A wearable computer is a small technological device designed to be used on the body, and which is capable of storing, processing, and sharing data. Wearable computers are designed to make information accessible to the wearer, and will also improve workplace efficiency.
Wearable devices are commonly carried in the pocket, in the shoe, and on the user’s head. It continues to evolve and become more efficient, manageable, and adaptable to the everyday needs of users.
As human-computer interaction technology advances, more wearable technology is created and updated to integrate seamlessly into users’ lives. Even the most common smartphone is considered wearable technology because it can be clipped onto clothing or carried in a bag. Some technologies are built into watches and eyeglasses to augment the user’s perception of the observed world, such as through augmented reality, speech recognition, or virtual reality (VR). Wearable devices like the Apple Watch, Google Glass, and Fitbit monitor sleep patterns, fitness, and heart rate.
Wearable computer challenges
- Weighing and bulkiness.
- The display can be found in the following locations.
- Heat or fire hazards.
- Security and health risks.
- Coexistence testing with other devices.
Wearable computers: history and evolution
One of the earliest examples of wearable technology was created by an inventor in 17th century China when he created a ring with an abacus embedded in it. Cameras were mounted on pigeons during World War I to capture images of enemy troops.
The 1970s were characterized by calculator watches and portable radios, called Walkmen. The following decade saw the release of the first wrist computer, the first video game watch, and the first cell phone.
The 1990s saw the invention of the sneaker phone and a few prototypes of similar wearable devices that were popularized in the 2000s, when many wearable devices were invented and refined.
Wearable devices of the modern era include:
- Anorak jacket from Levi’s that allows wearers to incorporate their MP3 player, cell phone and headphones into the jacket and use a button or snap to switch between them.
- Bluetooth headsets provide hands-free listening to music or answering calls.
- Nike+ fitness trackers that are built into shoes keep track of the user’s workout.
- With Bpay, you pay without a credit card.
- With the Apple Watch, you’ll be able to receive text messages and set reminders a lot like a smartphone.
- The Quell is an electronic pain management device worn by sufferers of chronic illnesses.
- With Ringly, you can take a smart ring with you wherever you go, and it alerts you whenever your phone has notifications to check.
Wearable computers and the impact they have on various industries
The classroom can be enhanced by VR and AR experiences. Also, while controversial, wearable devices monitoring students’ biometrics could give educators feedback on how engaging their content is to students. The devices can also be used by students for note-taking and supplementing learning by easily searching for definitions that they are confused about.
Wearable computers could help healthcare providers deliver better, more efficient care and patient management. For example, sensors patients could swallow might monitor whether they take the medication as prescribed. Furthermore, wearable fitness trackers and nutrition trackers can help patients make sure they have healthy lifestyles.
Wearable computers have grown in popularity in the military for applications such as surveillance, location tracking, and equipment repair. A smartwatch with GPS or a biometric tracking device can also help military personnel complete tasks more efficiently.
Body cameras are worn by police officers on a permanent basis to collect evidence of criminal activity and deter human rights violations or brutality.
With augmented memory technology and wearable computers, consumers can simplify business workflows by keeping track of important details.
Wearable computers are accessible
Wearable computers provide a wide range of accessibility options that might help blind individuals perform daily tasks easily. Deaf individuals can enjoy music through vibrations using sound shirts and vibrating bracelets. Individuals with difficulty communicating may use portable translators to set their day-to-day lives in order.