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Print Posted on 09/21/2017 in Gadgets & Hadwares

What is Wearable Technology?

What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology refers to smart electronic devices usually won on the body as accessories or implants. Their design incorporates practical functions, features, software, and sensors which enable them to exchange data through the internet with the operator, manufacturer and other connected devices without the need for human intervention. They interweave technology into our daily life, making it somewhat pervasive.

Historically, the wearable technology relates to the historical development of wearable computers and ubiquitous computing. All along, experts have been trying to enhance the functionality of clothing or develop wearables as accessories capable of providing users with sousveillance services. 

The hearing aid and the calculator watch, introduced in the 1980s were some of the earliest wearable technologies that were widely adopted. During the 2004 Cyber Art festival held in Bilbao, Spain, CuteCircuit unveiled HugShirt, consequently winning the Festival’s grand prize. The HugShirt was designed to tele-transmit touch over a distance and differed from previous wearable technologies like watches and helmet designs of wearable computing. Being the first wearable that took the form of garment clothing, it became the first Bluetooth and internet connected clothing. The Times Magazine included it in the “Best Inventions of the Year” issue.

Wearable technology gadgets are rapidly advancing in terms of functionality and size with more applications both for personal and business purposes including;

  • As fitness trackers

  • As fashion statement

  • Treatment for the hearing impaired

  • Sport tracking

  • Remote treatment of speech and voice disorders

  • Synchronization of data and communication from other gadgets

  • As communication devices

  • As navigation tools

  • To gauge alertness and energy levels

  • As media devices 

In the consumer market, there has been an increase in sales of smart wristbands such as the Fitbit Flex and the Jawbone UP. In 2014, PwC Wearable Future Report recorded that one in every five American adults had a wearable device. When Google produced Google Glass, it received a lot of media attention. In 2013, Google invited “Glass explorers,” a group of people who had made orders during the 2012 Google I/O to collect their devices. This marked the launch of Google Glass, a device that was developed to deliver rich text and notification through a heads-up display won as eyeglasses. However, Google halted mass production in 2015.

In the health sector, wearables have been used for a long time in the form of hearing aid and for the detection of health disorders such as sleep apnea. 

Smartwatches and activity trackers are two wearable devices that are being widely used. In 2012, ABI research predicted that up to 1.2 million smartwatches would be sold in 2013 due to their application of energy efficient connectivity technologies like Bluetooth 4.0, wide availability and low cost of MEMS sensors, the high penetration of smartphones in many world markets and the flourishing app ecosystem.  

Wearable sensors have great potential in generating big data which would be useful in biomedicine and ambient assisted living. Therefore, researchers are now shifting their focus from data collection to the development of intelligent algorithms capable of providing critical information using the collected data through data mining techniques like neural networks and statistical classification.

Are you a wearable technology company, list your business on TechDirectory - https://www.techdirectory.io/get-listed

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