What products come to mind when you think about wearable tech? Do you think of smart watches, pedometers, the ever-popular and highly discussed Google Glass? 2014 has been called “the year of the wearable” and with all the hype surrounding this technology, some of you are probably wondering if it’s all that it’s cracked up to be.

Not everything that’s on the market right now is actually useful, but together wearables comprise one of the most creative and fast-developing sectors in tech today. A study conducted by the Pew Research Center (The Internet of Things) suggests that wearable tech will seamlessly integrate into our everyday lives in the next decade. The study predicts that wearable tech will be of great benefit to our health, convenience, productivity and safety as well as aiding in the efficiency with which we gather information that’s relevant to us. And as with all things, issues that go hand in hand with such technology will bring about new challenges in privacy and our understanding of how we control our surroundings and perceive human relationships.

We can expect wearables that allow us to acquire information in real time regarding current events, our daily commute, the materials we are working with, the food we consume, and the energy we use, and so on. We can also expect tech that will enable us to control our home’s features (thermostat, light fixtures, etc.) and appliances wherever we may be.

The wearable tech of the future will be fashionable, incognito, and multipurpose. Today we already have smart watches that can track our vital signs and lets us text message through speech commands; and there are already prototypes of little pills that we can ingest to track anything from our blood sugar levels to the overall health of our body’s various systems. Devices that allow individuals with disabilities to accomplish tasks that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do as well as gadgets that combat the effects of aging on the human body are also on their way.

So, yes, I do believe that wearable tech is where we’re all headed, but saying that 2014 is its year is a little premature.

45 Comments
  1. That all sounds good except that little pill. I don’t think I want something in my body that can send messages to something that I’m wearing about what’s going on in my body. I do that just fine all by myself. When the day comes that people need an electronic device to tell them what’s going on with their own body…….I don’t know, it just doesn’t sound practical or useful to me.

  2. I’m with Green I don’t want that little pill in me. As far as the watch I really don’t see why would anyone need one if we can tell time from our phones and basically do everything from a phone. I like google glass, but the fact that it looks bulky doesn’t sit to well, if it worked with normal glasses I’m pretty sure it would attract more people to buy the 2000 price range it has.

  3. The wearable tech thing is really promising. Although I agree that most of them are completely useless as of now. But it’s still a fairly new technology and still has room to grow. Also, I have to agree with the other guys, the pill thing is really unsettling, I mean, it’s just a matter of time before they create a genuine mind control device in a form of a cap or a headband.

  4. I think wearable tech is really coll, as long as it has a good battery life. When I buy a smartwatch, I don’t want to charge it every day, like I charge my phone. Unless it could hold its charge for around a week I don’t see myself buying any wearable. I don’t need quad core cpu in my watch, I just need a really big battery.

  5. This is definitely not the year of wearable tech, but a time will come when wearable tech will become the order of the day. The pill mentioned above seems not to be right with people. I can imagine what’s going on in people’s head because they’re not alone. But, the truth is, our deepest fears would manifest whether we like it or not.

  6. I’ve been waiting for a release date on the Google Glass for like ever. Even at the $1500 price tag I think they will be hard to purchase, but I still can’t wait until I get my hands on one. Another technology I’m waiting for is the Razer Nabu wearable smartband – I love the quality of Razer products and I think they will really nail it with the design. I’m all for the little pill, I think a lot of us are ill in some shape or form and this could help catch life threatening problems, after-all who would not want to live forever? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. The pill thing is huge no for me. But I think wearable tech is the future, I mean, you see rumors of smart watches and the next generation of Google Glass, it’s just a matter of time before we can fiddle with holographic watch interface.

  8. Technology is after all here to assist us. As we make some astounding improvements on the field, it is only natural that technology adapts better and better to the way humans work and interact.
    Wearable technologies go a long way in making that happen.

    You no more sit in front of the computer, you don’t put a disk somewhere, you will not process information with time dedicated to it. Instead, things happen to you from/through your watch, your goggles, or something else that you can easily carry with you.

    So yes, wearables are the near future. But, that is not 2014 for sure.

    The long term, however, belongs to embedded technology. Embedded within you that is ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I have a mixed bag of feelings toward this. The pill’s invasion of privacy personally outweighs all the benefits. I doubt I can do anything very useful with the smartwatches because of their tiny screens; I don’t see what you can do with a smartwatch that you can’t do with a smartphone. Google Glass looks like it can chunkily do less than what a smartphone can do. I think the current ideas of wearable tech need to be improved before we can call 2014 “the year of the wearable.”

