Wearable devices – the smart future products

Wearable devices – the smart future products


Personal computers and even the internet have reached a temporary stand still in advancement. The next logical step that research companies have turned to is mobility which is possible in wearable technology infuture. The wearable devices have been around for decades, but it is only recently that they are becoming vogue and fashionable. The term was coined in the nineties and became popular in the medical field for a long time, with devices like wearable hearing aids and pacemakers. As technology becomes more sophisticated and we usher in the realm of Internet of Things (IoT), some technology experts predict that wearable technology (WT) will play a defining role. With onset of personal devices like smart watches, augmented reality glasses and other wearable devices, we are perhaps seeing the harbingers of the future. The term ‘wearable device’ may be defined as an application-enabled computing device which accepts and processes inputs. This device is generally a fashion accessory usually worn or attached to the body. The device could work independently or be tethered to a smartphone allowing some kind of meaningful interaction with the user. The wearable products could be on the body (like smart patch), around the body (like a wristwatch or a headband) or in the body (like an identification sensor embedded under the skin or a sensor attached to the heart monitoring cardiac aberrations).


The Evolution of Wearables (Courtesy: Credit Suisse)

Wearable devices have generally been trendy within the academic community. One of the earlier companies to make a move in the wearable space was Adidas. In 2008, they acquired Textronics and introduced a personal coaching system by collecting relevant data like heart rate from embedded sensors in sports bras and vests. The present wearable market led by Google, Samsung and Nike is capturing the attention of a wider mass of professionals and technocrats, and promising to be a critical game changer in the technology landscape. The bracelets from Nymi compare the wearer’s unique electro cardiogram rhythms for identity validation. Developers are also using near-field communication (NFC) chips on rings and wristbands for seamless identification to pay for items or unlock doors. It is critical to note that WT market opportunities in healthcare will be based upon reliable technologies that also offer patient comfort.

The possibilities are endless -A Day in the Life of Cloud connected you…

ABI Research estimates the global market for WT in health and fitness is the largest component of WT products shipped today –this sector alone could reach 170 million devices by 2017. Juniper Research predicts global smart glass shipments to cross 10 million units per year by 2018, along with substantially lower prices. Various reports suggest that first generation applications for smart glasses would include video documentation, but the true potential of this technology would shine when diagnostics, surgical assistance and monitoring are enabled. Different reports support varying numbers - for example, the Credit Suisse report expects a WT market of approximately $40B by 2016.

Wearable displays...smart glasses

Wearable computers...has a long history

Everything can be connected with the wearable devices...due to smart technology...

Image source: Broadcom Corporation
Health monitoring...all about achieving fitness with these wearable gadgets.

The challenges for wearable technology (WT) should be answered for the sustained used of these products in future. WT should be able to make the user’s life smarter, richer and less complicated. WT should generate an improvement. Data analysis needs to improve. If we talk about the requirement during the exercise, it is one thing for a consumer to know how many steps they have taken during the day and a completely different story as to which days and which hours of the day they take the most steps. Their walking trend is better or worse? How does the quantity of steps relate to their weight variation? Connectivity is another challenge worth considering. Currently, the WT devices are tethered to the smartphone using Bluetooth connectivity. This may be fine for now but eventually, we might want to have our WT device independent of our smart phones.

 

Source: www.psfk.com/future-of-wearable-tech

As WT products get smaller and offer increased functionality, the battery will start becoming a critical differentiator. Power will remain a challenge for a while. There is progress being made in this field with promises of enhanced energy densities, longer cell lives and minimized charging times. Printable batteries and flexible batteries are also being developed using leading edge technologies. The Nano technology could be useful for efficient energy requirement for these wearable products in future. There are number of innovations are being made in this field to reduce the size of a battery without compromising the energy storage.

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