We may be long past the point where wearable tech is considered the stuff of science fiction. But no one could deny that it still may have a very long way to go. It could be accelerated along its journey by a number of factors, not least the arrival of 5G technology. Increased speeds, expanded bandwidths and the capacity to handle mind-blowing amounts of data will all play a part. Together, these factors will make wearable tech a real game-changer for the ways in which many of us live.
While Google Glass’s first manifestation very much failed to live up to expectations, the same principle now seems ready for a far more successful renaissance. A real-world example comes from a company called Solos which makes glasses specifically for cyclists. Delivering speed and fitness data like watt output and displaying it on the inside of the glasses, this same kind of tech has huge potential for other sectors too.
One example could be people who like to play bingo online. The best online bingo sites have vibrant colours and high-quality graphics, in games like Slingo Racing and Paddy’s Pennies, so wearable tech needs to be up-to-scratch to get the most out of these features. A solution could be for most of the action to take place on the screen of their PC or mobile device, while other information could be delivered to the lenses of the glasses such as the balance in their account and the number of spins remaining. The inclusion of a built-in microphone could also allow for voice control, should the technology allow it.
The physical nature of wearable tech obviously has many other applications and is already enhancing leisure experiences for many. Yoga practitioners can already get a pair of leggings that work alongside an app to give immediate feedback on posture to optimise the experience. A number of swimming costumes are also now coming fitted with the tech to ping a warning to the wearer if ultra-violet levels are becoming dangerously high.
In fact, it’s in the more specific areas of health that wearable tech is set to make a difference to potentially many millions of people worldwide. Smartwatches are becoming ever-more sophisticated with many now even capable of monitoring blood oxygen levels. Samsung has gone even further by suggesting that research is underway to develop a shirt capable of monitoring respiratory performance. With applications for everyone from athletes to the less active, this could have a major role to play in creating a healthier population.
One company that is definitely stepping into the unexplored and crazily futuristic is Mojo. They are working on a revolutionary contact lens that incorporates a micro-LED display the size of a grain of sand. The aim is to use augmented reality to do everything from providing directions when driving to letting the wearer, and only the wearer, see the notes for the presentation they are in the middle of delivering.
So these are definitely exciting times in the field of wearable tech as the potential is essentially limitless, not to mention an area whose possibilities are set to expand exponentially in the future as other areas of technology continue to develop that will overlap with this.