You buy a smartwatch, ring, or shoes, pay for it, and then you can use a free app to monitor your data. Or at least it used to be like this. Today, more wearables firms are moving towards subscription models, where users must pay to use the app and get the data and analytics benefits of these devices. Could these developments indicate that the wearable business is evolving to a new era? What kind of platforms are we going to see emerging soon? And what does this mean for users’ rights to data?

Our life is becoming more digital every day. In the physical world, governments still have an important role to own or regulate infrastructure. However, the digital infrastructure is predominantly owned and managed by private companies. They take care of your data storage, communications, payments, and even freedom of speech. It is not a problem as such, but what are your rights to using these necessary services, and what means do you have to protect your digital properties? Can governments and authorities protect you in the digital space?

Three pillars of our digital life

We have seen that privacy, personal data, and the user-held data discussion have changed significantly during the last few years. At the same time, wearable devices have come to the mainstream. People are interested in collecting their wellness and health data and making their lives better. This all is a fascinating development for Prifina. We are at the forefront of user-held data solutions and focus primarily on wearable data. Let’s quickly look at developments in 2021 and the outlook for the year 2022.

We also had some other interesting developments in 2021:

  • Facebook decided to change…

When we talk about privacy and personal data, we often hear the argument that people don’t care. But there is increasing evidence that this is not always the case. People are lazy, and they just accept whatever terms they are offered when using services like social media, mobile apps, and websites; people don’t like dealing with issues that are too complex to handle. However, if they are given easy options to protect their data, they are willing to do it.

Let’s take a look at some of the latest information:

Engine №1 is the fund that forced ExxonMobil to change its approach to sustainability and take it more seriously. It is a hedge fund and a tiny investor in ExxonMobil, so you wouldn’t expect it to be the driver of sustainability of changes (usually, the reputation of hedge funds has been very different). And it is not only about sustainability. Let’s take Facebook, for example. Facebook struggles with its privacy and business ethics issues. Therefore, it’s worth asking whether investors like Engine №1 could drive changes in how companies approach certain aspects that involve hard ethical questions? Will we see investors and activists starting to cooperate to get the management to take sustainability, privacy, equality, and ethics more seriously? This probably doesn’t happen only to oil companies; any tech company must also consider its values and moral compass.

Digital Humanities is an emerging research area. Wikipedia says that “Digital Humanities (DH) is an area of scholarly activity at the intersection of computing or digital technologies and the disciplines of the humanities.” This statement doesn’t fully reveal anything clear or concrete. Whatever the definition, it is important to develop more services where humans and machines work together better. In most cases, AI is not an independent machine that handles all tasks but a tool to help people. That’s why we need research and development to get this interaction working better.

Applying AI in the realm of education

Thousands of companies buy and sell consumer data with other companies. Most recently, hundreds of business plans have been prepared. Many of them essentially revolve around the idea of consumers selling their data to monetize it. Probably neither of these models is a sustainable business. But what about consumers starting to pursue data from companies and public sources? Could it turn the perspective around? Does this sound strange? Let’s take a closer look at how such a proposition could make sense.

There is a ‘data rush’ happening in the market. Some say the competition in the data market is so fierce that it has the look and feel of the ‘wild west’. Nevertheless, a new order is coming.

Nevada. © Jouko Ahvenainen

API-first architecture is an approach to software design centered on the API to make it easy for applications and services to interface with each other. If we really simplify, it is like having a ‘socket’ in the service that other services can work with. API-first is also a business approach, enabling developers to build applications on other services and allow others to use your services in their applications. API-first has been a popular approach in designing services for a few years now; however, it is not a reality in many services. It is a vital concept for building successful future services and applications.

Economic Significance of API: Theory and Practice

Smartwatches are making an impact on the watch market. Watch enthusiasts favor traditional watch brands, ‘mature’ buyers, and those who need to show off their wealth. Younger generations tend to go for smartwatches. Smartphone brands have been highly successful in the smartwatch market although traditional watch brands haven’t been successful in the mobile phone business. Even Vertu that targeted a luxury brand position, failed.

Jouko Ahvenainen

Entrepreneur, investor, business executive and author - my dream and work is to create new and get it work in practice.

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