The Future Is Now
I'm really dating myself here, but one of my earliest memories is visiting the World's Fair in New York in the 1960s. I was only about five years old, so the only takeaway I've still got from the event was this presentation about the future that predicted we'd all be driving flying cars before the end of the 20th century.
Around that same time, I remember a lot of fanfare about one of the comic strips in the Sunday paper. Dick Tracy was upgrading his Two-Way Wrist Radio to a Two-Way Wrist TV. There were many heated debates among my schoolmates as to whether or not something like that could ever be possible. I was in the camp that felt it would happen one day. I figured that the existence of transistors had already drastically reduced the size of radios so, why not televisions?
Though none of my childhood chums were around to watch me crow, I felt pretty good about myself when the Apple Watch made its debut in March. Living long enough to see history vindicate your predictions of the future is one of life's sublime moments. (I know, transistor technology has nothing to do with the Apple Watch, but I'm considering it a win anyway.)
It's a breakthrough that has been coming for the last couple of years. Ever since apps came on the scene, the idea of wearing technology on your wrist has been developing. A variety of health-related monitors that communicate information to the wearer and other interested parties have been around for a while. Now organizations are adding gamification into the mix and these wearable apps are being transformed into effective motivational tools for safety and wellness programs. That's the topic of our cover story for this issue. Beginning on page 10, we take a look at how organizations are using these devices to boost employee participation in wellness programs to create safer and healthier workplaces. The piece features case studies and best practices from end users as well as technology, marketing, and motivation experts.
While life today is not exactly as it was predicted to be at the World's Fair all those years ago, I think we've done pretty well in creating things that were undreamed of back then. Now, if the Ford Motor Company could just let me know when the first flying car will come off the assembly line ...