Wearable tech is one of the newest emerging trends in the tech industry. Things like glasses that connect you to Google and take still and moving imagery or watches that allow you to stay connected to your virtual life. There are even other devices that let you keep track of your fitness goals throughout your daily life.
These and more are not only coming, but they’re here already. However, like with every trend, there are things you should know.
Great New Examples of Wearable Tech
These samples of wearable technology that you might like in to take advantage.
Health and Fitness Ready to Top the Markets
Wearable tech for the health and fitness-minded include activity monitors, devices that monitor your heart rate, and pedometers — devices that measure how far you walk or run by counting the number of strides you take. You’ll see these devices in watches, wristbands, various accessory items, and even specialized clothing. Most of these devices also come with apps that let you integrate them with your smartphone, allowing you to post results to fitness communities and even Facebook.
The Body Is the New Point of Impact for Wearable Tech
Most people I speak with think of glasses and watches when I ask them about technology that’s wearable. Not many people remember back to what I consider one of the first pieces of wearable high-tech — the shirt that changed colors according to your body heat. (Some said mood also had a hand in the color variations).
Manufacturers of wearable appliances and devices are actually moving away from glasses and watches again, and moving more toward integrating their technological advances into actual articles of clothing and “fashion accessories.” This means that you’ll see clothing, including socks and shoes, and jewelry with embedded sensors to track your movements and fitness, among other things.
Bluetooth-Enabled Clothing and Jewelry
Sometimes a woman just doesn’t want that gaudy Bluetooth headset hanging off her ear, spoiling the look she has probably worked on for hours to achieve. OK, so what’s the fashion-conscious woman that still wants to stay connected to do? Instead of slipping that headset over her ear, she slips a Bluetooth necklace around her neck!
Things like necklaces are just the beginning. Soon we’ll see brooches, rings, bracelets, and even clothing with Bluetooth phone compatibility.
Today’s Gaudiness Will Give Way to Tomorrow’s Aesthetics
It’s a given in technology that the first generation of anything is usually going to be pretty unsightly and utilitarian. Remember those god-awful flip-phones of the ’90s? Yeah, I’m trying to forget them too, but that illustrates my point.
Look at how cool most new phones look today. I really want either the Samsung Gear or Pebble watch, but I have to admit, they don’t look as good as my cheap-o $20 Speedo watch. However, manufacturers will design good looks into these devices once they perfect the functionality. Right now, they look like the calculator watches of the ’80s. ICK!
More Tech Innovations Will Come from Small Startups
Not long ago, the Pebble watch mentioned above was introduced on a crowdfunding site called Kickstarter. That project listing was supposed to raise $100,000 for him to get started, but he ended up raising more than $10 million. Now, we’re seeing things like meMini-a Wi-Fi camera that lets you capture important moments after they happen.
Another Kickstarter project that’s taken off is FitBark — a dog collar that helps you make sure Fido is staying healthy.
Internet of Things: Pushed Forward by Wearable Tech
Forrester Research recently published a study saying that wearable technology is going to be the next tech explosion. Initial adoption will be slow, just like most other things, but by 2020, there will be everyday appliances that almost everyone will have.
In fact, Forrester believes that by 2020 they will be indispensable to business and healthcare especially.
Contextual Computing Will Power Next Wave of Wearables
Right now, tech fashion accessories are pretty basic — taking pictures, making and receiving phone calls, and sending and receiving messages. However, in the not-too-distant future, we’re going to see a shift towards more powerful computing in this arena that’s going to combine all areas of computing-networking, hardware, and software, to allow us to do more, such as collect and analyze data. This is already getting started with Google — with their Google Now
More Capabilities Added Through Extra Sensors
Obviously, the more things a piece of technology can do, the more useful it will be and the more likely it will be to succeed. What we’re going to see is a fusion between the “smart watches” and exercise trackers we have today into smart watches that will let you Facebook, talk, and text. They will also keep track of your caloric intake and expenditures, as well as pulse and respiration rate.
Specialized Wearable Tech Will Be *MORE* Specialized
Right now, we have things like the Nike Fusion and Adidas Ion Loop bracelets. The wearable tech of tomorrow is going to include things like the Lumus, an advanced imaging product that looks like a pair of regular sunglasses, but is actually a viewscreen that lets you check email, stocks, etc. and functions as a cool-looking pair of sunglasses. Pretty soon we’re going to see similar devices that are specially made for certain industries, like construction, healthcare, and law enforcement. Honestly, the possibilities are endless, as well as fascinating.
Photo Credit: Karlis Dambrans