Wearable accessories like smart watches, smart glasses and virtual reality headsets have become widely popular these days. And a significant shift in fashion is being influenced by a new generation of innovation in the field of wearable technology.
For example, a Canada-based startup called Myant is leading the development of garment fabric that can track every step you make. Using textile computing – as they term their technology – they are creating this so-called "smart fabric".
In essence, it is an interactive fabric that is capable of sensing information from you. According to them, electronic sensors and yarns are combined to gather vital information from the human body. After wearing it, it would immediately begin providing information about your ECG, temperature, movement and breathing. This "smart fabric" is hailed as the next big thing in wearable electronics.
Myant has assembled individuals who have often worked together to design garments that can track the wearer's health and fitness. They have highly skilled electrical engineers, mechatronic engineers, and researchers in nanoscale technologies and AI.
The first significant wave of wearable technology to gain widespread acceptance was fitness activity trackers. Later, a screen was added to the wristwatch, and additional feature-rich mobile apps were added. Smartwatches have become complementary to smartphones. Furthermore, with virtual reality and augmented reality headsets, the gaming industry has expanded the use of wearables.
Certain products have failed along the way, most notably Google Glass. The internet-connected spectacles may still reappear for niche applications, but they most certainly quite far away from becoming the everyday wearable that Google envisioned initially.
Nowadays, it seems that the development of wearable technology is more concerned with specialised and practical applications than with consumer accessories. In many ways, wearables are changing how we use technology in our lives. Here are some of the sectors where wearables are becoming prominent:
Wearables for fitness and health
Wearables are often linked to the health industries. Many people nowadays monitor everything from heart rates to daily steps thanks to smart wearables like the Fitbit and Apple Watch.
Medical gadgets are where wearable technology's true life-changing applications are being discovered. In the last several years, wearable technology items designed for medical and healthcare applications have flourished the most.
For example, the Cyrcadia Breast Monitor is an intelligent patch created by Cyrcadia Health that can identify early indications of breast cancer and send the data to a lab for study.
Wearables in the sports industry
The sports and fitness sectors are, of course, advancing training standards thanks to the availability of all of this health data in real-time. The biometric data gathered by wearable technology helps professional athletes from all over the globe get the most out of their training.
There are now full-body suits with hundreds of tiny IoT sensors embedded in them that athletes wear to track every movement. They may improve their swing, shot or kick by using the data collected.
Elite athletes from marathon runners to the football players use smart compression shirts to optimise every move they make. These smart shirts continuously monitor each athlete's performance using GPS, accelerometers, and biological sensors.
Wearable fashion accessories
Despite being relatively new, the wearable technology in the clothing market is already intriguing. Wearable technology has inevitably begun to influence fashion culture.
Smart jackets are being developed to automatically cool or warm the body according to measurements made of body temperatures by sensors placed all over the jacket. People now have a fashionable way to track their steps or gauge their sleeping patterns thanks to smart rings.
Futuristically, the thermal energy that our bodies naturally produce could one day be used to charge our smartphones through clothing. Fashion-related wearable technology shows how technology can be both smart and sophisticated at once.
Wearables in gaming
One of the major markets for wearable technology is gaming. In the industry, virtual reality (VR) headsets are the most popular kind of wearable technology. With VR devices like the Oculus or Playstation VR, players are immediately immersed in otherworldly experiences.
Haptic devices are a wearable technology that is gaining popularity in the gaming sector. A player receives haptic input from these intelligent devices in real time. This indicates that a gadget exploits a user's sense of touch by applying force or vibrations.
Simply put, haptic vests, gloves or suits make gaming more realistic by allowing players to feel genuine input, whether dribbling a virtual basketball or experiencing real recoil after firing their virtual weapon. Though it is still in its infancy, haptic technology has the potential to enhance the fun and realism of wearables and games in the future.