My Personal Area Network (PAN)

This is an update on a post from earlier this year – it’s worth updating 🙂


I’m talking about a PAN strategy, so over to Wikipedia for a quick definition….

A personal area network (PAN) is a computer network used for data transmission among devices such as computers, telephones and personal digital assistants. PANs can be used for communication among the personal devices themselves (intrapersonal communication), or for connecting to a higher level network and the Internet (an uplink).
Within my personal space I have a range of potential devices – phone, watch, tracker, ring, earphones, heart monitor, pedometer, the list could go on an on. Now I just want things to work seamlessly – I want all those technical tracking things to just work, and I want to be given ideas, advice, stimulation, notification and all the other things that my devices give me – I want all this technology to work FOR ME!.


So I’ve just spotted some “new” research as referenced by Andrew Sheehy, Chief Analyst at Generator Research on the TekCarta website yesterday!!

It’s about the requirement for a new wireless standard for wearables – he terms it “Body-Fi” – cool!  I’m all for it as it fits perfectly with my own thoughts on the subject

His “map” of the human/wearable interface is one I can go along with – except maybe the internal monitoring devices..bit spooky that!


If you, Mr Manufacturer, or Mr Service Provider, want me to splash out (even more of) my hard earned cash on your latest device it’s gotta work for me, the way I want it to work.  You have to accept that I, me, the customer, has to be at the centre of things.  Without me buying your device or using your service you don’t exist – so get over it and make it simple for me!

Can I take you back to an even earlier post and quote what it is I want? Thank you!

  • Tell me the time
  • Handle phone calls
  • Wow factor
  • Contextual Vibrations
  • e-ink style screen
  • Lowest weight
  • “Insane” battery life
  • Authentication
  • Actionable alerts
  • Strap for existing watches
  • Calorie counting
  • Monitoring heart rate/pulse OX/etc
  • Android/iOS OS syncing
  • Play music
  • Take photographs/video
  • Oh and it needs to be fully shockproof and waterproof

Now I have come to the realisation that there isn’t, and neither is likely to be, a single device to do all of this so my PAN that will occupy Myspace is as follows.

  • Phone:
    I’m pretty confident that the mobile phone is here to stay for at least another 10-20 years.  I’m convinced that it has to provide the grunt, the processing power that the range of other devices I choose to wear/carry can utilise.
  • Wrist worn device:
    A combination of a nice watch and an activity/biometric tracker.  It can provide most of the functions listed above.

These 2 are essentials but there are others that could really enhance my PAN 🙂

  • Smart glasses:
    I’m amazed at how this category is being dissed.  OK, so Google Glass spawned a new derogatory term but the promise that it and now HoloLens offers is sensational.  Gesture control to make “rings” and the like irrelevant. Combining AR with the real world and then add in translation functionality – wow!
  • Smart shoes:
    Clearly an extremely accurate way of tracking movement but also the way I move, offering improvements and encouragement.  I like the idea that this movement could be used to power the other devices in my PAN – I know they haven’t cracked this yet but they will!
  • Smart earphones:
    One for us oldies here who aren’t completely “mutt and jeff” but could do with some help to isolate a single voice in a crowded room 🙂compare-the-market-5_58395a


Simples! Right!

PS I wanted to find a nice image of a happy person surrounded by wearable technology but you know, I couldn’t find one, sure there are plenty of images of people wearing one device but more than that – nope! Now what does that tell us?

One thought on “My Personal Area Network (PAN)

  1. It probably tells us that wearables are still crazy expensive at the moment! ;P On a more serious note, really interesting write-up on the personal implications of wearable tech. Easy to get caught up in the ‘newness’ of it all without thinking about how you’ll actually use it/what you need. Nice stuff!
    Personally I’m holding out for the second generation of Apple’s wearables – I’ve been burned by being an early adopter before. Also has me thinking of what my own PAN will look like. Oh, and I found this resource ( pretty helpful on expanding on the ideas in that wiki article. Can be difficult to understand the differences in networks at times (Or maybe I’m finally falling out-of-touch with the ‘cool kids’ these days…)

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