Find of the Week: The Periodic Table of Wearables


Picture it: Grant Park, 2 p.m. at Octane Coffee. I am sitting down over tea and iced chai tea lattes, talking social media strategy when a client pulls this up on her laptop. As someone who enjoys rainbow colors (especially today in the United States), the periodic table, and wearable tech, I was excited.

APX Labs, creators of the chart, described it this way:

Our updated periodic table groups and defines the main capabilities that businesses are using today to build and harness a connected workforce.

Individually they are powerful, but when you combine them together they create solutions that are impossible to deliver in any other way.

Brian Ballard, the co-founder and CEO of APX Labs, goes into more detail about the different categories in a TechCrunch article. Some choice quotations from that piece:

We used the periodic table to extract a framework and put some organization around the huge surface of wearable technology. Each item in a color-coded group is related to each other in some important way, just like the real periodic table. Instead of atomic number and chemical properties, we use value-prop and underlying technologies. […]

One of the true differentiators between wearables and other traditional devices is their ability to operate in the real world, understanding location, capturing rich context and making decisions around all that. We’re finding new and novel uses for these wearable tech elements every day. It’s exciting to see how smart glasses, smartwatches and other peripherals are being used to change the practical, day-to-day activities of people in different industries.

What do you think about the periodic table? What ethics should users, practitioners, and creators think about when developing or using these technologies?