When you think about wearable technology, you invariably form a picture of a sci-fi computer cyborg of some kind, hooked up to the Matrix with jack plugs in the back of their head. While this is great for entertainment, wearable technology is much more everyday than that. You probably have wearable technology that you don’t even think of as such. Got a Bluetooth headset? What about wireless ear buds? Although at the basic end of the spectrum, these are still wearable technologies. They are devices you can wear that connect you to your other devices.
Smart watches have become de rigueur for anyone that wants to be seen to keep up with tech developments but what about smart jewellery? Heard of that yet? And no, it’s not a joke. Smart rings are getting really popular. Favoured by people who want to have a more low-key and less obvious wearable connection to their phone or computer, they can provide discreet notifications through vibration, allow contactless payments without pulling out your wallet or phone, and even provide security features like a panic alert.
Fitness trackers have been hugely popular for some time now, offering data on pulse rate, sleep times and steps taken. Combined with intelligent apps, they provide lots of useful data to let you know what you’ve achieved and what your next active fitness goals can be.
Taking the fitness tracker a step further, the next big thing could be medical wearables, providing data on your health status directly to your doctor or specialist. A smart watch can already count your heart beats, but what about a wearable that could measure an electrocardiogram, or ECG, or record regular blood pressure data in context with your day and activity levels? How would that affect the help you could get from a healthcare professional if they could gain a larger data set based on longer times and more activities? And these devices aren’t the size of backpacks either. Some of the latest biosensing wearables have been designed down to be only a patch that you wear on your skin.
Wearable technologies are developing at a truly astounding rate and who knows what the next device will be or how it could improve your life. We’re off to find out whatever happened to the Google Glass.