Transitioning From Wearable To Actionable

Dr Brian Moore

March 11, 2016

Data Science

A little while ago, I had the pleasure with head coach Mark Rowland of the Oregon Track Club Elite in welcoming two of America’s leading tech writers Bernhard Warner and Jeffrey O’Brien to Hayward field in Eugene, Oregon. It’s a special place and we were soon talking about what we do with ‘actionable’ data at ORRECO and how it is helping Mark in his work. 

As many of you will know, we have teamed with IBM Watson to build a tool that aids professional sports coaches. Built on IBM Watson’s cognitive analytics and our own bioinformatics, it helps elite athletes to optimise and personalise their training. 

Bernhard and Jeffrey present the ‘Wild Ducks’ podcast on behalf of IBM and it has quickly become one of the ‘must-listen’ podcasts on the planet. Wild Ducks was a term used by former IBM chairman Thomas J. Watson Jr who believed in innovators. He wrote that: “We are convinced that any business needs its wild ducks. And in IBM we try not to tame them.” According to IBM today: “The moral is drawn from a story by the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard who told of a man who fed the wild ducks flying south in great flocks each fall. 

“After a while some of the ducks no longer bothered to fly south; they wintered in Denmark on what he fed them. In time they flew less and less. After three or four years they grew so lazy and fat that they found difficulty in flying at all. Kierkegaard drew his point: you can make wild ducks tame, but you can never make tame ducks wild again. One might also add that the duck who is tamed will never go anywhere any more.” So the ‘Wild Ducks’ podcast tells stories about how a combination of science, technology, and ambition can change the world. As a partner in the IBM Watson Ecosystem, we are excited to be part of that journey. 

As I explained to Bernhard and Jeffrey, we hope to one day bring our unique, groundbreaking technology to the mass market. While there are lots of ‘wearables’ in the sports technology market that visualize data, ORRECO is one of the only companies in the world that provides ‘actionable’ data – information that coaches and athletes can utilise to inform and influence decisions. 

As I told ‘Wild Ducks’, we have got to transition from wearable to actionable technology, and we think the algorithms that we’re developing will, in time, have applications for everyone at home.” 

Exciting times! 

Please have a listen and share. The current edition of the IBM Wild Ducks podcast is available here.

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