Even a few years ago the concept of wearable technology was an alien one; apart from a few functions on a wristwatch – there was little chance of any device being adapted to fit the human body. Today wearable technology is becoming ever more practical. The Google Glass project is perhaps the most famous example to come out of this sector but there are plenty of other projects waiting in the wings and coming to fruition. Major fashion brans are even working on making this technology appealing in terms of aesthetics now.
Opportunities For Insurers
Wearable technology, once you peer under the surface of all these impressive gadgets, is really about collecting and generating data.
So for example with Google Glass; an insurer could equip their field adjusters or other specialists with the glasses. This would enable accurate fast and safe surveys of accident conditions and that data could be transmitted instantly to other interested parties for claims to be processed. The data would be automatically indexed with identifying information (like times, dates, GPS positions, etc.) and it would be very simple to take notes and update them against the video.
Google Glass could also be used from a customer perspective; for example in the field of long distance lorry driving – the driver could be required to wear the device on their journey. It would record the whole journey and any other high-value data (such as speed, driver’s eye position, cornering suitability, etc.) and in the event of an accident – this data could be assessed for liability and claims processing.
In high risk industries individuals could end up wearing suits of wearable technology materials that gauge their overall safety and in the event of injury assess fault too. This could be extended so that different wearable technology suits were provided to outpatients receiving physical therapy – the therapist could check to see if positions, postures, repetitions, etc. were being performed and if they were being performed correctly.
The flip side of data tracking, monitoring and collecting is that it’s going to bring a whole new category of risk. Wearable technology data leaks have the potential to be catastrophic to individuals. If your new work suit’s data shows that you’re having an extra-marital affair (by GPS locating the data of your partner’s abode as the main location of your lunchtime work visits) and this data is published…
Larger volumes of data loss could be catastrophic for business or industries instead. The insurance sector is going to need to examine the new levels of risk accordingly and develop new policies to meet these risks appropriately.