  10. Just imagine, that little voice inside your head, telling you that you’re not allowed to have a cupcake with your coffee. It’s like having your doctor (or your mother) tracking you 24/7. I wonder if we’ll ever reach the stage where doctors or medical insurance might require patients with risky profiles (diabetics, etc) to swallow that little pill or lose their coverage. Would supermodels be required to swallow a little pill to stick to their insane diets? Would this eliminate drug testing in athletes or just make doping all the more sophisticated?

    I can really see the wearable thing taking off as a fashion trend, though. It’s a great way to advertise: “Look at me. I’m hip and affluent.”

  11. It was eventually going to happen, wearable tech IS the future, it would be silly to not invent it! So much benefits can be created from this kind of technology, I can’t wait to live in a world were we are able to see every kind of detail of whatever we see by searching for information as you look at it. Just imagine the possibilities, glasses that are able to show you the exact length and height, temperature, density, and any other type of information of any object would be awesome!

    • You are right. It is definitely going to be interesting to say the least. I have a question though..there are so many people who are afraid of technology how ever they mask it with hate. Do you think technology like this will make people less likely to use their brains? I have heard so many older people who always complain about technology and they often say that technology makes people dumber…What do you think?

  12. I do think wearable tech is the future and that in five years we’ll probably all be using it. But I don’t think google glass will be the product that brings us the future.

    Google glass just isn’t that useful compared to smartphones, it just does the same things smartphones can already do but with a clumsier to use interface, so I don’t think it’ll take off. There are only some nichรฉ situations where it’s more convenient to use than a regular smartphone. What comes after google glass is probably what we’ll all end up wearing.

  13. Apart from the obvious privacy concerns, what would you do if somebody was to somehow intercept a signal from any of these wearables and instantly know important information about you in real time? I am comfortable with wearables in general, even excited, but the idea of swallowing a pill that will send messages containing information about my vitals that could possibly be intercepted is frightening and disconcerting. That being said, I am just as excited as everyone else to witness how society reacts to having such information at hand always.

  14. Wearable tech is really gonna change our lives in the coming decade. It’s really a growing trend nowadays. The companies like Samsung, Apple and Google are creating the edgy wearables that have just made everything so easy. With the advancement in time, I guess, We’ll have a bunch of new and great features like you said here.
    It will really be great and Yeah, they will surely be part of our lives by next decade.

  15. I have anticipated the age in which the average person will be wearing tech one day. However, I don’t think a decade is long enough for the technology to progress further enough that an average person can afford it. The Google Glass is a very expensive piece of equipment! But it’s well worth the price if you ask me.

    There’s another piece of technology hanging around called Arduino Flora. It’s basically a microproessor that you can wear on your clothes that you can program. You can make your clothes look all retro and fancy for a pretty cheap price! However, the technology has still a long way to go to be wearable by the average man/woman.

  16. Everything you mention was impressive. You wrote, “Devices that allow individuals with disabilities to accomplish tasks that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to do as well as gadgets that combat the effects of aging on the human body are also on their way.” This is not only impressive but remarkable. That would change that quality of an individual’s life but it would also touch every person in their social circle.

  17. I’m amazed at how far technology has come within the last few decades. A pill that tells that much information could be very useful in hospitals or for people with mental deficiencies. This technology is definitely going to help lead us to a brighter future.

  18. It is much too early to decide if this is going anywhere. There is a large and up going trend with smart watches and there are many companies who are stepping in. It is great to see this because it only feeds the imagination of people like me. Advancements in technology is great for everyone and only time can tell if it is here to stay. Personally, I would not wear anything but a fitness tracker. As soon as everything becomes much more functional, only then, will I choose to wear these future gadgets.

  19. I believe that a bright future is up ahead with wearable technology as long as it is exploited properly.
    It mustn’t enslave us and make us depend on it, because by that moment the purpose of technology, which is to assist us, will have been wheathered.

    In fact, smartwatches help us save a lot of time by making boring tasks intriguing and instant.Take for example making a call, checking your notifications/messages or writing down a note.With other accessories, like Google Glass, the fun goes on since they have even more capabilities (e.g video recording/making calls and so on).

    However, we need to be cautious because our private lives become public instantly and almost anyone, with the proper knowledge and means, can intrude into it.

