A reflection and orientation paper on smart wearables published in December 2016 gathered contributions from more than forty major EU stakeholders (organisations and experts), from public research & technology organisations, large and mid-size companies, professional associations, standardisation bodies, innovation and design organisations, and alliances and regions.
The responses from the reflection and orientation paper on smart wearables in December 2016 raised some important questions in the Smart Wearables domain (e.g. related to testing, standardisation and data protection) and offered suggestions for actions needed to support further technology development, innovation and deployment.
In order to unleash the full potential of smart wearables in Europe, according to respondents, a well-coordinated Research & Innovation effort is needed. It should aim primarily at:
- Reaching high technology readiness levels, including feasibility demonstration and manufacturing of technology building blocks and integrated prototypes,
- Building open platforms for connected wearables and making them available to stakeholders
- Developing applications and fostering related ecosystems.
The Commission has since published the Work Programme 2018-20 and digitization of European industry and services hold an important place in the ICT programme. Digital Innovation Hubs on flexible and wearable electronics aim to help businesses in further maturing, innovating and validating their products with flexible and wearable technologies and objects.
Wearables, as enablers for the implementation of some of the policy objectives pursued by the EC and in particular DG CONNECT (e.g. in AI, big data, cloud computing, e-health), would also benefit from the regulatory work undertaken on the Digital Single Market (e.g. 5G roll-out, spectrum allocation, data regulations and cyber-security) and from the Digitizing European Industry initiative, which supports research & innovation.