It’s no secret that ever since wearable tech has hit the market, it has only gone on to acquire newer fans. The demand for such technology continues to rise.
Some of the most popular consumer wearable tech gadgets include smart watches, glasses, virtual reality headsets, and health and fitness monitors, among others. These devices work by collating and generating data, which has critical bearings on the way we live our lives.
Further, wearable tech is typically Internet-based and can be modified to suit the wearer’s lifestyle choices, making them smart and dependable.
The following mind-blowing statistics should clarify exactly how much wearable tech has impacted modern lives:
- The wearables market exceeded $2 billion in 2015 and is expected to touch almost 3 billion this year and over 4 billion in 2017
- Just under 50 million wearable devices were shipped in in 2015, while over 125 million units are expected to ship in by 2019
- Employees equipped with wearable technology reported an 8.5% increase in productivity and 3.5% higher job satisfaction
- Google Glass has predicted sales of 21 million units by 2018
- One in six consumers currently owns and uses wearable tech
- Most people (48%) who use wearable tech fall between ages 18 and 34
- 71% of 16 to 24-year-olds want wearable tech
- 69% of men either already have a piece of wearable tech or want one, compared to 56% of women
- Wearables owners are also more likely to belong to the upper middle class and above. 29% of wearables owners make more than $100,000 a year.
- Growth in the wearables market is expected to increase 35% by 2019
- Smartwatches are expected to lead the wearables market. They accounted for 59% of wearable sales in 2015 and are projected to grow to 70% of sales by 2019.
- Companies are beginning to test wearables for basic use scenarios like workplace security access (23%), employee time management (20%), and real-time employee communication (20%)
- Companies are also beginning to embrace “bring your own wearable” (BYOW) models with 54% currently supporting a BYOW model and an additional 40% planning to support this model in the future
- Over 50 billion Internet-based devices will exist worldwide by 2020
- 51% of people cited privacy as their biggest concern in using wearable tech
You need not be. At least not so soon.
Here is a few upcoming wearable tech to watch out for in the coming years:
- Your Workout Buddy
When it comes to healthcare tech, Fitbit is the “undisputable leader in the wearable market.” It is among the pioneers in wearable technologies that many a consumer have put their faith in to reach their health goals.
Recently, another name, MYZONE, made its presence felt at the Wearable Technology Show in London. MYZONE works by tracing every iota of effort you put in to exercise by following the beat of your heart. It gathers data and enters it into a system called MEPS (MYZONE Effort Points) that boosts users’ motivation and eggs them on to put more effort into their workout.
While most fitness wearables come in the form of a wristband, MYZONE is like a chest strap. According to MYZONE, this enables better accuracy. On their website, they’ve mentioned, “wrist-based devices are simply not accurate for exercise that is non-rhythmical, at a high intensity, or when the wearer tenses their forearm muscles. Therefore, the data that comes from these devices is inaccurate when boxing, jumping, lifting, or moving in different ways, and inaccurate data is irrelevant. This is why MYZONE uses a chest strap because the information collected is 99.4% accurate to an EKG machine and is fit for the purpose of the exercise.”
- Your Healthcare Specialist
While fitness tech continues to make leaps, healthcare tech isn’t far behind either. In fact, some pioneering companies already offer smart devices that help monitor healthcare. As that goes on, other companies are keen to cut themselves a slice of this pie as well.
Gaming giant Nintendo recently announced its plan to get into the healthcare market. This move is being seen as a way to turn around its fading fortunes, but it still points to the importance of constant innovation from technology-based companies. After all, they stand a high chance of providing us with solutions to some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare.
In 2015, the FDA gave the green signal to Medtronic’s MiniMed 530G, an artificial wearable system for diabetics that tracks blood glucose levels and injects insulin to a set limit. The FDA also gave the nod to a smart pill (or an ingestible sensor) developed by Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (Otsuka) and Proteus Digital Health that helps track patient’s reaction to medicines. Also, Animas, a Johnson and Johnson company, comes out with various tools and gadgets that monitor insulin levels automatically from time to time.
- Your Window to the Fashion World
For most gizmo-geeks, Google Glass may be the final frontier when it comes to geek chic. But, there are firms that are pushing the envelope and making wearable technology more fashionable. For example, CuteCircuit in London recently helps a fashion show where models were able to customize their outfits as they walked the ramp, thanks to a Bluetooth-controlled app that let them change the color of their dresses (and play video).
Additionally, San Francisco-based Sensoree recently showcased something on the same lines at the Tech in Motion Fashion Show. They displayed two designs at the event that “rely on color to interpret mental states. Its mood sweater conveys emotion — turning from a tranquil green to an ecstatic yellow — and its knitted brain sensor pinpoints different types of brain activity.”
- Your Sleeping Partner
A lot of people tend to blame technology for disturbed or interrupted sleep. However, these woes may soon be a thing of the past. Sleep systems are here to save the day (or should we say night).
While not exactly wearable, they do help you catch up with your lost forty winks. Sleep devices such as Nuyu Sleep System comes equipped with sleeping-based technology and Bluetooth, which “uses temperature to help you fall asleep and wake up.”
This is how it works: “It warms up to help you fall asleep then cools down so you don’t wake up at night and kick the covers off. When your wake-up time approaches, it warms up again.” It functions only when the body is laying directly over it.
- Your Ultimate Cover-Up
Sure, using technology is fun and easy, but have you ever paused to think about the harmful radiation you’re constantly exposed to when using it? We all know that wireless technology can be harmful. With most users being young, it is important to keep fertility rates healthy, apart from securing overall health.
Enter the Spartan Boxer Brief. It is being funded by Indiegogo and made its debut at the Wearable Technology Show in London this year. It is supposed to be the first-of-its-kind high-tech male undergarment that protects men from cellphone and Wi-Fi radiation by blocking it. Plus, it is also supposed to offer comfort and a good fit.
These boxer briefs have been tested and certified by the Langevin Institute and come in a fabric that “blocks more than 99% of harmful cell phone and Wi-Fi radiation by drastically reducing the negative effects that these emissions can cause.”
It is apparent that wearable tech is here to stay. Its charm continues to woo an increasing number of people the world over. With most of the younger generation fascinated by it, it’s like a revolution waiting to happen. Also, our increasing dependency on technology has made it imperative for us to invest in such gadgets. For the uninitiated, getting one (or all) of the above devices may be a good start!
Ann Neal is a writer with a keen interest in career, business, tech and lifestyle topics. She is passionate about music and loves to play guitar in her free time with her cute pooch listening quietly ;). Tweet her: @Ann_G_Neal