The key difference in the technology gadget space today, compared to the previous decade, is that these devices are far more personal. Gadgets like the TV, refrigerator or music system were shared with other family members. Today, people buy for themselves.
Our gadgets are an extension of our personalities—whether they are Apple, Nokia or Android. Because these choices are more personal, we tend to have strong likes and dislikes.
For instance, when I see someone with a BlackBerry, I label him or her a ‘dinosaur’ because you cannot be into technology and be using a BlackBerry! I get almost every new phone in the market except the iPhone, which I consider ‘old wine in a new bottle’. (Disclosure: I do use the iPad though.)
I am into fitness so I have a bunch of wearable gadgets like the Basis B1, Nike Fuel band and FitBit Flex. Then there is the LUMOback belt, a belt worn around the waist which keeps a check on and even corrects my posture. My HydraCoach water bottle measures how much water I drink each day compared to my target of 3 litres. I also use the GoPro wearable camera. I wore it during the last Mumbai Marathon, and the quality and perspective was so good, even the organisers took my footage. A lot of my devices are also red in colour.
Wearable devices will invert our current health care model of going to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Sensors connected to you will constantly measure and inform you of your health. Together with personal DNA profiling (I got mine done from 23andMe), I now know what illnesses I am prone to.
My Basis B1 ‘watch’, for instance, measures parameters like heart rate, skin temperature and perspiration all the time. I recently loaned it to a friend who realised his heart rate was shooting up whenever he was driving.
One of my other favourite gadgets is the MakerBot Replicator 2X, a personal 3D printer. I am fascinated with 3D printing and how it might change the whole concept of manufacturing which, today, is centralised around assembly lines. But just like Twitter and Facebook have in many ways decentralised the power of news production, I believe 3D printing will decentralise manufacturing. Instead of producing, shipping and stocking goods, in the near future you will be able to just download the files for a table or chair and walk to a place that can ‘print’ them for you.
Since I got the Replicator in May this year, my kids have been printing their favourite superheroes like Iron Man on it. It reminds me of how, as a kid, I would get excited about printers. What personal printers did to printing and publishing, I believe 3D printers will do to manufacturing.
In addition, I’ve also ordered the MakerBot Digitizer, a 3D scanner using which I can ‘scan’ three-dimensional objects and then send them to my Replicator to print. The Digitizer is the Xerox machine equivalent for real world objects.
We have long since ‘cut the cable’ and ditched our TV. Instead, we have a Roku Box and Apple TV. Even our kids have gotten out of the habit of ‘linear video’.
Finally, I’ve given up my DSLR cameras and use the Nokia Lumia 920 which has a great camera—an essential when you are travelling.
(As told to Rohin Dharmakumar)
Check out our Festive offers upto Rs.1000/- off website prices on subscriptions + Gift card worth Rs 500/- from Eatbetterco.com. Click here to know more.
(This story appears in the 18 October, 2013 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)
This is very cool stuff! I just bought my first 3D Printer - very exciting indeed. Vishal is passionate about this stuff - and a pioneer in its usage. But it will become mainstream in the next 5-10 years. Personalized healthcare is a big wave that is coming!on Oct 20, 2013
LOL uses a Nokia and abuses BlackBerry. From my usage the BB 10 is more innovative than any Nokia phoneon Oct 17, 2013
@Vishal - do you use the LumoBack on an Apple product? It\'s not Android compatible yet.on Oct 16, 2013
Buying the Lumo back belt for myself, right away. Thanks! It is amusing how most people have an intuitive aversion to new smart tech. Pity, it keeps the adoption rates of some of the coolest things, low!on Oct 16, 2013
I respect the users views however I think judging people who have blackberry smartphones is quite disappointing. I still respect blackberry for their ease of communication and their qwerty keypad apart from the fact that the built a crap operating system. I do not trust anything with the word windows in it and certainly not windows phones.on Oct 16, 2013
I stick to my stand on blackberry and so do the stock markets and thousands of employees who were let goon Oct 16, 2013
Yet another article promoting consumerism by a rich brat ! Wish we could have more Warren Buffets !!on Oct 16, 2013