  20. Wearable tech looks interesting as one can have something other than their smartphone to connect when not home. However, these might pose a danger to our privacy. I would really not want that pill to be injected into my body. If I want a sugar test, I’ll do that through the blood sugar testing device I have at home. If I need a lipid profile, I’ll go to the nearest medical diagnostic centre. I do not want some kind of pill inside my body. Also, there are plenty of privacy concerns when it comes to Google Glass. If we manage to fix or get around these issues without injecting any pills inside our body, I think it would be great. Nonetheless, I am excited for more features in smart-watches and Glass, though.

  21. Wearables aren’t really my style. Then again, my style is more fiction than anything. I don’t know, I’m in love with cyberpunk aesthetics – but I don’t know if I’d modify my body with machinery. It’s a scary thought. That’s a point for wearables – you get to be a cyborg-y existence without the pesky need for losing flesh and blood!

  22. All the great new technologies emerging. It raises such hope for the potential of what’s to come. I have heard of a science contest where they are working to create a handheld device than effectively scan the body to tell you where the health problem is. It’s probably going to be a collaborative effort with this type of technology.

  23. With the current speed of technology it was only a matter of time before we were even closer to our devices, and yes,l that includes ingestion. I actually think these designs will have a great impact on our society. If not the items themselves, then definitely the inspiration they will have on our future.

    The only issue I have and perhaps its because of my own experience with the recent recession is, how many profitable jobs will be lost due to these gadgets and how many more will be created.

  24. Yeah, I’m pretty sure right now that wearable accessories will be a future trend. With all the smartwatches coming out, there can be no doubt about it. It seems to be part of the technological future.

  25. Wearable tech is definitely, with a doubt, the future, and that’s what scares me immensely. Technology is good. It’s always helped us go about doing things with greater ease in life, and made breakthroughs in many aspects. However, I don’t see some of these wearable tech being practical, and each of these has it’s own flaws. Personally, as much as wearable tech is hyped up to be, all I can think of it is as a novelty, no more than that. Sure, the tech could be useful for running, fitness and the like, but for day to day usage I can’t see anybody using the watch extensively say, when messages or calls come in. As much as people think it’s practical, maybe I’m just a little skeptical here, but I think that the technology isn’t really useful and effective. Take the Samsung Galaxy Gear, and the first thing I noticed was that the watch was just too small to be effective. While I understand the limitations the developers had to work with, this touchscreen is so small it’s hardly even effective, not to mention it’s on the wrist which makes it so much clunkier.

    And then there’s Google Glass. That is pretty cool, I’ll give it that, all you have to do is put it on without having to worry about screen real estate like Samsung does. However, the Glass scares me and has scared a lot of other people. Being able to take photos with a blink of an eye just freaks me out. The person won’t even know what you just did and if you were to look past that, the constantly display on Glass instead of the road in front of you could dramatically incrase road accidents and the like. Wearable tech is the future, but I’m really hoping it’s not so soon.

  26. I love the new smart watches that are starting to come out. People have a negative view on them even though they look so cool and are capable of a lot more than people think. When the iPad first came out the reaction was similar and now look how widely used it has become! It feels almost like a piece of Star Wars equipment with the look of it. These things are definitely a conversation starter and head-turner!

  27. I’m really excited by the prospect of wearable tech such as Google Glass. Having a HUD appear in your vision while you are driving will eliminate the need to look away from the road so much, and maybe there will be less wrecks! I also feel that its implementations in the medical industry will help many surgeons and doctors perform better procedures. Some may be concerned about the lack of privacy, as devices like this include discreet video cameras, and I do suppose that this is a valid concern. Unfortunately, it seems that before too long, everything from toasters to baby diapers will have cameras.

  28. About time that wearables have become practical and less dorky looking than they have in the past. IAs long as the strides that have been made in this file continue, I can see practical, efficient tech being worn by the layman. Only a matter of time before my watch tells me what time it is as well as when my next meeting is while preloading the directions that are then loaded onto my glasses. Time to drink in the future. Ahh, refreshing

  29. I agree with most of you, all sounds good except that pill. I’d rather track my health using my phone than swallowing something that might even have a bad impact in my body. I especially like the watches because it can be disguised as just a simple watch and wouldn’t attract too much attention.

  30. The products you mentioned represrnt the future but you missed one that I think it will change the way we see games. No, for real it does that. It’s called the Oculus Rift, it costs around $300 and it’s a helmet that let’s you see games from a whole different perspective, almost like you’re the character.

