There will come a time when every woman’s bra is connected to the internet, a French startup said at Le Web in Paris today, giving a whole new meaning to the term 'underwired bra'.
Stephane Marceau, co-founder and CEO of OMsignal, a company that makes biometric “smartwear" for athletes, said: “Over time our expectation is that you’ll go to a store and you’ll buy a shirt or a bra and you won’t even ask…it will be a connected object. Like when you buy a car you expect there to be a dashboard.”
The claim comes as members of the public and governments around the world raise concerns that technology companies possess an alarming amount of people's personal data.
OMsignal’s first products, which monitor variables such as heart rate and body temperature, have been targeted at people with an interest in fitness, but the company also wants to make more generic products.
“We’re working on products that have nothing to do with fitness,” said Marceau. “Wellness and lifestyle in general.”
Wearable devices, such as Google Glass and the Sony Smartwatch, have yet to be taken to consumers' bosoms, but researchers at technology analyst house Forrester today released a study that suggests things are about to change.
Specifically, Forrester asked over 15,000 people in the US and Europe what their attitudes were towards wearables. It found that 45 percent of US and 32 percent of European online adults are “intrigued” by the prospect of getting a wearable device.
Speaking at Le Web, JP Gownder, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, said: “Privacy is a key issue that everyone has to contend with in some fashion. Half of American adults say Google Glass gives them privacy concerns but 45 percent of people say I’m interested in Google Glass at the right price. So people are very conflicted.
“If these things are valuable people will be a little bit more forgiving.”
When asked what OMsignal did with its customers data, Marceau was quick to bust any concerns: “We’ve built the architecture of our server in a way that we can’t identify whose data it is.”
Marceau said he’s not yet ready to sell customer data to retailers that want to send discount deals to shoppers in their store.