By Andrew Roberts (first published in The Drum) Apparently men have seven phases of falling in love – from the initial appreciation to ...

A story of love, loss and a brighter future for wearable tech

By Andrew Roberts (first published in The Drum)
Apparently men have seven phases of falling in love – from the initial appreciation to absolute infatuation, conviction and then finally reaffirmation – I can honestly say as a married man, and with my wife’s consent, I recently experienced all of these with a new partner. Sadly the affair has recently ended and I am and now busy looking for a new mate.
I first met my new partner in February of last year in New York whilst on a weekend break with my wife – I had been looking at different models and ‘appreciating’ (phase one) the form from afar, there is a lot of choice – different colours, sizes, attributes and varieties. I settled on the Jawbone UP24 in Black (or Onyx as they grandly called it) and a love affair started.
I was ‘infatuated’ (phase two) within a few hours – the sleek, lightweight design, the intuitive IOS interface, the wireless connectivity and of course the data – how I loved the data! I was smitten and obsessed all at once. By the end of the weekend I had already progressed to phase three –‘attraction’ – I was hooked. I found myself constantly checking my progress, walking up stairs wherever I could, spurning public transport in favour of exercise and analyzing the data at the end of every day to see if I had hit my goal of 10k steps and every morning to see how I slept.
Back in the UK the love affair continued and I made every effort to ‘impress’ (phase four) my new partner; I cycled to work three times a week (500 calories - approx. 4k steps) – I walked to meetings and even went to bed when it told me to (11.35pm). 
As time went on the partnership felt entirely natural and I developed a ‘conviction’ (phase five) that it was the right partner for me. I introduced it to my other friend, my favourite cycling app, Strava, and they immediately ‘synched’ up. I started sharing my deepest secrets; my weight, the food I was eating and in return it shared back – the trends in my progress, how I was doing against other similar partners and when it started to suggest I exercise more, I complied implicitly.
As in relationships there were some challenges – especially when I managed to mistakenly fully submerse my new friend on a summer holiday. But despite considering it carefully, I didn’t start looking for another partner, but instead had a replacement model sent. it seemed that ‘reaffirmation’ (stage six) had taken place and I was truly ‘ready to love’ (stage seven).
This isn’t however a love story with a happy ending. Despite caring for each other, eventually the light went out in our relationship (quite literally in my partner’s case) I tried to get my partner (mark three) back but it seems there are no replacements available and I now find myself alone looking for an alternative.
So what will I be looking for? How can I use my experience to hone my search for the perfect replacement?
Firstly it has to be beautiful – the UP24 was the best looking of the wearables at the time, but why can’t the technology fit with my life / existing choices? – Tag Heur are developing the technology into their watches which is great progress and I can see lots of Facebook lusting for the Apple watch.
It also has to be seamless with everday life. I recently saw a lot of new developments in wearable clothing at SXSW including-AiQ Clothing, Hexoskin and OMsignal. Efficiency is now implied in new technology – the UP24 has a seven day battery, but why can’t this include a rechargeable battery that can be action powered and feed off the very reason for its use (or maybe powered by body heat?)
It needs to be unbreakable – if it is going to track my life movements it needs to be waterproof, shockproof and if it does go wrong immediately replaceable. I want it personalised – it needs to fit with my own requirements whether that be the look or more practical elements. Just look at Cuff or Misfit’s recent work integrating with jewellery. It needs to add value – most tech companies rely on bringing out the next iteration to tempt you to upgrade – I want mine to be updateable and to add more services – I am even willing to pay a premium for enhanced or updated services.
Lastly it needs to be sentient – if I wake after a broken nights sleep feeling dreadful I don’t want to be told I only had 4 hours I want to know why. Did I go to bed too late or drink too much? Did I not exercise enough or eat the wrong things? And if so how can I change my lifestyle to address this?
So now I have my list of requirements for my next partner, I will be taking the plunge very soon and choosing my next life partner – hopefully this one will again help me embrace the huge benefit that wearables can bring to your life and well being, to help me become fitter, healthier and more aware of the cause and effect of my actions. Let’s just hope this love affair has a stronger foundation and more longevity!

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