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Wearable tech: What is it? and where is it going?

Walking with WiFi.

Wearable technology currently allows us to interweave technology even further into everyday life. In fact, wearable technology is set to transform our lives: from healthcare to gaming and augmented reality. Will we all soon be wearing technology devices? Probably. So it is no wonder that there could be one public Wi-Fi hotspot for every 20 people on Earth. Without WiFi, wearable technology would not exist.

What is wearable tech?

Wearable technology is absolutely as it sounds: any electronic technology or computer that is incorporated into items of clothing and accessories. Most of us own a smartphone and many have heard of fitness trackers and even smart watches. You guessed it, there is even more out there to explore. Are wearable smart rings coming in the near future perhaps?

The smartest of these wearable devices can perform most tasks than we might expect from a computer or laptop that is already on our desk waiting for us when we arrive at work. Infact, in many cases, wearable tech is even more highly developed and sophisticated; this is because it can be used to scan, track and provide sensory feedback on ourselves as well as for biofeedback or physiological functions.

Where will this all lead? The future of wearable tech

Wearable tech doesn’t necessarily have to mean that it is taken off as easily as the examples above. There are more invasive versions such as microchip implants or even smart tattoos - not for the faint hearted.

What wearable tech will actually be able to do is so far reaching its mind blowing. There are obvious benefits in that it has implications in the fields of medicine, health and fitness. In fact, wearable technology is set to transform the health and wellness industry.

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Wearables, Robocop

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And that’s not all…

There is also bound to be a fun aspect to wearable technology and for gamers there is the promise of more realistic gaming environment with augmented reality. Augmented reality combines the real world and some computer generated sensory input, so gamers can become even more immersed online.

It could even be used in retail where you are literally ‘wearing’ the technology. Via virtual mirrors, you can have your body shape scanned and clothes projected onto you as a way of trying on before you buy without actually taking off the clothes you are in.

All that’s left now is to develop a range of aesthetically pleasing designs.

As well as practicality and function of wearable tech, researchers are also considering design and even fashion. We may start to see wearable technology in in our favourite bands of clothes: t-shirts, jackets, headbands and jewelry.

In fact, wearable devices may transform the use of mobile devices altogether in the not so distant future. The potential wearable trends of the future are documented . The ones to watch out for include solar clothes that can recharge your phone, a tracker to work out where each outfit is in your wardrobe, bike helmets with a built in navigation system (better than using a smartphone whilst cycling along). There are also going to be smart socks that work out if you are making injurious movements whilst running, smart bras that track your heart rate, and even more luxurious clothing that uses technology to enhance the look.

by Gavin Wheeldon, CEO, Purple Wi-Fi

Wearable technology is here to stay, but are companies making the right decisions? What kind of wearables would you like to see on the market? Which current-gen wearables do you think are redundant? Let us know if the comments below.

Gavin Wheeldon
Gavin Wheeldon is CEO of Purple, the intelligent spaces company. Purple’s solution allows organisations to monitor how individuals interact with their physical spaces, while providing valuable, actionable insights.