My co-worker said the most over-used word at Dreamforce is “awesome”. Will.i.am is awesome.
He is because I am in awe of him. He literally embodies Dreamforce. He is both a dreamer and a force. First in music as the front man and force behind the Black Eyed Peas; then in philanthropy founding i.am.angel, the non profit set out to do nothing less than transform lives; and, most recently in hardware, founding Beats with Dr. Dre, which recently was sold to Apple for a cush $3 billion.
He’s a dreamer that puts his dreams into action. And this afternoon he was on stage to debut his latest dream, the Puls, to the world.
His passion is palpable. He unashamedly exposes himself as the black kid still from mostly latino Boyle Heights. He explains that the motivation behind everything he does is his mother. You get the feeling that despite all his success he is still looking for a way out the projects but in truth he is pressing for the way forward.
Two days ago I wrote a post about “wearing your productivity on your shirtsleeve”. In that post I stated that IoT is perfect for the enterprise because business is more concerned about function than fashion. Today, Will.i.am showed us how to have it all and then power it by the stuff you wear. His vision is to up level the confluence of fashion, feature, and functionality.
Puls stretches the imagination and blends it with science, which he calls “fashionology”. The device, which is a cuff and “not a watch”, is sleek and stacked full of goodies. You can stream music, pump up your fitness, share personal maps and info, measure your mood – oh and you can text, place a phone call to mom and even get the time of day.
At this point, I’m hoping for an Oprah moment. I start looking under my seat for my free piece of heaven. No such luck. It was the only disappointment in the 1.5 hour presentation.
To be successful the Puls must be connected and have rich content that takes it beyond the “me too”. He’s got AT&T to support and sell Puls on their network. Salesforce has an app for that. News Corp. is supplying content. ESRI is powering maps, which allows special overlays on maps and shared geo targeted information. It opens geographic-based knowledge to everyone.
And then his team made it look bad ass. It comes in black, gold, pink and bedazzled. They added accessories that are fashion extensions. You will have shoes that track your weight, boombox-functioning backpacks and a hoodie that provides 2.5 days of power.
Will.i.am is on a mission to make Puls a verb. To be successful would put him in a class of a well-known company that started out making the internet more searchable. And while it functions, 15 years later internet search still isn’t pretty. will.i.am wants to make fashion functional. If today’s introduction is any indication, I wouldn’t count him out.