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.