2020 and beyond: Charting the rise of ‘brainwave’ tech

Dave Gurney, CEO, AlchemetricsAs we enter the new decade it is only natural to start thinking about what the future might bring. I have already read a number of prediction articles showcasing emerging tech and one of my favourites is the meditation band. And I believe that the introduction of these affordable biofeedback devices, such as Muse or Mindfield, will irrevocably alter the datasphere and make truly one-to-one marketing a reality over the next ten years.

Without doubt, wearable biofeedback devices have huge potential. We will be able to use smart devices to measure heart rate, body temperature, respiratory rate, muscle tension and brain activity.

It is proven that having immediate data about the body promotes better understanding and reactions to certain states. For instance, it enhances relaxation or helps to achieve the most effective workout burn.

But it’s also much, much, much more than this. By combining data about our bodies with AI, machines will have the ability to understand our needs and wants in realtime and this could be used to enhance the way our technology interacts with us.

For instance, if our heart rate soars and our brain activity increases Alexa and Siri et al can autonomously play us music that they know will soothe us, or if we are exercising and need to work harder it can play music that will increase our effort.

We could potentially turn the washing machine on just by thinking about it, the same with heating, air conditioning and lights etc. Alternatively, we could order goods and services just through using our thoughts.

The possibilities are endless. And while biofeedback is still in its infancy and the ability to order a pizza just by thinking about it is still a way off (which is good news for my waistline), it’s an incredibly exciting development.

What is clear is that this will create a whole new data stream which, when combined with existing data, will provide marketers with hitherto unprecedented customer insight.

Dave Gurney is chief executive of Alchemetrics

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