Firstly we must ask the question…what exactly is wearable technology? Wearable techs, short for wearable technology, are gadgets or devices, which are worn on body parts, along with clothes and other accessories to help the wearer perform various functions that can be performed on our computers and phones while on the go. These gadgets usually include a type of tracking technology (such as motion sensors) that monitors various data such as heart rate, sleeping patterns, physical activity (steps, performance, etc.), and various other useful information.
Wearable tech has plenty of applications and can benefit people of all ages suffering from:
• Obesity – The biggest industry wearables have infiltrated is health and fitness. Today, you can find a bracelet, sports bra, jewelry, watch, belt, and other items that have been programmed to monitor physical activities, work as a pedometer, provide coaching, measure calorie intake and burned, and track other bodily functions.
Popular wearable fitness trackers like FitBit and JawBone have helped users get motivated with exercise. Meanwhile, obese kids can make losing weight fun with various game-type wearables that promote being active, offer challenges, and allow them to play against other kids.
• Insomnia and Sleep Apnea – Sleep is an important part of fitness, so wearable devices that monitor the quality of a person’s sleep can be a huge help. There are devices with a full list of sleep data analysis that can help people suffering from insomnia and sleep apnea.
Wearable technology may be all the buzz in 2016, but the process of adding technology to day-to-day life has been done for centuries. According to Giordano da Rivalto, the earliest “smartglass” was commissioned by Roman Emperor Nero. The glasses were made of a metal frame and emerald lens, which reportedly helped in improving Nero’s eyesight during fights from 54 AD to 68 AD.
In 17th-century China, the oldest smart ring was designed with the smallest abacus you’ll ever see.
In 1907 Germany, Julius Neubronner invented the first GoPro-looking device and the sub-niche Pigeon Photography. He fitted several pigeons with an aluminum breast harness, which holds a miniature camera with a timer mechanism that captures a single aerial-view photo.
By the early 1960s, the term wearable tech has not been coined yet but has been applied in countless inventions. Also in the 60s, the oldest HUD (head-up display) and virtual reality wearable devices were created by one person. From 2000 onwards, many wearable techs have popped up.
Different Types Of Wearable Technology & Are They Safe?
We will look at some of the wearable techs which are projected to take over the technology industry as the need for smaller and easy to carry computers are in demand and whether they are safe to use or not.
Wearable Smart Glasses
These are glasses embedded with some microchips that are worn on the face to help the wearer perform some tasks without being noticed. It can help take pictures, take video coverage, to magnify objects, to improve sight, and can be used as an industrial glass for detection.
A smartwatch is a device worn on the wrist, which has a touch screen display that can be connected to your smartphone through Bluetooth, which keeps you updated on the digital networks of your phone such as notification of incoming calls, emails and various notifications from the applications you work with, track daily activities and more..
These are sophisticated wristbands or watches, which are produced to help you track and count your fitness activities. They tell you how much distance you have covered in your walk or run, the number of calories burned, when you are not correctly seated, the number of calories you have consumed, monitor your heart rate, etc. They usually come in different styles, shapes, colors, and sizes.
These are clothes embedded with small sensors that are designed to help check and provide feedback on your health, fitness and sporting activities. They were also worn by the military in war fronts to provide a kind of health and emergency relief to soldiers when hurt or in danger. This clothing was usually hard and heavy and cannot be worn in normal circumstances. In recent years, there have been innovations in more fashionable and comfortable smart clothes.
Smart jewelry is exceptionally designed jewelry like necklaces, rings, bracelets, and some wristwatches that are fashionable and trendy which like the others are embedded with a small device that can notify and track events.
These are devices implanted under the skin mostly for medical reasons, such as insulin pumps, the retinal implants, magnetic sensors, smart drugs, etc. Many proponents believe these implantation devices might become part of the human body in the near future.
How Safe Are These Wearable techs.
There has been a great deal of contention as to the potential health hazards of these wearable gadgets. It is a well-known fact that some low level radiating mobile phones can cause some health problems, how much more than would an electronic device that is worn very close to the body for a long time not cause even more serious harm to their users. Most researchers have confirmed this fact, while some have refuted it with heavy research to prove their stance. Nevertheless, there are so many advantages that can be derived from these wearable techs, as earlier sighted and since most wearable techs make use of Bluetooth, and Bluetooth uses a lower level of radio waves, then wearable techs might very well be safer than cellphones