Wearable technology is slowly becoming the “in” thing, especially for tech enthusiasts. After all, wearable tech brings us one step closer to a society that has easy access to technology without bothering with bulky smartphones and gadgets.
Given a few years’ worth of experience with smart watches, it appears wearable tech is becoming a popular option for even the most casual of users. Now, even clothes and shoes are becoming outfitted with wearable technology. Thing is, how does wearable tech work?
The Fundamentals: Wearable Technology
Before we begin to understand what goes inside wearable technology, it might be first important to understand how they work as a whole. We may be confused how to “define” wearable tech because we’re too exposed to them that we didn’t even see a need to define them. That’s right, wearable technology has been with us since the 70s, thanks to laboratories and bulky straps with sensors. It’s thanks to Google and Google Glass in 2010 that we finally had something to actually “define” the trend of wearable technology.
Since its development, there have been multiple iterations of wearable technology around us. They go outside and beyond the casual headsets that we’re using. In fact, you may already own one and not know it.
- Eye-wears are starting to have wearable variants. They tend to have sensors of their own that can detect, monitor, and track various things.
- Wristbands are becoming the fitness savant’s constant companions during exercise. They can monitor various statistics around our body for health purposes.
- Smart watches are similar to wristbands, in that we wear them on our wrists. However, smart watches can be called the perfect smartphone companion thanks to its sheer capacity to answer and take calls, retrieve notifications, and be our own personal “secretary.”
- Shirts and other forms of clothing are being outfitted with sensors as well that can make them wearable technology. Interestingly, these wearable clothing tend to be so thin we can’t even notice it’s a piece of technology.
These are just some of the many iterations of wearable technology we’re seeing every-day. Given that we can almost make anything have sensors, we can see cheaper, and more unique variants of wearable tech in the future.
Today’s Wearable Tech: How Do They Work?
In the most basic sense, we have to understand that wearable technology cannot be “technology” if there aren’t any devices attached to everyday objects we “wear.” These include the following:
Video cameras are mostly attached to head-mounted displays and glasses that allow us to track and monitor certain movements of objects.
- Sensors can also be attached around a wearable device to allow them to monitor various activity in the area. Most sensors can track motion, brain activity, heart activity, and muscle activity. We can mostly see them in health-oriented devices.
- Miniature computers are also inside some wearable devices, similar to how smartphones have miniature processors inside of them. These are found in smart watches and other wearables that are supposed to help us interact with other objects in the vicinity.
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking at wearable technology is the idea of quantified self movement. This simply means that we are now looking at technology that “moves” with us and “blends” with almost all aspects of our lives. In an ideal technology-dependent world, technology should be constantly grinding and creating analyses of data while we don’t even notice it working.
- Of course, this is all part of what is known as the internet of things (IOT). This is a phrase that describes all forms of interconnected gadgets that will be able to monitor and control data that we provide and stream it across the planet. A society dependent on IOT will live seamless and more enjoyable lives.
- Our wearable technology today is just the beginning of such a “seamless” technological puzzle. Smartphones, wearable technology such as smartwatches, and the like are still bulky for us. Scientists want to make wearable tech much more convenient for us by making them cheaper and less noticeable.
Of course, one of the most important elements of having wearables around you is for the device to be able to accommodate your environment and by extension your body’s needs. Sensors exist in wearable devices to enable them to assess your body’s various systems and provide information about your health. Some sensors also exist to monitor external movement to give you accurate data on your surroundings.
- Current sports watches and smart bracelets are more or less the ones outfitted with the best sensors. Some smartwatches already have good GPS to guide and time workouts, and some even monitor heart rate, calories burned, and even cadence.
- In the future, however, wearable technology can be found even in everyday wears. Imagine underwear such as bras that have sensors that can monitor signs for tumors and cancer, or socks that can help track how well a fitness enthusiast performs lifts. These can be the newest “in” things in wearable technology.
- Interestingly, smart fabric is already here. There are companies that are starting to create small sensors and fit them in comfortable pieces of clothes. When we activate Bluetooth on our smart phones and connect the garments to a transmitter, we can have a customized monitor to track our health.
Fashion and Form
We’ve talked about smart fabric later on, but this is just one of the many facets and forms that wearable technology is taking nowadays. It’s perhaps one of the primary goals of scientists and engineers to make technology that is less visible and less clunky. This means they have to make wearable tech that would soon make us look like characters in video games and sci-fi series with almost invisible sensors around the body.
- However, this isn’t too impossible. After all, it’s important to remember that our sense of fashion and style gives others an idea on who we want to be and who we want to present ourselves as in the public. This means if we want to attract others, clunky and bulky gadgets might not be the thing to go with.
- Of course, it’s not like scientists aren’t making ways to get ourselves nicer and tech-savvy clothes. Some companies are already making clothes that are stretchable but are also weaved with a ton of sensors that would allow us to monitor various aspects of our health. Imagine yoga pants that have sensors to help us monitor our form.
The future isn’t too far off with wearable technology becoming an everyday thing to see. In fact, wearable technology right now already has a lot of uses depending on its iteration that we want to expose ourselves with. Now that you have some idea on how wearable technology works, perhaps you can now get yourselves awesome products that can give you a second new look to how the world is going to function with technology.
Suffice it to say, given the rather small and portable nature of wearable technology, it’s not such a bad question to ask how does wearable technology work. In fact, scientists and engineers are constantly working towards how to make wearable technology work better for its wearers. With the inclusion of numerous other sensors, more durable materials, and safer materials to everyday wears, wearable technology is slowly becoming a normal part of society.