In terms of the Internet of Things, wearable devices first appeared at the beginning of the last century, such as Bluetooth headsets, which can communicate with users’ mobile phones and computers.
Today, the wearable technology ecosystem is changing rapidly. Clip-on, strap-on, wrap-around, and slide-on technologies can collect and analyze data, send messages to other technologies, and take on other responsibilities to make users’ lives easier and more comfortable. If you don’t understand the evolution of wearable technology, don’t worry: this guide can help.
1. Wearables send and receive messages
As mentioned, some of the first IoT wearables consisted of Bluetooth technology, which can easily sync with phones and computers. Now, the main goal of Bluetooth is to share information between devices by sending and receiving information. Originally, the information consisted of sound: headset users relied on wearable technology for voice communication without having to place the device over their ears and mouth.
Today, the amount of information going to and from wearable IoT is virtually limitless, as are the forms that IoT can take. Wearables can often display phone calls, text messages, social media updates, and app alerts, but there is no doubt that wearables will be able to share more advanced information in the near future. Currently, smartwatches are the most common wearable tool for sending and receiving messages, but smart jewelry and apparel with the same functionality are already available. Sending and receiving messages is an exciting practical application for IoT wearables.
2. Wearables to track fitness and health
Wearable technology is perhaps the most widely used in the health and fitness industry. Fitbits and similar devices already enable users to understand their exercise and sleep habits, helping them improve their health in these areas. However, medical professionals have a bigger vision for the application of wearable IoT.
The future of wearable medical technology is very broad. Well-known medical devices such as pacemakers and insulin pumps can be connected to the IoT for added monitoring and functionality. At the same time, brand new IoT devices can greatly improve the collection of health data, providing doctors and patients with more information for diagnosis and treatment. For example, ingestible sensors could monitor the activity of the gastrointestinal system, sending the data to a nearby receiving device. Research programs using IoT for arthritis, depression and Parkinson’s disease. The combination of wearable technology and the Internet of Things is already revolutionizing the healthcare industry, and patients of the future will have a lot to look forward to.
3. Wearable Device Payments
Innovation in payment technology tends to be minimal. When it comes to their money, people are often reluctant to change, fearing that insecurity or inefficiency exposes their funds to unnecessary threats. So payment-related wearables have been slow to develop, but they are finally here.
Nearly all of the largest IoT developers (Amazon, Samsung, Fitbit, etc.) offer (or will soon offer) wearable payment technology, mostly in the form of wristbands, but also in fashion jewelry and watches . With just a tap of its technology, users can pay online without having to reach for their wallet. Any move to improve payment convenience is positive for both merchants and consumers.
4. Wearable Augmented Reality
Augmented reality is a new, relatively untested technology. Not long ago, Google had big plans for wearable Augmented reality: Google Glass. These stylish goggles are designed to help users optimize their interaction with the world, allowing them to learn more about their environment, engage in entertainment more seamlessly, and more. While Glass has failed to attract a larger public, interest in augmented reality has not waned.
Smart glasses like Glass are most likely to be worn in augmented reality, as the technology relies heavily on visual capabilities. But the concepts of IoT, AR contact lenses, and brain-stimulating microchips are also popular, although they are more directly into the medical IoT realm. For AR to catch on among IoT users, some major issues must be addressed. But with the pace of wearable IoT, you might be using augmented reality wearables within the next decade