Tech dangers: Will smart clothes make us obsessive about weight?


Yesterday I was interviewed on the Channel 9 Mornings show about Google and Levi’s announcement that they are working on smart jeans that will provide a touch interface to digital devices and could include sensors to monitor weight gains and health.

Click on the image to view a video of the segment.

One of the questions I was asked was whether in a world, in which people are already obsessive about their looks and weight, it is a good thing to give them even more opportunities to monitor their bodies.

The thing is, technology is giving us all great power, and we need to learn to use them wisely.

I don’t believe it is feasible or desirable for technology companies to limit how much people can monitor themselves. That information can be used well as potentially poorly.

The rise of social media has proven how obsessive people can be. Overlaying on this detailed real-time personal data can create challenges.

Yet I see the only realistic solution is to provide the education and social context that mean people use personal data well. Some will use it very well. It is possible others will spiral out of control.

We will soon discover how we respond to being immersed in data about ourselves. Let us be aware that some people will need help to use that power wisely.