LIVE FROM CES 2014: Spectrum challenges and data capacity were unsurprising themes discussed during a heavyweight keynote panel this morning, but it was the wearables space that created the most buzz, with Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs revealing the company is trialling technology that can detect the imminent risk of a heart attack.
“I’m a huge believer in wearables,” said Jacobs. “The thing I’ve learnt from [Qualcomm’s smart watch] Toq is all the notifications I’m getting – the fact I’m interacting all the time with cyberspace is going to make wearables huge. We’re doing a trial in San Diego that involves injections into your bloodstream that can warn you two weeks before you get a heartattack.”
“Wearables won’t just be outside your body, they will be inside,” he noted.
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg and AT&T’s technology boss John Donovan were equally effusive about the wearables space.
“A few years ago people were sceptical when we predicted 50 billion connections by 2020 but now, with interest in wearables and the internet of things, I don’t think anybody’s going to doubt it,” said Vestberg.
The discussion moved to whether there was any potential risk from connecting machines, with one member of the audience asking the panel if machines could be given too much power. “We don’t want to create The Terminator,” quipped Vestberg. “Society needs the tech revolution.”
AT&T’s Donovan remarked light-heartedly: “There’s a Terminator model and then at the other end there’s the Superman model. We’re after IronMan – to make a mere mortal and give them superpowers for a day.”
Meanwhile all three execs agreed that ensuring the efficient supply of spectrum for future data services (particularly given fast-growing interest in the internet of things) was a major challenge for the industry. “Spectrum is the lifeblood of the industry and the oxygen of commerce,” said Donovan.