Wearable technology has gained huge momentum and there seems no limit to the type of technology that designers are creating for our body. However, some devices may not be available in South Africa for a while, writes LEAINE BREBNER.
Wearable tech can be broken down into three categories: Glasses, Notifiers and Trackers.
We all know about Google Glass by now: a wearable computer in the form of a pair of glasses. The glasses are expected to go on sale sometime this year for about $500 and experts are predicting that four million ‚”smartglasses‚” will be sold. These amazing glasses are even said to transform the way surgery is performed as doctors are now using them in the operating room. The optical head mounted display allows the surgeon to keep his eyes on the patient at all times and the microphone gives him the ability to communicate with those outside of the operating room, such as the patient’s friends and family. Procedures can also be documented on the internet, which is helpful when communicating with other doctors: the 16GB of onboard storage will come in handy here! Other expected features include SMS texting, Google Hangouts and GPS navigation.
Many are predicting that 3D viewers will become the future of gaming. These head-mounted display goggles are able to provide an extreme HD experience, which is like having a 3D cinema screen all to yourself! Most 3D viewers are wireless and work with smartphones, tablets, TVs, computers and gaming consoles.
Notifiers are devices which give you information from the world around you, such as smartwatches and wristbands, compatible with Android and iOS, that are able to receive text messages, phone calls, social media mentions as well as provide other communication and interactive features such as calendar, music, weather and stock information.
Trackers use sensors to record data such as heart rate, exercise, calories, sleep patterns, visuals and much more, via fitness wristbands and life-logging cameras. The products are connected to the internet and the data can then be downloaded through an app on your smartphone.
The trend seems to be leaning towards Notifiers and Trackers merging into one, such as with the SonySmartBand, which is competition to the extremely popular health-tracker, Nike Fuelband. The SonySmartBand has taken a lot of prompts from the Nike health band, but has incorporated many of its own features, such as being able to remember the music you’ve listened to, the games you’ve played and how much you’ve socialised with your friends. It also allows you to set daily goals and see how far you are from achieving them.
Global sales of wearable computers are thought to surpass $3 billion in 2014.
No matter which part of your body you favour the most, there will no doubt be a piece of technology for you to wear on it. It’s time to embrace 2014, while being fashionable and well informed with your item of wearable technology!
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* Leaine Brebner is head of communication at Dial a Nerd.