Are wearable technologies here to stay?
When Syri first spoke to us, it was magical. It was innovative, awe-inspiring, and exciting to even fathom that you could ask a piece of hardware something, and receive an intelligent response. Now? It’s so yesterday’s news. We expect more from our technology now than ever before.
But people don’t just want smarter, more convenient technologies to ease our daily lives – they expect it. The era of wearables only began in the last 5 years, and the demand is only continuing to grow. As emerging technologies are becoming more and more integrated with our daily lives, is it so far-fetched to believe that wearables are the future?
There’s a steady increase in wearable technology sales
According to recent data, consumer purchase behaviors are on the upswing. From 2014 to 2015 alone, the shipment of wearable devices increased from 35.5 million in 2014 to 85 million in 2015. This represents a 139% increase year-over-year! Tractica forecasts that the shipment of wearable devices will grow from 85 million in 2015 to 560 million in 2021. This is a promising future in the world of wearables.
Types of rising wearable technology
The growth of wearables has expanded beyond Apple Smartwatches and Fitbits. Check out these types of wearable technologies that are trending now:
Healthcare Wearable Technology
The healthcare industry is one of the industries that is undergoing a deep transformation thanks to the introduction of wearable technologies.From interacting with patients, performing tests, collecting data, and delivering treatments, wearable tech is opening new alternatives to traditional methods of patient care.
There are many ways wearable tech is being applied to patient care. According to a study conducted by Soreon Research, the top growing segments of healthcare wearable tech are:
- Sleep Disorders
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- In-hospital monitoring
- Personal emergency response system (PERS)
Wearables contain sensors that allow for healthcare providers to gather real-time data, set analysis and reporting parameters, and tailor treatments based on the individual patient needs. For example, the wearable device may alert the provider to contact the patient immediately due to abnormal symptoms. Or perhaps it sends a congratulatory text message when a patient reaches a weight loss or dietary goal. Regardless of the type of wearable device being used, it gives a more personalized approach to identifying abnormal patterns, defining a treatment plan, and identifying prevention measures.
Augmented Reality (AR) was only thought to be a fictional. high-tech gadget exclusively available to characters in spy movies. Now? It’s real. Successful? Not quite – but it’s on the market, and that makes it more real than ever. We fully expect to see polished products for sale by 2017.
Along the same vein of other wearable fitness devices, Solo are AR glasses specifically made for cyclists. Within a simple glance, the cyclist can see their speed, cadence, heart rate, location, and more.
As of now, the only ones who can get their hands on a Smarteyeglass are developers looking to build applications for the device. Its features include: GPS, compass, built-in camera, and more are continuously being built.
Another spy agent must-have. Smart watches are evolving beyond communications, they’re slowly becoming more integrated with our daily lives. We predict that smart watches will go beyond fitness and health as more features, functions, and capabilities are added.
Fitbit Flex 2
The first waterproof Fitbit makes it ideal for swimmers, or those that just don’t want to take the device off. Even when showering. However, there’s a bit of a compromise for the waterproof feature. You can’t track heart rate, and there’s no display. If you can live with that, this device is pretty cool.
If you’re intending a smartwatch to quickly receive text messages or glance at notifications without reaching for your smartphone, the Pebble 2 delivers – and with a longer battery life than most smart watches. The affordability and OS agnostic functionality makes it appealing in comparison to other devices, such as the Apple Watch. It’s important to also note that it’s not a fitness-focused device, so if that’s a key sell-point for you, a Fitbit is going to be your best bet as of now.
The Future of Wearables
It’s evident that the industry of wearable technologies is continuing to grow, specifically in healthcare. However, it’s likely we’ll see wearable tech extend beyond healthcare, watches, and fitness trackers – and sail into the apparel industry. Smart gloves, shirts, and shoes are potentially the coming evolution of wearable tech. For now, it’s a relatively brand new industry, so any devices purchased now will likely change in 2017.