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Smart Fabrics Conference – IBM Interview #WearableWednesday

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The upcoming Smart Fabrics + Wearable Technology conference (April 23-25 in SF) has an interview with Paul Brody from IBM:

There has been a lot of talk about wearables being more of a technology push than a market pull – how do you see the synergy happen between the great innovative ideas that so many start-ups and established technology companies are developing and the consumer embracing them and turning into mass market products?

Absolutely. I have spent the last week at the Consumer Electronics Show and this is the most exciting in many years. Lots of new companies are offering products and form factors and ideas from cookers to connected socks to connected toothbrushes. It’s a see-what-works free-for-all that will generate a lot of innovation. Most of it will fail, but that doesn’t matter if we find some gems out this period of experimentation.

We see a lot of prototypes that sometimes don’t take the leap into real products, what do you recommend to the entrepreneurs when developing their ideas into reality?

Crowdsourcing and communities. Web sites like Kickstarter are amazing not just for their ability to raise funds, but for their ability to generate instant communities and powerful feedback without too much cost and risk. I’ve seen a lot of projects on these sites where they are actually doing their second try – taking feedback from the first time, which failed, and trying again often with much better results.

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