In the past decade we’ve seen tremendous leaps and bounds in technology. Electronic consumer goods have become faster, more sophisticated and more compact. Many different technologies which barely existed in the 1990s have now become mainstream (read – evolution of Apple products). One of the most obvious examples is smartphones. This new generation of phones has become so sophisticated that some people have now replaced their computers with a smartphone! We’ll talk about how smartphones are playing a big part in the development of wearable technology.
It’s really only been in the last couple of years that wearable technology has got lots of publicity, one of the most famous of these being the new Google Glass – glasses that can perform a wide variety of tasks including recording video, taking photos and translating phrases into other languages. In this post we’ll be talking about smartwatches and other exciting new technology that you can wear on your wrist.
FitBit is a wristband that tracks your physical activity and sleeping patterns. It is discreet and robust and works by gathering the data from your everyday activities, which can then be transferred to your computer and (Apple or Android) Smartphone. You can measure many different metrics, including steps taken, distance travelled and calories burned.
If you wear a FitBit whilst you sleep it can track the length and quality of your sleep and even record how many times you wake up. There is no screen on the wristband but all of the data can be viewed on your smartphone or laptop. You can also set goals in terms of how many steps you take and the number of calories burnt, and an LED will light up each time you get 20% closer to your goal.
2. Nissan Nismo Smartwatch
Nissan are well ahead of the curve with their latest technology, reflecting the recent popularity of smartwatches. In addition to this, we have also seen the technology within cars become much more sophisticated, meaning that an increasing number of new cars now have full internet access and impressive on-board computers. Nissan is the first car manufacturer to create a watch that gathers data from both the driver and the vehicle. The watch collects biometric data from the driver that includes their heart rate, and it measures data from the car such as average speed and miles per gallon (mpg). The watch connects to the computer system that is built into some of the new Nissan cars.
3. Sony Smartwatch 2
The Sony Smartwatch 2 is an Android-compatible watch that connects to your Smartphone. It can be connected via Bluetooth and NFC (near field communication – another type of wireless communication). This is the second edition of the new smartwatch from Sony. It can also be used with compatible Android tablets. As well as being a multifunctional watch, you can keep your phone in your pocket or tucked away in your bag but still check notifications from social media, calls and texts. There are also an increasing amount of apps available that are compatible with the watch. The watch comes with a 1.6 inch colour touch screen. To make and receive calls on this phone, you will need a Bluetooth headset, and the watch can be used as a remote for the calls.
Learn more about the Sony Smartwatch 2 on this article: 3 Most Awesome Smartwatches.
4. Samsung Galaxy Gear
Some of the leading Smartphone brands that have noticed the increasing demand for wrist-based technology are releasing smartwatches that only work with phones they manufacture. One of the most recent examples of this is the Samsung Galaxy Gear which is being released with one of Samsung’s newest phones: the Galaxy Note 3. There are a number of exciting features on the Samsung Galaxy Gear, including the ability to answer and make calls, specially designed voice commands, instant notifications of emails and messages, the ability to take and share photos, record voice memos and track how many steps you take with a pedometer.
5. Vibrado Basketball Sleeve
Although this is a “sleeve” rather than a small watch that is worn on your wrist, we thought it was a really cool example of how wearable technology is starting to impact other areas of life, including sports. In recent years, we’ve already seen how new technology has transformed the judgement calls by umpires in sports such as cricket and tennis, and the latest sleeve from Vibrado provides the player with a basketball “coach” and shot tracker that is worn on their arm!
The sleeve gives instant feedback when the person wearing it takes a shot. It contains many different sensors that measure things like the angle and arc of the shot. A series of lights and sounds on the sleeve will instantaneously beep or light up to feed information back to the user. More detailed data is available once the sleeve is connected to a computer. This is not yet for sale, but if you are a keen basketball player it will certainly be something to keep your eye on.
It’s clear to see that the new trend of wearable technology, particularly technology which can be worn on the wrist, is a growing one. Undoubtedly there’ll be many different technology companies and tech startups creating new and exciting wearable technology that will become increasingly sophisticated. Soon there will be very little that can’t be tracked with wearable technology: it can already track everything from sleep patterns to a vast range of biometric data. It also looks likely that wearable technology will start to interact with many of our belongings and household items. Perhaps your freezer will soon be sending you a notification when it needs defrosting!