Why is everyone talking about wearables?.
Introduction to wearables:
Since the Pebble launched on Kickstarter over a year and a half ago, some of the biggest tech players have decided to weigh in on the Wearable arms (er…wrist) race. Since the popularity of this sort of tech is starting to really gain momentum, we here at Three Clearance have decided to put together a short(ish) article to bring you up to speed.
What are they?
In the tech world, the term ‘wearables’ is shorthand for wearable technology. At the moment, this mostly means smart-watches, but can also include items such as Google Glass. These tech accessories are so-called ‘smart’ because they can communicate with other pieces of technology, such as the internet or (more commonly), via an app on your personal smartphone.
What can they do?
This section of the tech industry is still in its infancy, but items such as smart watches can already collect data about the wearer’s fitness (including steps taken per day, heart rate, etc), as well as geographical information (most visited places, current location, most popular routes). Newer advances have introduced camera functions, and the ability to see social and direct message updates – all from swiping across the watch screen. Oh, and when you’re not doing any of those impressive things, the watch can be used as…well…a watch.
Google Glass opened up wink-to-photograph/record, and augmented reality viewing, although the development of these extras is still very much under production, rather than an already saleable item.
Why should I care?
While the average consumer doesn’t now think twice about reaching into their pocket for their mobile phone and giving a few taps to its screen in order to check a map or see who’s just emailed them, these casual requirements will, in the future, be much easier once you only need to tap your wrist to see a notification or ask your watch to tell you when your next turning will be.
The biggest benefit that seems to be coming out of the wearables market at the moment however, is in the fitness industry. Strapping your handset to your arm when you go for a run may not seem like much of an imposition, but with the industry slowly moving towards handsets with larger screens (such as the iPhone 6, for example), pretty soon, having to take your phone with you when you’re doing sit-ups at the gym or pounding the pavement is going to become more irksome.
But wearing a watch will continue to be no problem at all – especially if it’s also shock and water resistant.
Granted, wearables won’t be for everyone, but if you’re the sort who appreciates knowing how far you walk in a day, or need to keep a close eye on things such as your heart rate, watch-wearables are a huge step forward in helping you monitor your own health and wellbeing far more efficiently than even your phone is able to.
What can I expect in the future?
One thing is for certain, and it’s that wearables are here to stay. Although the Pebble has been round for the better part of two years, the arrival of the Apple Watch in Spring 2015 will catapult wearable technology (especially smart watches) out of the realm of the early adopter and onto the wrists of mass users. We have already seen huge improvements in both software and hardware in just the last couple of years, so with many more eyes now turning towards this section of the technology industry, it’s likely that new improvements, benefits and features will make huge leaps forward in shorter spaces of time.