Worldwide consumer spending on wearable devices will hit an impressive total of $81.5 billion in 2021, owing to the desire to self-track COVID symptoms, monitor personal health and fitness, and boost road safety – to name just a few reasons. From smartwatches to wristbands, head-mounted displays to smart clothing, there is a wide array of products aimed at bridging the gap between technology, safety, and fashion. Read on to discover just a few trends shaking up the wearable tech game.
Advances in Miniaturisation
One of the main health benefits of wearable tech over other devices like smartphones and tablets, is their ability to provide monitoring and scanning features. As stated in a recent wearable tech survey by A Ometov and colleagues, even simple activity trackers can monitor the heart rate, stress levels, sleep patterns, temperatures, and more. Big strides have been made in miniaturisation, so that sensors can be integrated into devices (such as the Spire Health Tag or the Oura Ring) which are almost invisible to the eye. The Oura Ring, for instance, looks like a typical band-style ring (it comes in silver, gold, and black) but sensors on its inner surface deliver precise, personalized health insights to its wearer.
Sensors capable of giving more accurate readings are also a big focus of the wearable tech market and they will be a big driver for the industry for the next three to five years, according to research by Gartner. Companies like GE Healthcare, for instance, are working on next-gen patient monitoring systems relying on ultra-lightweight sensors that can be used in a wide range of settings – including the post-operatory management and monitoring of patients.
Currently, after surgery, patients are often hooked up with cables to a plethora of devices that can interfere with movement and comfort. Wearable technology (which could be printable in the future) will enable medical professionals to keep track of their patients while providing the latter with considerable more freedom to move around.
New Interactions between Technology and The Human Brain
Gabe Newell, the head of U.S. gaming giant, Valve, predicts that humans will soon be controlling their video game participation via brain signals. Moreover, in the future, computers will also be able to adjust the brain, making reality indistinguishable from science fiction in many ways. Newell and his colleagues plan on making this possible via VR helmets capable of interpreting signals from the human brain. The team is currently working on an open-source brain computer interface program that reads brain signals in high resolution.
The advent of 5G will enable much more than lightning-speed data transfer, reports Forbes’ Bernard Marr. It will also enable the creation of lighter wearables that no longer require embedded data-processing hardware to function (since it can all be done via the Cloud thanks to dramatically increased bandwidth availability). Currently, the one downside of VR and AR headset users is their size, weight, and bulkiness. Imagine ultra-light versions that are capable of processing a much larger amount of data.
Wearable tech is all the rage among lovers of fitness, fashion, and car safety and new developments in the industry mean that these cool accessories and headsets are bound to be smaller, lighter, and more efficient. From wearable rings to smart clothing, products are set to process data quickly while offering more comfort to users. Wearable devices will also reduce discomfort for patients who are recovering from surgery, thanks to the advances made in ultra-efficient, fine, and light wearable technology.