Athletes do it.

Kids do it.

Even some dogs do it.

The “quantified self” movement has exploded.  Between FitBits, Jawbones, and, yes, FitBarks (among others), two- and four-legged creatures keep score of sleep, activities, calories, and blood pressure through computerized jewelry.  A distant ancestor of the reliable two-plus centuries-old pedometer, digital self-tracking devices are, say retail pundits, running off the shelves.

Or are they?  One-third of wearables’ owners discard the appliances after six months (Endeavor Partners’ research).  Others cite the difficulty in persuading consumers to buy yet another tech gadget.

What’s needed, in our change-mindedness, are a mix of emotional and rational benefits to tout.  Go beyond the black rubber and plastic styles to a more design-worthy objet d’art (maybe Apple’s new SmartWatch?).  Consider tying fitness data output to discounted health insurance premiums.   Start a social media campaign featuring the best and the brightest and most famous … dogs and people.

Here’s a right-brained idea:  Forget the fitness angle altogether.  Why not develop an on-the-wrist device to track receipt of and response to different media, be it corporate communiques or Instagrams, viral videos or business podcasts?  We’re not thinking mandatory, like handcuffs, but a wearable that’s completely voluntary, motivated by a range of individual incentives – small cash awards, exclusive club merchandise, attaboy/attagirl kudos, and IDP mentions.  In turn, the kind of elusive data professionals have been seeking for decades just might be in our grasp.

















Sit.  Stay.  Watch?