After Glasses and Watches: What’s Next for Wearable Tech?

There is a growing interest in wearable tech in recent months, making it one of the buzz technology industries. With devices getting smaller and more powerful by the day, the options for wearable tech are almost endless. Here are some of the most exciting projects in the pipeline:

Functional Armbands Are In

Thanks to the already available technologies of the Jawbone Up and Nike FuelBand, armbands may become extremely fashionable over the next few years. Taking on the functionalities already available on watches plus some new ideas, armbands are moving from a niche novelty item to a mainstream technology quicker than you could imagine.

Designers are becoming increasingly inventive with their ideas and as well as recording sleep patterns, heart rate and temperature, they are evolving to measure and record a whole range of health and wellness attributes. Other uses for the functional armband include room keys, ride passes and meal tickets, as used in Disney’s World Magic Band.

At the moment these armbands are a functional item but as functionality becomes standard place, companies will be looking to make them aesthetically pleasing and give them the WOW factor that will make them stand out from the rest.

Are GPS Devices to be Replaced by Wearable Maps?

wearable tech

A team at MIT has worked on prototype wearable mapping systems that uses a variety of systems to record and map out an environment as seen by first-hand experience. The full capabilities of this system have not yet been realized, but a huge amount of interest has been shown by the emergency services as well as the military.

Using cameras similar to those used in games consoles, laser range finders and a host of other leading technologies, the system is designed to record the surroundings of an individual, which is then turned into a map that can be annotated on the go. Possible uses of this include mapping out emergency zones such as the aftermath of an earthquake or even war zone battlegrounds.

As with everything else, it won’t be long before a personal or commercial use is found for this new technology and we are all using wearable mapping technologies. Yes, having GPS functions on your BlackBerry Q10 is nice, but the future may involve us wearing actual mapping technologies ourselves.

Sense and Brain Activity Sensors to Reveal Our Inner Workings

Apart from the obvious mechanical body readers there are a host of other devices being developed to measure things such as our mood, brain activity levels and much more. The VIBE necklace is one item which is already available. This measures your mood and displays stress levels.

Right now these types of items are novelty wearable tech gadgets, but we are clearly heading toward being able to read and record almost every bodily reaction and change, which could have great implications for our long-term health.

Gary Hemel’s words sum up wearable technology’s evolution extremely well, “today’s niche markets are tomorrow’s mass markets.” What seems like an unlikely concept now is almost certainly going to be worn by the masses in the years to come.

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