffee beans by ourselves. If only more companies focus on innovating for the greater good–like what Mathieu Le Bras does with 8villages, a mobile platform that educate farmers–the innovation will not lose its essence as a way to advance the society around the world.

After all, isn’t it about time we stop trying so hard to be cool?

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