Wearable Tech at Its Best
Wearable technology has become an increasingly important part of our lives and culture. In this fast changing modern world, we all need to be able to react quickly, effectively, safely, comfortably and economically – and that is why wearable technology and wearables (as well as many other topics within the human and social sciences) is such a growing area of research and study. The rapid development and introduction of new and more sophisticated wearables has meant that the boundaries between ‘traditional’ and ‘intelligent’ wearables are constantly blurring. So what exactly means wearable technology?
Wearable tech, wearables, wearable technology, wearable electronics, digital technology, tech toys, smart phones or watches, data tracking, i-tech items (inclined sensors and detectors) are’smart electronic devices’ (electronic device with tiny micro-controllers inside) which are worn near the body and/or around the neck, where they measure, analyze, transmit and’sense’ valuable information about e.g. body signals including heart rate, temperature, perspiration and blood flow, making them valuable information sources for fitness instructors, coaches, sports professionals, police officers, security personnel and the general public. They can also be used as data collecting devices by collecting data from such areas as computers, cell phones, watches, fitness equipment, car keys and wallets and then processing this information to provide useful information. This information is then sent back to the wearer through the use of radio or wireless technology.
Wearable tech is also becoming an important area of science fiction. Some writers (including pop science writers such as Andy Weir) have made wearable technology a theme in their work. Some high tech novelists are also exploring the theme of wearables and how our world will look like when smart contact lenses and “bionic” prosthetics become commercially available. It is also true that as technology advances, the ways in which we communicate and interact with one another will change. In fact, it is quite likely that within the next ten years or so, all our communication will be done via wearables.
Google’s Project Glass is a fascinating example of wearables and how they will change the way we do business in the future. The name of the project itself is somewhat bizarre, but it is meant to replace the eyeglasses. What wearers will be able to do is surf the Internet using their eyes. The interesting part of this is that this won’t just be some experiment: Google plans to ship the product to the beta users in the coming months. If you haven’t heard, Google is also working on a ” successor to the Google Card” smartwatch and is already rumoured to be working on a smartwatch which will run on mobile apps, thanks to the acquisition of mobile smart phone company Motorola.
Another example of wearable technology is through the development of a “smartband”. What this means is that you will be able to take a blood test from your arm; this is done by placing your arm into a band and having the data transmitted wirelessly to a remote site. As the technology develops further, this means that doctors can use the information that is being gathered for a patient assessment – that is, if they are capable of doing so. For now, though, it seems that the data that is being transmitted is only being shared between the doctors themselves.
The other example of wearables is through the development of smartwatches and smart headsets. Smartwatches will be able to make calls, display text and can even track your heart rate. A smartwatch will also act as a sort of GPS device, since it will allow you to find your way around. The other piece of wearable technology that will be available in the coming years is called a Bluetooth headset. This type of headset will allow for the transfer of voice over a cellular network – which, if we’re being honest, isn’t that complicated at all!
The reason why these two technologies are so important is because they enable a complete line of solutions for data collection. For one thing, the data collected will be able to be shared with just about anyone. In addition, smartwatches and other wearable devices will be able to make themselves more visible to the wearer. For instance, if you wear a watch, people will be able to see your time of day, your heart rate, even other small health related data. Most importantly, though, these devices will enable the wearer to stay connected to their doctor 24 hours a day.
We’re already seeing devices such as Google Glass on the market, as well as other Google(x) initiatives. One of the most interesting pieces of wearables that Google(x) is currently working on is something called “moiwear”, which is supposed to combine the data collection capabilities of wearables such as Google Glass with the convenience of having everything accessible through the internet. If these devices can combine the best of traditional smartwatch design with the benefits provided by new generation wearables such as those that make their data collection available to the wearer, then what could be better? Wearable technology has come a long way, from hand-held computers to Bluetooth technology… and it’s only going to keep getting better!