Sound and Wearable Tech in Mary Meeker’s Annual Internet Trends Report

KPCB Internet Trends 2013 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

I shared the report at the office early yesterday and had several conversations with people about the various sections, even the one about immigration policy — I happen to be an immigrant, and so was the colleague with whom I ended up discussing the issue.

Technically we are one-percenters (slide 86).

From KPCB's description:

The report reviews the shifting online landscape, which has become more social and content rich, with expanded use of photos, video and audio.

Looking ahead, the report finds early signs of growth for wearable computing devices, like glasses, connected wrist bands and watches – and the emergence of connected cars, drones and other new platforms.

We are starting to see the emergence of sounds, especially in interactive experiences and tools, as well as the smart use of data to first standardize experiences, then personalize them. My take is voice is coming back to phones and tablets (as in text to sound).

The growth of tablets has been astounding, and I can see why.


Although this is not just about iOS devices, the Apple products do take the lion share of the market in at least three important ways:

  1. sheer usage
  2. customer satisfaction
  3. eCommerce transactions

They are the key metrics Apple CEO Tim Cook (see video interview linked below) tracks to understand whether they are shipping the best possible products, and customers are happy.

Many believe we are just scratching the surface on sensor-enabled wearable technologies, and certainly they posses many positive attributes that make it convenient for people to adopt them.

SensorEnabled Wearables

However, they must do and thus be more for people if adoption is to go beyond the tech set. You first have to convince people it's so incredible that they want to wear it, said Cook.

The future of wearable technologies


The topic of the future of wearable technologies came up early on in the one hour plus conversation between Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher and Apple CEO Tim Cook at D11 (remind me not to become a famous tech CEO, she is a formidable interviewer!).

Is the future wearable? Cook's take:

I think so. I wear this. It’s a FuelBand. I think Nike did a great job with this. It’s for a specific area. It’s integrated well with iOS. There are lots of gadgets in this space now.

[As for] the ones that are doing more than one thing, there’s nothing great out there that I’ve seen. There’s nothing that’s going to convince a kid that’s never worn glasses or a band to wear one. So I think there’s lot of things to solve in this space, but it’s an area where it’s ripe for exploration. It’s ripe for us all getting excited about. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this.

I see it as something, as another very key branch of the tree. You think about the post PC era, and we really started talking about this several years ago. I think the iPhone pushed us toward that fast and the tablet accelerated it. I think wearables could be another branch on this.

The whole conversation is worth listening to. They touched upon a number of questions, including recent Apple-related news.


I'll come back to the Internet Trends report with more thoughts and cross references. For now, I just wanted to highlight what Apple measures in terms of product adoption, and potential direction for the company around wearable technology based upon the answers Cook provided in the interview.

What are your thoughts and reactions?



Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at
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