objets connecte

Connected devices

  • are here to stay!


Connectivity is booming, with January's Consumer Electronics Show in Los Angeles offering further confirmation. For better or for worse?


Have you heard of Chris Dancy? North American, 45 years old, single, good-looking if you like them blond... but otherwise quite ordinary. Save that he's the world's most connected human! A multitude of hi-tech devices track and analyse data on his day-to-day life – diet, sleep quality, number of steps taken per day, blood oxygen level etc. – to enable him to optimise his existence and better understand his needs. This mega-connectivity has transformed his life: previously obese, he has lost 45kg; naturally stressed, he's now totally chilled. His approach – known as the Quantified Self – may
seem ridiculously over the top but it illustrates perfectly the booming trend for using connected devices, meaning able to exchange information with smartphones, tablets and computers via WiFi, to live more healthily and improve our wellbeing.


13 billion connected devices by 2020
But apart from the health aspect, connectivity is impacting on everything around us to make our daily lives easier: operating your Samsung WW9000 Touchscreen washing machine, monitoring your home with the GeckoEye security system, caring for your plants with the Parrot Flower Power, feeding your cat with the Petnet Pintofeed bowl, staying in touch with friends via the Samsung Gear watch, checking baby's temperature with the Pacif-i pacifier, tracking your Bluesmart suitcase, or even opening your front door without a key thanks to Noki. At the last Consumer Electronics Show, the mega-celebration of hi-tech innovation every January in Los Angeles, connected devices stole the show. Gartner market research recently estimated that 10 million items of "smart" clothing will be sold this year, and 26 million in 2016.


Is Big Brother watching?
Connected textiles, France's 34th "industrial renaissance" initiative, could be worth upwards of $1.8 billion. Globally speaking, in 2015 there will be 2.8 billion connected devices on our planet, rising to 13 billion by 2020. Good, if the Syntec Numérique- BVA innovation barometer published in February 2014 is to be believed, since it showed that 84% of French people see this as progress. But when you learn about some of these "innovations" – the Pavlok wristband that gives little electric shocks if you don't exercise enough, the iBag for impulse shoppers, which opens only at certain times of day, the 10S Fork that vibrates if you eat too quickly –, you can't help but ponder Georges Bernanos's words: "A world won for technology is a world lost for liberty."


Par Alexandre Benoist