Wearable technology is a category of technology devices that can be worn by a user and often include tracking information related to health and fitness. The designs often incorporate practical functions and features, but may also have a purely critical or aesthetic agenda. Wearable technology is a field which is not new and has existed since 400 years or so. It is related to both, the field of ubiquitous computing and the history and development of wearable computers. With ubiquitous computing, wearable technology shares the vision of interweaving technology into the everyday life, of making technology pervasive and interaction friction less.

 

TIMELINE:

1975: Pulsar calculator watch

1979: Sony Walkman

1984: Casio data-bank

1987: Digital hearing aid

1993: Apple newton PDA

1999: First Blackberry

2000: First Bluetooth headset

2001: Apple iPod

2003: Via tron C-series

2004: Motorola razr, Gopro camera

2006: Nike+iPod kit

2007: Apple iPhone

2008: Fitbit

2011: Jawbone up

2012: Nike fuel band, pebble watch

2013: Nissan smartwatch, Google glass, Samsung galaxy gear

2014: Apple watch

 

Applications and Challenges:

Wearable technology has it’s range widened not only in one sector but many. May it be communication, glamour, security, medical or lifestyle computing, wearable technology has significant applications in each of them. It has now evolved into numerous types of devices, including watches, glasses, headbands, wigs, rings, etc. Such devices are being implemented for numerous applications, including personal and business computing, practical everyday tasks, fitness tracking, healthcare monitoring etc. The big gains from the revolutionary concept of wearable gadgets are for physicians, health payers and patients. But, like it is said: Every coin has two sides. Similarly, the potential benefits of wearable’s are accompanied by some major challenges that wearable device manufacturers and others concerned have to address before it goes mainstream.

 

 Major Challenges:

• Design & form factor
• Data accuracy
• Power consumption
• Costs
• Privacy, security and regulatory issues

 

Future of Wearable Technology:

Wearable technology, which initially started as a fitness-focused technology is now moving to medical and healthcare operations engulfing patient care, remote monitoring and treatment delivery. However, what we are seeing is just the beginning. With enabling technologies like mobile, big data, M2M and the Internet of Things evolving, wearable’s are expected to be at the heart of healthcare ecosystem. The market segment that is estimated to observe robust growth in the coming years, is that of infotainment owing to the rising popularity and easy availability of cheaper models of smart watches and smart glasses in the market. Wearable technology is still a new field ready to be explored and to see huge advancements in the coming future.

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