“What is WT?” I hear you say
Wearable Technology (WT) is no longer restricted to the realms of Science Fiction and Comic Books.
WT are gadgets worn by consumers and include a wide range of devices from eyewear, smartwatches, waistbands and wrist bands. Their big selling point (or down side depending on your personal view of tech in modern life) is that they allow for the integration of computing experiences into everyday life.
Currently WT is still very much a niche market used mainly for fitness tracking but the possibilities are endless.
WT is not just for the likes of Will.i.am
Current market examples of WT include Fitbug or Fitbit – these little devices are worn and collect stats such as number of steps taken, calories consumed, hours slept in a day etc.
Google Glass is another example that is causing a stir in the tech world. These wearable glasses can track your stats such as running and analyse your performance. They can help you navigate by displaying the GPS on you glasses, send a message that you dictate or even take a photo when you order it to. By ‘it’, we mean Google Glass. You operate this by communicating with the glasses and saying ‘Okay Glass’ in order to give it instructions. At around $1,500 they are not cheap! They are not even fully available yet but we do not imagine it will be too long before you see people wandering around talking to their glasses!
Some people may well say “ Well, my smartphone can do most of this” or “Who cares, humans have gone through millennia without needing any of this!”.
Some of these arguments may well be true but think about the possible medical benefits of WT that can help to monitor biological functions (blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature etc) and prewarn us when this is nearing dangerously high levels.
The impact would be huge not just in the medical world but the professional one too. The border lines between work and personal time are already becoming increasingly blurred, for example smartphones and tablets, known as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) are already incredibly popular. These are where employees are using their own devices for their job too.
Fad or fixture?
Wearable tech may not (in the short term anyway) be used for scrutinising complicated spreadsheet but we can see it being used to check a report, dictate and send a message. The idea of being connected, anytime and anywhere is a hugely attractive one for businesses.
WT is an undeniable trend with many of the big manufacturers bringing out wearable tech as we speak. Can it cross over from niche to mainstream? Widespread adoption depends partly on costing, wearability and function but we think WT is here to stay.