Technology has become such an integral part of our everyday lives that we cannot imagine a world, much less a future, without it. The interweaving of technology into our lives is daily becoming more and more penetrating, and there’s not much that we can’t already say “there’s an app for that” about these days.
The most interesting evolving tech that is making its way into our daily routines is wearable technology. Wearable technology is simply smart chip and electronic tech that is integrated into clothing, accessories like watches, and other wearable items.
You’re likely already familiar with some common wearables like FitBits, GoPro cameras, smartwatches, wearable USBs, and even booties that allow parents to monitor their baby’s heartrate and breathing while they sleep at night.
As many new body tech devices that are in development will attest, wearable tech will only be getting that much more enmeshed into our lives over the next few years. Wearable technology is also absolutely on its way to revolutionize the medical field, offering medical professionals direct, in-the-moment sensory feedback about patients’ physiology.
What is most striking and attractive about wearable technology is the immediate feedback that it provides. Over the last few years, we have grown increasingly reliant on information being delivered to us the moment that we ask for it, and the same is true of data. Constant connection to the internet and a deep-rooted desire to be truly known—both to ourselves (like with biofeedback apps) and to others (personalization in the expanse of the internet)—are driving the development of this technology.
These are the wearable tech items to lookout for in 2016 and 2017:
Smart Clothes are already poised to be the next big fashion trend, and just about everyone who manufactures clothing is teaming up with the likes of Google, Samsung, Hexo Skin, and Under Armour to create the next wave of wearable tech.
Tommy Hilfiger has launched a solar powered jacket, Google and Levis are joining up to create Smart Clothes, and Samsung even has a line of Near Field Communication (NFC) business suits with NFC chip buttons that create wireless links to your devices.
Smart Shoes are also headed our way with the ability to track all of the same stuff that your FitBit does, only with the tech built into the shoes. Other Smart Shoes like Iofit are being developed to improve balance, posture, and send biofeedback to your phone.
Smart Home Meet Smart Clothes
What if you came home from a long run in the hot sun with your dog and your skin’s body temperature was transmitted to your home’s air conditioner which knew that you’d want a nice blast of cold air when you walked through the door? If it sounds like the stuff of Star Trek, it is much closer than you think.
Sooner than later, your wearable tech will be interacting with your home’s smart tech to provide the ultimate in predictive comfort and functionality.
Brain Activity Monitoring
Almost unbelievably, there is already a company designing a wearable that will track your brain waves. Emotiv is creating “wearables for the brain” which can measure your sleep, psychology, levels of physical activity, stress levels, and even your emotions like excitement.
If you are still unsure of whether or not wearable technology is merely a trend or here to stay, research indicates that the market for smart wearable tech will reach roughly 53 billion dollars by 2019. Whether or not this new level of wearable connectivity will be with us in another ten years is unknowable, but everyone agrees that it certainly evolving into the next big thing—skin wearables.