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What Does The Future Hold For Wearable Tech?

Wearable technology is only continuing to grow due to recent advancements in technology and they are starting to integrate with our everyday activities and lifestyles. Wearables can be worn on different parts of the body, but the most common ones are worn around the wrist.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Smart Watch sales have continued to increase as more people are stuck at home and are using these devices as a way to track their fitness. Wearable technology is popular for people who want to track their daily steps and fitness levels but there are now applications for wearables in healthcare and security.

This article will discuss what trends are being seen in the wearable technology market, data privacy concerns that people have and how artificial intelligence will play a bigger role in people’s lives.

Trends In Wearable Technology

Advancements in technology are driving some key market trends for wearable technology including:

  • Smart clothing
  • Smart footwear
  • Continuous improvement of smartwatches

Below we will explore each market trend in detail.

Smart Clothing

Smart clothing can monitor health and help with treatment in new and innovative ways. It is revolutionising healthcare and could reduce reliance on more expensive equipment. The advancements in nanotechnology and microfabrication technology is allowing for more customisable garments that have sensors that can collect data and be monitored on a smartphone app.

What Kind Of Clothes Are Considered ‘Smart’?

Clothes that are fitted with sensors that are embedded in the fabric are considered ‘smart’ and the best clothing to wear to monitor breathing, heart rate and muscle tension is underwear. These are the most logical type of clothing to wear as it’s in closest contact with the skin.

What Examples Of Smart Clothing Are There?

US start-up Bloomer Tech has developed a smart bra for women. This bra contains sensors in the fabric that can detect pulse rate, heart rhythms and respiratory rate. The bra was created because there has been less research done into cardiovascular diseases in women, mainly due to women being excluded from clinical testing until 1993.

Smart Footwear

Whoever thought a day would come where you could charge your shoes. Well, you can. Nike has developed shoes that can be voice activated to loosen your laces. During a basketball game, the foot can expand almost half a size. The aim is to make the person playing sport feel as comfortable as possible.

What Other Applications Are There For Smart Footwear?

There are smart shoes that have been developed by E-Vone to help elderly people. By sensing the person’s movement, the shoes can detect if a person has fallen and send an alarm to family, friends or emergency services. The shoes are fitted with a GPS locator so the person can be easily found. The need for this type of wearable technology is growing due to an ageing population. Technology like this allows seniors to feel safer and more independent who would prefer to live in their own home.

Smartwatches Keep Getting Better

Think of all the things you can do on a smartwatch now. Make a phone call, send a text message, monitor your heart rate, listen to music, read the news, pay for your coffee, watch a video… the list goes on. The development of smartwatches has made them the perfect device to monitor the health of seniors.

Many people don’t like carrying around medical devices because they’re traditionally bulky and draw attention, but smartwatches that track your heart rate and can detect falls look like regular smartwatches.

What Are Some Examples Of Smart Watches For Seniors?

The MePACS Solo is a personal alarm built into a smartwatch. Falls are common in people especially aged 65 years or over and if a fall occurs, there’s a chance that the person won’t have anyone around to help them. Many falls occur in bathrooms due to slippery surfaces, which is why this smartwatch is waterproof so it can be worn in the shower or the swimming pool. The smartwatch will alert a monitoring centre if the person is in need of help and a family member or emergency services will be contacted.

Wearable Tech Creates Data Privacy Concerns

Wearable technology is creating a lot of new data which is raising concerns among people about:

  • Who has access to this data?
  • Is this data being shared or sold to third parties?

Who Has Access To My Data?

Before you purchase any wearable device, check if the company has a policy about who has access to your data. If you can’t find that information online, then speak to someone about it. It should be your choice whether or not to share your personal health data with a doctor or caregiver. No one else should be allowed to make that decision for you.

Is My Data Being Shared With or Sold To Third Parties?

Check the privacy policy of the device that you’re looking to buy or currently own. Language like ‘We may share your information with third parties…’ isn’t good. The problem is, many people buy things online without even checking how the data from a device is being shared. It’s best to speak to a doctor or someone who might be more informed about the privacy policies of different companies.

How AI Is Being Used In Wearable Technology

Many wearable devices as well as collecting data, are using artificial intelligence (AI) to improve human lives. AI is able to look at data and form a hypothesis and provide highly accurate outcomes.

As technology develops further, AI will become even more important in wearable technology, especially looking at elderly people who face chronic diseases and how they can be treated better.

In closing, wearable tech has taken huge leaps and bounds in the last 10 years and as the market for them grows, the more products are coming out at a quicker pace. Despite privacy concerns, many people are benefiting from this new technology including quicker and better diagnosis, more personalised treatment and ability to help in the case of an emergency. Artificial intelligence will play a big role in all of those areas too.