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. T
heir 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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