The popularity of wearable technology has increased by leaps and bounds. In a couple of years, wearable technology is expected to become an indispensable part of our daily lives, besides it offers tremendous opportunity for companies who want to better connect with their customer base. The popularity of wearable devices like Fitbit and Google Glasses has implications on numerous industries most notably fitness and healthcare.
Wearables are like little-computers that users wear on their bodies, usually in a common accessory such as a watch or glasses. Users can store business data conveniently, track locations and monitor personal data using wearables. Another wearable technology trend that has hit mainstream users is headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR, that create a virtual reality using a smartphone. The hands-free aspect allows users to multitask while maintaining connectivity to their devices. Apple Watch and Fitbit Flex, which connect via Bluetooth, have both been popular among consumers. Price has always been a concern among consumers, as it has been surveyed that 63% wearable devices are too expensive. But will this high price last? Will prices decrease as time passes? Just as television, computers and mobile phones were highly priced, we can assume that prices of wearable tech will become more and more mainstream over time.
Wearable Technology and Future Trends
Smart wearable beauty mask is a type of wearable tech for skin care with embedded sensors which provide heating effect and transmit body related data to the smartphone. The smart beauty mask monitors the skin’s moisture levels thereby boosting the efficiency of your skin cream by gentle warming. Besides there are also wearable environmental trackers which are smartphone connected and measures environmental factors such as air quality, temperature, and UV exposure. Nowadays, industries like the fashion and textile are extensively adopting wearable technology to increase their business operations. Sleeping based wearable technology is also available that helps people “fall asleep and stay awake”. Developers and manufacturers are in the process of creating awesome mobile apps integrated with wearables to meet customer expectations.
Different Kinds of Wearables Available in the Market
- Smart Watches: Smart watches are wrist-worn devices that connect to our mobile phone to act as mini-windows onto our digital life. They tell us about the notifications of calls, messages and usually email and social media as well.
- Fitness tracker: Fitness trackers come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and levels of sophistication. Usually worn on the wrist or clipped to a belt, they’re generally bands or watches of some sort which will keep a count of the number of steps that we make each day.
- Head-mounted display: If we want some kind of virtual information delivered right to our eyes, then a head-mounted display (HMD) is what that we will need.
- Smart-clothing: It is a broad category which encompasses both garments – that essentially appears normal but houses additional functionality.
- Implantable: They are a group of wearables that we have no choice but to carry with us wherever we go. These are devices surgically attached somewhere under our skin.
Wearable Technology Transforming Today’s Industry
- Healthcare Industry – Wearable technology plays a prominent role in today’s healthcare industry’s makeover. The industry is booming, witnessing compound annual growth rates of 25% till 2020. There are smart wristbands, watches, shirts, shoes, shorts, caps, headbands, eyeglasses, belts and necklaces etc. Most of them contain sensors that gather raw data which is then fed to a database or software application for analysis. This analysis typically triggers a response. For example, it might alert a physician to contact a patient who is experiencing emergency symptoms or send a message when an individual achieves the fitness goal. Wearables are extensively being used to monitor patients and gather data for clinical research trials and academic research studies. In addition, fitness/wellness wearables are being used as clinical tools.
- Retail Industry – Wearable technology offers tremendous opportunity for companies who want to better connect with customers. Forward-thinking retailers should think about incorporating this technology to change consumer behavior. They should align their customer experience strategy so that they are positioned to meet the needs of quickly evolving customer expectations.
- Other Industry – Engineering and construction industries can see great potential in wearables as technicians can use wearables to receive instant alerts about potential hazards. Some governments have started to use virtual reality headsets to train soldiers for the battlefield. Police officers can even use this technology in the form of body cameras.
The Future of Wearables
Wearables together with mobile apps help people to increase their well-being through the use of emerging technology. Mankind has always been driven by a desire to enhance one’s natural abilities in order to control our environment in a better manner. Over next ten years, we can imagine the world where we would be we wearing smart-shirts, where buttons would capture data. Sensors in clothing, smart diapers, tooth embedded sensors, are some of the future wearable devices, controlled by sophisticated mobile apps. Smart shoes could charge your phone’s battery while you rush to work. These casual-looking earrings will track your heart rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels, providing you with vital health statistics.
In another 10-15 years, wearables will be less about the hardware and more about the platform on the device. It will be integrate more fully with other connected products like the home, or IoT platform in the enterprises. The growing sophistication and reducing cost of today’s devices have made wearables move out of the fitness and medical industry into the mainstream markets. There are several apps together with wearables can track your sleep patterns just by listening to your breathing. The Wearable technology will be more holistically integrated into clothing or the floors, of your home, to reduce the commitment of the consumer.
The Impact of Wearables
The future of wearable tech is full of promises. From healthcare to military & defense sector, this technology is prevalent due to ease of use, flexibility, and convenience. Even in fields that have been slower to adapt to a tech-powered business world, wearables can help make employees more productive and effective, potentially changing the working lifestyle. Scientists envision that it will not be a distant future when a patient’s blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and body temperature can be monitored using wearable trackers. To sum up the future will be safer, easier, healthier, quicker and entertaining with the wearable technologies. The future of wearables is not just blinking lights and flashing screens but rather a complex technology that works symbiotically with us, helping to push us beyond our limits.
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