Wearable tech are smartly powered electronic devices that are typically worn on the body for everyday use.
Wearable tech falls under the IoT (internet of things) category, which means it is connected objects and people to the internet. This direct human-internet interaction creates an accessible, portable, and futuristic lifestyle for all tech-lovers.
The earliest and most notable wearable tech was the first electronic hearing aid, which was developed around the 1880s. Post 1990s, beepers came into the forefront as more than a communication portal, but a wearable tech fashion statement. Late 90s, early 2000s, Bluetooth technology came into the forefront.
Bluetooth, which started as a wireless technology that connected devices to phones and computers, largely became the channel for future wearable tech inventions. Bluetooth-wireless headphones were introduced into the market and rapidly grew into a main resource for tech users.
By the 2010s, new wearable tech categories were created, from smart watches to fitness trackers to smart spectacles. The tech game has continued to propel itself into making technology as wearable as possible.
Key Players in the Wearable Tech Category
Category: Health & Wellness
Fitbit is an activity tracker that monitors users heart rate, steps, sleep pattern, and other metrics involving health and fitness. The wristband gained popularity in the health and wellness category for obvious reasons. So much so that brands like Adidas and Blue Cross Blue Shield began partnering with the company to create more versions of the product.
Recently, Google has made its announcement that it intends to buy Fitbit for 2.1 billion.
In 2015, Apple launched its first Apple Watch Series 1 Smartwatch. It surpassed any current expectations of wearable tech at the time and plunged into the market. It not surprisingly became the best-selling wearable tech device, selling 4.2 million in one fiscal quarter.
Apple continues to release newer versions of the watch, with Series 4 (launched in Fall 2019) being the most affordable smartwatch launched by Apple.
3. Snap Inc.
Snap Spectacles are smart glasses that are meant to capture video through the lense.
Snap Inc launched their first pair back in 2016 and launched a newer generation in 2018. This wearable device derived from the companies app success: Snapchat. Through Snapchat, users are able to create augmented realities on their face and send photos of it instantaneously to friends. These augmented faces, also known as “filters”, prove that AR and VR are in the works for Snap Inc We’ll have to see what newer generations of the spectacles bring to the table.
Positives & Negatives of Wearable Tech
Let’s start with the negatives. With all technology there are negatives to the using it. With wearables specifically, it comes down to three cons:
1. Battery Life
Like smartphones, battery consumption is a problem in the tech community. Users have to constantly charge all their smart devices, making it time consuming.
2. Easy to Lose
Since wearable tech is typically small, it is easy to misplace. Especially when it comes to smartwatches and Apple airpods.
The price of these wearable devices are pretty high. Recently, Apple launched its new set of airpods for a grand total of 250 dollars. Making it inaccessible for people with lower incomes.
The positives of having wearable tech devices comes down to two main reasons:
We all know that technology helps save us time. Wearable tech specifically decreases the amount of time spent doing certain tasks. Most doctors and lawyers own an Apple Watch or Fitbit because of its fast data-driven capabilities. Similarly, all working class people love wearable devices because of it’s readily available data.
2. Fashion Forward
All around the world, we look for new trends. Tech trends specifically are highly encouraged in multiple countries, especially the United States and Asia. Being trendy and fashion forward keeps users on their toes and up to date with the world. There is a high demand for this reason.
Regardless if you’re for or against wearable tech, it is important to recognize its growing presence. In the future, we can expect this category of tech to overrule other forms of technology.