What is The Future of Wearable Technology?

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Google Glass - What is Wearable Technology

You may already have heard the term “wearable technology” already, if not, prepare for the torrent. It’s on the verge of becoming an integral part of our lives. What is it? It’s a broad term that refers to technology that can be worn as clothing or an accessory that incorporates advanced technologies.

The technical term for wearable tech is “Augmented Reality”. For the rest of us it simply means technology that fits seamlessly into our lives in a form that we are already familiar with like eyewear, contact lenses (yes, I’m not kidding), a watch, a wristband, clothing, jewelry or an accessory.

Is this for me you ask? Well, I believe that there will be one or several devices that will resonate with you. Why Not? Think of everyday applications where you normally turn to your smartphone, tablet, laptop or a single purpose device and re-imagine them as part of something you already wear.

Say, for example, your goal is to shed a few pounds. You can turn to a simple wristband like Nike+ Fuelband that incorporates an accelerometer that measures your movement and converts it into calories burned. You set your daily goal, put it on and it tracks your activity which you can see on the band’s display along with distance travelled and the time. Your smartphone will give you more data so that you can track your progress over time.

How about something that all smartphone users can use: a convenient way to charge your phone during the day. “Power Pocket”, a prototype uses body heat to generate an electrical current that will charge your phone. Surely it makes sense to slip your phone into your back pocket to charge it rather than duck into a coffee shop to try to find that coveted outlet where you have to sit around and wait for it to get some juice?

Some of us still wear a watch that will tell the time and may have additional functionality such as a calendar, lap timer, interval timer and an alarm. Take that a step further by adding Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a more advanced computer that will enable it to run mobile apps, communicate messages, record or playback sound, take, or show a photo and video and you start to see the potential. The memory could be stored in the form of a removable SD card that we already use in cameras. Push it even further and add in GPS, a heart rate monitor, a way to view your social media, make a phone call via an app, tether it to your smartphone and you see the departure from a simple timepiece to a wearable technology with an abundance of useful applications.

Now imagine a pair of glasses that can take a photo by tapping the arm or simply telling it to “take a photo”, record a video, send a message, share what you see, get directions, ask for a translation or to ask Google anything… all while remaining hands-free. Google is in the process of developing a prototype called Google Glass Explorer Edition which will do all these things and likely much more when it becomes commercially available in 2014. Have I grabbed your attention yet? No, here’s a video that will show you a really fun everyday use for Google Glass in under three minutes: http://youtu.be/O9aNzzWv_iM

Photo Credits: Google Glass

Record Video from your Google Glass

Record Video from Google Glass

Talk to friends on video with Google Glass

Talk to friends on video with Google Glass

Google Glass GPS

Never get lost again with Google Glass GPS

Check flight times with Google Glass

Check flight times with Google Glass

Google Glass in Color

Google Glass Hardware – Five color options.

The potential applications for wearable tech are remarkable. We have become so attached to our current devices that it looks like a reasonable assumption to make that we’ll be wearing them soon. Of course we are so used to outstanding industrial design from companies like Apple that these new prototypes will have to undergo a serious makeover before we’re all salivating at the prospect of owning one or more of these devices.

In the meantime entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, visionaries, designers and developers around the globe are engaged in exploring the potential uses in healthcare, wellness, lifestyle, computing, communication, security, safety and fashion. Analysts predict that wearable technologies will be a monumental $30-50 billion market within the next five years.

Visiongain forecasts that the market will already be as large as $4.6 billion by the end of this year.

Useful links:

What is Google Glass

What is Nike+ Fuelband

What is Scope

What is Seebright

What is Innovega

What is Recon Instruments

What is Glass Up

What is Pebble

What is Sourcebits

What is Investopedia


Wearable Technologies Conference

Wearable Tech World

Now for the pressing question. How do you think wearable technology will affect the future of digital marketing?

Content Credit: Aftaab Gulam, Wearable Technology Specialist