  31. Everything sounds good but I will not take any type of pill. That just seems very crazy to me. I like the Google Classes, they seem very cool and useful. Also the watches are very unique to me.

  32. Wow we’re going high tech pills now? Kind of off for me. But for the wearable tech well it’s not really surprising if the future turned out to be people wearing their computers to work or stuff like that. I think the idea is there but the technology isn’t there yet but it’s on it’s way.

  33. While reading the article, my mind was like “So there is a possibility that we will have runway shows for gadgets”, and yeah, I’m weird but I can really see this in the future, say five years in the least, since wearable tech will be created more “fashionable” in the years to come.

    Anyway, I do agree with people having concerns about the “little pill”, as it is somehow scary, for one reason that it is inside your body. And for another reason that, some people may track you using that or use the information gathered by the little pill against you somehow.

    I also have seen a wearable tech, a jacket I guess, that changes colors depending on your mood, and a transformable dress, that would make a personal space for you if you don’t want to be tpo close with people.

  34. I’m intersted in seeing where wearable tech takes us in the next ten years. As of now I’m very uninterested in it but I also remember how much people hated the ipad/tablet idea when it came out. As of now ideas like google glass and the apple watch seem too unnecessary but I’m sure they’ll improve and advance over time.

  35. Wearable tech will revolutionary. Google glass can make information available on the spot and save a lot of time. I wish I could use it to replace my phone, and maybe introduce hand gestures to play games. My mom is diabetic, and sometimes her blood sugar is low and sometimes it gets high. It would be useful if a pill could tell her before it reaches critical level. I think that would be a very useful tool medically.

  36. Wearable technology is something that is currently evolving, and will become something great in the years to come. I find it sad that people have already begun to condemn the technology, as it has many useful purposes besides the “privacy invading” ones. Glass, watches, and other things of the sort expand the horizons of what our mobile technology can do. It makes things much more convenient, and I cannot wait to see what great things these companies have in store for us.

  37. I concentrated on finding affordable, wearable tech that have health benefits. There are many gadgets out there that have health and wellness benefits that it’s a real mess today. From wooden shoes with round bulging circles to pillows that are supportive of the backbone structure, these stuffs are no longer fascinating–unless they are wearable tech. I’m glad you wrote this article.

  38. 2014-2015 is definitely going to be the year of wearable tech. We’ve got Google Glass and smart watches coming out. While some are still concerned about privacy, I don’t think that’ll stop development of these products. I honestly think that we may be able to reach a state where info can be directly put into our eyes, with things like the Argus II, where instead of using it for helping blind people see, you could transfer data directly to the brain.

  39. I still can’t wait to get a Samsung gear or any other wearable tech. My boss has one and the other day I heard something ringing but there was no phone around. It was his device telling him that the phone was indeed ringing somewhere in the restaurant! I was amazed. Eventually everything will be in sync with something else and after that there will be nothing to sync but our minds and our devices.

  40. Companies like Samsung and Apple are now pushing it hard these days and I like to see that. The use of watches had their purpose defeated by smartwatches and disappeared from people’s wrists, but little by little it is finding its way back, mainly in the form of smartwatches. Glasses are becoming smarter than they’ve ever been capable of being with the production of Google Glasses. The quadcopter drone is in development and so is the smart contact lens. It’s exciting times for wearable technology.

  41. I’m really excited about this!!! I can’t wait to see all the different products they are going to make off of this idea. Like who would have thought 15 years ago, we would have cell phones that not only allow us to make calls outside our homes, but that also allow us to surf the net, listen to music, watch videos, buy products and video chat. Gosh life is so good today! ๐Ÿ˜€

  42. I think this will be too much of technology.

    There are scenarios where the wearable gadgets have a proven effect on health, e.g Bluetooth. In such scenarios, how are we going to prevent such damage? We won’t even know and there might be some hazard to our health.

    As they say, there are always some pros and cons of the technology!

  43. I really haven’t noticed much of this to be honest. If this year was the year or wearable tech then I seem to have been living under a rock. I know nobody that has any wearable tech like that.

    Not to mention, google glass isn’t even out yet is it?
    Either way, I think wearable tech is whatever. As long as I have my beast PC at home.

  44. I look forward to the future where “wearable tech will be fashionable, incognito and multipurpose.” Right now it’s not the case. Most early designs seem to all have the common ‘eye-catching’ tacky color palate that makes them neither fashionable or incognito. Also their being multipurpose is open to debate.

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