Monday, February 3, 2014

Is wearable technology actually of any use?


Wearable technologies are going to be hot this year. We saw the beginning of this trend last year with smartwatches and fitness wristbands. While most wearable technologies so far have been focused on health and fitness, we are seeing a much larger variety of wearables this year.

What are some of the most intriguing new wearable technologies?

Smartwatches allow us to control our phone or receive messages from it, without having to touch the phone itself. Fitness wristbands can help us track our physical activity, by counting steps or letting us know whether we have met our goals. Mimo Baby, made by Intel, allows parents to monitor their baby's comfort, activity, and temperature from afar using a smartphone app. Google Glass allows users to take pictures and browse the Internet, among other things, without hands by issuing voice commands. The Oculus Rift offers us a virtual reality experience that has the potential to change the video game industry dramatically. As wearables become more and more hot, we will see devices that claim to be able to help us with any activity.

Despite this influx of wearables onto the market, many consumers are wondering whether they could use any of this new stuff.

Do we really need all of these wearable technologies?

The reason why wearables need some time to take off is because most people have not established a need for them yet. This is what we saw before cellphones became smart. Once we were able to appreciate the convenience that a smartphone can provide, many consumers made the switch. With smartphones you can do a lot that you could not before. You can check your bank account, look at a map, or video chat with friends, all from an incredibly portable device.

Like smartphones, over time a need will be established for wearable technologies. The kinds of wearable technologies that will become the most popular are the ones that can increase the quality of life for most of its users. Smartwatches are one such wearable technology that have the potential to take off. Many working professionals may find a smartwatch makes their lives easier. With a smartwatch, you do not have to constantly pull out your phone to check your messages.

Other wearable devices that have the potential to take off are ones that can do well in a niche. For example, there was a golf glove at CES 2014 that has sensors monitoring 1,000 data points per second, which are used to create a 3D representation of a golf player's swing.

Wearable technologies have great potential

In this day, we have astonishing smartphones, tablets, and computers, so it makes sense that we are branching out to more forms of devices. As we make computer chips that are smaller and smaller, we can put these chips to good use with wearable devices. Some wearables may offer luxury, while in the future, others may be seen as necessities. For example, in the future, wearable fitness-tracking devices for the elderly may be seen as a necessity.


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