What is “Wearable Technology”?

What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology, wearables, fashionable technology, wearable devices, tech togs, or fashion electronics are clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies. The designs often incorporate practical functions and features, but may also have a purely critical or aesthetic agenda

Wearable technology is related to both the field of ubiquitous computing and the history and development of wearable computers. With ubiquitous computing, wearable technology share the vision of interweaving technology into the everyday life, of making technology pervasive and interaction friction less. Through the history and development of wearable computing, this vision has been both contrasted and affirmed. Affirmed through the multiple projects directed at either enhancing or extending functionality of clothing, and as contrast, most notably through Steve Mann’s concept of sousveillance. The history of wearable technology is influenced by both of these responses to the vision of ubiquitous computing.

The calculator watch, introduced in the 1980s, was one original piece of widespread worn electronics.

Ilya Fridman designed a Bluetooth headset into a pair of earrings with a hidden microphone. The Spy TIE includes a color video camera and USB Heating Gloves keep hands warm when plugged in.

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Twitter users can wear a “Pocket Tweet” using a Java application and cutting out and applying a Twitter text bubble to a person’s shirt, one example of Do-it-yourself wearable tech that was part of an art exhibit for the Wearable Technology AIR project in spring 2009. ZED-phones stitch headphones into beanies and headbands allowing riders, snowboarders, Drivers and Runners to stay connected, hands-free, always.

Wearable technology has applications in monitoring and realtime feedback for athletes as well. The decreasing cost of processing power and other components is encouraging widespread adoption and availability.

According to Forbes, 71% of 16-to-24 year olds want wearable tech.

On April 16, 2013, Mountain View corporation Google allowed for those that pre-ordered its wearable glasses at the 2012 Google I/O conference to pick up the device. This day marked the official launch of Google Glass, a device that brings rich text and notifications as well as other information straight to your eyes. The device also has a 5 MP camera and records 720p.Its various functions are activated via voice command. The company also launched the Google Glass companion app, MyGlass, the day before the official launch on April 15.The New York Times’s Google Glass App is the first third-party Glass App and it reads articles and news’s summaries.It is also the first media app for Google Glass.

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The next wave of wearable devices expected to hit the market will be smartwatches. ABI Research forecasts 1.2 million smart watches will be shipped in 2013 due to high penetration of smartphones in many world markets, the wide availability and low cost of MEMS sensors, energy efficient connectivity technologies such as Bluetooth 4.0, and a flourishing app ecosystem. On March 19, 2014, Motorola unveiled Moto 360 smart watch powered by Android Wear, a modified version of Android designed specifically for smart watches and other wearables.

At CES 2014, wearable technology was a popular topic, and the event was coined the “The Wearables, Appliances, Cars, and Bendable TVs Show” by many industry influencers. Several wearable products that were showcased include Smart watches, SmartBands, Smart Jewelry, glasses, and earbuds.