hand touching digital tablet, social media concept

hand touching digital tablet, social media concept

Era of smartphones brought us the new way of thinking about electronical devices, forever changed the way we use them. Whole spectrum of accessories was made with features that before were available only to smartphones. This are wearables, accessories, clothes even electro chips, embedded with computer or advanced electronics. They are part of the Internet of Things – conception saying that psychical devices and items may directly or indirectly gather, process or exchange data through computer network.

 

First product we may call a wearable was probably hearing aid created in 1898. Much later there were (quite popular) calculator watches, and with technology advance there were earrings with microphone or SpyTie – necktie with hidden camera.

 

Glasses, activity trackers, and virtual reality headsets are steadily but surely introduced to games, apps and symulators. Technology of today is coming to our homes… and closets.

 

Forbes in 2014 article is showing, as data that says: 71% of people in age range 16-24 wants to own some wearable device. Similar research was done in 2015 in UK and US, but the results were slightly different, maybe because it was not limited to age range. Almost 56% said that wearables are only a passing trend.

 

Application ways of wearables:

-private

-business

-fashionable accessories

-fitness trackers

-hearing aids

-health monitoring devices

-remote treatment of speech and voice disorders

-communicating and navigating accessories

 

Completely new category introduces new devices that intervene into user’s body. Tattoo that allows you to operate your smartphone. Chip that goes under your skin can now inform you whenever you face north by vibrating. It’s called North Sense. Cyborg Nest company which created it, claims that their goal is to make it possible for humans to become cyborgs. It’s scary, but interesting because you don’t use North Sense as typical device. It’s new artificial sense, geo-orientation, which is inside your body. Electronic devices are changing the way you experience your surrounding world, adding new way of being. With such chip you would shift, or rather add another point of reference, to the north.

 

Wearables in Healthcare

 

When speaking about healthcare devices, wearables were used for quite a long time already. First hearing trumpet was made in 17th century, but it’s electronic brother only after the telephone was invented, in 1898.

 

Another one of the medical wearables is the one allowing for detecting health disorders such as sleep apnea. Weared during sleep it monitors the condition of respiratory tract. In MSI and McAfee’s research from 2014 you can see, that 70% of people today, believe, that wearables will soon be able to send data concerning their health to their physicians. Even something called WATCH Society (Wearable Technology in Healthcare Society) came to be, they are a group of professionals who seek many different uses for wearable technology in healthcare. Constantly cheaper production made it possible for using wearables in wide spectrum of situations.

 

Google Glass and Push Notifications

 

April 2013 is the time when Google released Google Glass on the market – Glasses with possibility of receiving text messages, push notifications, or even recording 720p movies; all operated by voice commands. One of the first companies interested in this device was New York Times – they made an app for it, which allowed to read news. Even though Google glass was gaining much popularity, the hype train crashed heavily because of few factors. Price was too expensive, almost $1500, and as it turned out voice-command operating style was not-so-user friendly as they initially thought. Criticism was so great that Google decided to stop the project. Despite all of this Google Glass started another chapter in wearable technology

 

Most popular devices

Google Glass was a misfire, but there are wearables which made it successfully – smartwatches and fitness trackers. Aforementioned smartwatch, today, depending on a brand can have all of the functions smartphones have – even making calls.

 

Sales of wearables

Gartner, Inc. estimates that in 2016 astonishing number of wearables will be sold – 274.6 millions. Most of them will be smartwathches, especially those made by Apple. Rise in popularity of this device is also a thing thanks to Apple company, and their marketing strategy, which promotes Apple Smartwatch as a fashionable, lifestyle product.

 

Despite all of the advantages, every mobile device, even wearables are limited by the necessity of charging the battery. Bigger and bigger number of functions gives much more possibilities but as the saying goes, with great power comes the great… power requirement, and fast technology development compared to slow energy source development is not solving the issue. That’s what can discourage people from werables, do you really want to charge your earrings?

 

Do you use wearables? Share your favs in the comment section!