What’s in the Future for Wearables?
In technology the adage “bigger is better” does not generally apply. The ongoing goal in technology is always smaller as well as faster and more accurate. Cameras, cell phones, computers have all progressively gotten smaller and less conspicuous. One of the few exceptions would be TVs and we all know that the bigger the TV screen the better! But even with large screen TVs, the components have become smaller (anyone remember the big, boxy TVs of yesteryear?). According to Gina Lee, founder of the Legacy Sports Institute, a health-care facility for professional and amateur athletes, future fitness technology will focus on less invasive and more personalized devices.
“The future of technology is definitely to develop the most invisible, smallest, least detectable technology for consumers that can track the most biometric data and be consumer-friendly and have accurate outcomes,” Lee says.
What are some other advances to watch for in future wearable technology?
Fitness wearables are used to track physical activity as well as monitor metrics such as heart rate and oxygen intake. Look for these functions to become more and more available in clothes. Already we can find smart socks and shoe inserts, smart shirts, smart tank tops, smart leggings, and smart shorts. These items measure how your body is performing during workouts using embedded biometric-tracking sensors.
One very big future capability of smart clothes is preventative monitoring. Theoretically, biosensors in smart clothing would be used to detect unusual muscle contractions, abnormal heart rhythms, irregular respiration patterns, etc. This information would be very useful for health-care providers in accessing health and possible health issues. Another advancement on the wearable horizon is smartwatches that can warn you about a pending health event such as heart attack or stroke.
Our DNA is unique, we are the only ones in the world with our specific DNA makeup. This uniqueness leads to advanced possibilities for fitness wearables to provide more precise biometric readings. These more precise readings can then be used to set more focused goals tailored to each unique body.
Targeted functionality is already popping up in wearables. But in the future we’ll be seeing an even more targeted approach. Aditya Kaul, research director at Tractica, predicts an “Internet of Body” or “IoB” which would be a platform hub for all wearables. Look for smartphones such as Samsung, Google, and Apple to head up the research and creating of this centralized hub.
Mixed Reality – Holographic Headsets
Mixed reality holographic headsets will offer enterprise computing solutions. This is a more outward orientation: whereas wearables provide us with an internal (inward oriented) look of our health and physical status, holographic headsets will offer a unique way of interacting with the outside world.
Designers are predicting a big advancement in personal computing: wearable drones. An interactive designer at Frog Design presents future concepts such as hovering drones that protect against city pollution by supplying filtered air to the mouth area of the user, hovering drones that provide weather-shielding against wind and rain, and a GPS drone that will assist the wearer by giving directions to any location in the world.
Here are a few other future concepts for fitness wearables we can look forward to:
- Smart Shoes that can charge your phone battery
- Contact lenses that come with a personal assistant
- Earrings that can track heart rate, blood oxygen levels, body temperature
- Nail polish with microchips that work with the smart contact lenses to track movements, to help you draw virtually in three dimensions, provide real-time haptic feedback for holographic interactions
- Buttons with embedded GPS
Fitness wearables already provide us with simple, accurate measuring of body metrics. The fitness technology industry is constantly expanding, advancing and so the future of this billion-dollar industry is pretty exciting to visualize!
Image Credit: www.bioscapedigital.com