Technology is a huge part of our everyday lives, now you can even wear it!
Any clothes or accessories that make use of computer and advanced electronic technologies can be considered to be wearable technology. Wearable technology is designed to interweave technology as seamlessly as possible into our everyday life (and is thus related to ubiquitous computing). There are many different types of wearable technology; we shall concentrate on a few.
Google glass is perhaps the most famous of a rapidly growing number of wearable technology products. Essentially, Google Glass is a wearable Android-powered computer built into spectacle frames so that you can perch a display in your field of vision. It enables you to film, take pictures, search for information and translate on the go as well as run specially-designed apps. The screen is designed to be easily seen without obstructing the field of view.
There has though been a case in America of a driver being given traffic ticket whilst wearing the glasses, the case was subsequently dropped. Google glass can be considered to use augmented reality. Augmented reality is a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input.
Smart watches are now beginning to appear on the market. Modern smart watches are effectively wearable computers. Many smart watches run mobile apps, (especially fitness apps) while a smaller number of models run a mobile operating system and function as portable media players.
Recently Sony filed a patent for a Smart wig. This will be able to process data, communicate wirelessly with other external devices and collect information such as blood pressure. Sony listed various potential uses of the Smart Wig in its filing, including helping blind people navigate roads. It said that a small video camera or a sensor on the wig could help to provide the position and the location of the wearer. A remote user can then use the images provided and send vibration commands through the network and navigate the wig user manually to a desired destination.
Wearable healthcare is a growing area of wearable technology. It includes various fitness bands (worn on the wrist and head) that monitor body inputs and outputs such as caloric burn, body temperature, heart rate, and even sleep. There are companies working on:
The wearable technology area is currently one of great innovation with many diverse products being worked upon as companies search for the invention that will catch the public consciousness and take off. The next few years are sure to be very interesting for this sector.
Inspec has many control terms and classifications which relate to wearable technology including: