Over the past two decades, designers and innovators have been busy pushing things like self-driving cars, virtual reality spaces, and smart homes. Among these latest advancements, one market, in particular, has seen significant growth in wearable technology. From smartwatches to fitness trackers, more people than ever are investing in wearable technology.
What is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology basically lives up to its name. This is an old idea but a relatively recent technological advance. Modern wearable technology connects people through sensors that track movement and biometrics. Wearable devices typically send collected data to your smartphone or computer via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or cellular data. An early wearable technology concept attached directly to the body to track movements via motion sensors. But since advances in highly sensitive sensors, wearables are now being attached to other parts of the body, such as wrists, fingers, chests, and eyes.
Modern Day Wearables
Thanks to modern wearables, we no longer need to wear outdated smartphone armband holders. Smartwatches can deliver phone notifications and monitor phone calls, allowing people to keep their phones in their pockets and pockets. The same applies to data glasses and fitness trackers.
Smart glasses include Augmented Reality (AR) elements to improve line of sight. Brands such as Ray-Ban have recently developed eyewear that includes a front-facing camera for competitors such as GoPro.
Samsung and Apple have launched new versions of the Galaxy Watch and Apple Watch, respectively, over the past few years. Today’s smartwatches have LTE and GPS capabilities and communicate seamlessly with compatible OS smartphones. Some smartwatches track biometrics and can quickly make fitness trackers obsolete. Until then, fitness trackers remain popular.
Fitness trackers like Fitbit wear on your wrist and use sensors to provide rich biometrics like your heart rate, steps taken, and estimated calories burned. They tend to be standalone and record data internally. You can then export the data to your system or mobile. Dedicated trackers regarding fitness are also part of wearable devices which carry additional technological devices such as smartphones.
A few examples
As there are many examples of wearable devices which might not be listed here, there is a long list that has virtual reality (VR) headsets and other consumer healthcare technologies part it. If history shows, the future looks bright for wearable technology.
Future of Wearable Technology
The future of wearable technology has failures and successes. The best part is that the wearable tech is safe and will likely follow the same minimalist trend that mobile phones took when they first started to come to fruition. The visibility of such devices is reduced. In other words, visual elements change over time, making wearables look mundane or extravagant, like jewelry and clothing.
Another guarantee of wearable technology is extended battery life. It’s frustrating to wear a watch that you constantly have to take off to charge. The future of these devices may include energy harvesting, a method of converting body heat, motion, or solar energy into raw energy.
There is already a sizeable market for medical devices that track real-time biometric data. So it’s entirely possible that innovation will continue to improve the way wearables monitor our health.
Companies are looking into the diagnosis to monitor, diagnose, and deliver some regimens, such as insulin administration. Other companies are exploring ways to implant devices under the skin to test blood oxygen levels, track prescription medications and monitor other vital signs. This will be very helpful for people with chronic diseases.
Authentication and Identification
Most apps and online accounts require two-factor authentication, and smart car manufacturers like Tesla use digital keys instead of physical keys. Today’s smartwatches already have some authentication features. In the future, more wearable technology may allow us to prove ourselves through biometrics and other features. Some innovators are looking at smart tattoos that transmit appropriate identifying information when scanned.
Wearable Tech is the Future
Although the future is ever-changing and may become less predictable in the years to come, it’s safe to say that wearable technology is a popular and viable medium for a wide variety of uses. Smartwatches and other wearables always need designers to make them more accessible and user-friendly. What better place to start designing your next wearable than something so innovative? Autodesk Fusion 360 provides an integrated computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and printed circuit board (PCB) software package that industrial designers and engineers can work with to create the next-best wearable technology.