From Smartwatches to Smart Clothing: What Does Future Hold for Wearable Technology?

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The trend of wearable technology has seen a tremendous spike from fitness tracker to seamless integration devices to smart clothing.

The rise of wearable technologies such as fitness trackers, the Apple Watch, Google Glass and more, have completely transformed people’s lives and continue growing rapidly. Wearables are nothing but the electronic technology or devices incorporated into items that can be easily worn on a body. These devices provide users the ability to monitor their fitness levels, track location, and see text messages more quickly. They have motion sensors that sense and help take the snapshot of people’s routine activities and sync them with mobile devices. 

With the proliferation of smartphones, wearable technology is witnessing an incredible rise, leading the way of innovation in the technological landscape. The use of this technology is already approaching its peak, predicting to reach US$57.49 billion by 2025. 

Prior to entering the consumer market, wearable devices were used in military technology for medical and healthcare. But now these devices have become an integral part of our day to day life. Many wearable gadgets provide us the ability to track our physical activity in real-time as well as allowing to store it to view later. 

There are a different type of wearables available in the market, including smartwatches that not just tell time but provides users notifications on their calls, messages, emails, social media updates, and more. Fitness Tracker helps keeps track of the number of steps and continuously monitors the heart rate. Smart jewellery that specifically designed for women that notifies users their text messages, calls or emails when their phone is out of reach. Even some smart jewelleries are designed to monitor stress levels, guide users in meditation and keep track of users’ health like the Leaf Urban from Bellabeat.

Some wearable devices come with a head mounted display that presents users with a different world of virtual reality, providing virtual information directly to the eyes. Smart clothing is another type of wearable device that has been enhanced with technology to add functionality beyond that of the traditional use of cloths. Levi’s, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, and Under Armour, among others are well-known brands experimenting with smart clothing.

Security Concerns of Wearable Technology

Wearable devices these days are rapidly increasing in much the same way smartphones did. These devices deliver various appealing opportunities to businesses in order to fuel efficiency and glean data. However, wearables may pose security risks as they are connected to the internet, and are often no PIN or password protection, biometric security, or encrypted. In fact, many wearable devices store data on the local device without encryption. This means the data collected is unencrypted and as the most of these devices use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections to transmit data, they are vulnerable to cybercriminals.

In this scenario, it has become indispensable to consider data security in wearable devices. Manufacturers of these devices must ensure the security and protection of user data. They must have big data and IoT security measures in place and use the latest third-party security applications. 

Future of Wearables

The wearable technology intends to influence the fields of health and medicine, fitness, education, aging, disability, enterprise, gaming, music, and much more. Most industries are on the cusp of innovation, developing new and innovative sorts of wearables. Particularly in the healthcare industry, wearable manufacturers are looking to take a leap beyond fitness trackers to develop health care trackers. Despite just looking like a fitness band or tracker, future wearable devices may look more like jewelry or clothing. The hands-free nature of wearable devices will make it very constructive for businesses.

In the coming years, industry experts expect wearable technology will be less about the hardware and more about the platform on the device. The Internet of Bodies (IoB), an extension of the IoT and typically connects the human body to a network through devices that are ingested, implanted, or connected to the body in some way, is also poised to expedite with enhanced interconnectedness, enabling wearables to assist in tracking elusive cardiac arrhythmias.