The wearable industry currently consists of fitness trackers and smartwatches strapped to our wrist, but that is likely to change in the next few years, as we start to strap technology to other areas of our body and integrate chips into clothes.
Here are four emerging trends in the wearable space to watch out for:
Google Glass may have soured augmented reality for a few consumers, but the hype surrounding the glasses was enough to push future engineers and developers to continue building devices.
Augmented reality could provide meaningful change to the way we communicate, giving us a new point-of-view for photos, an easier way to see and reply to notifications, and even new virtual worlds to explore.
The stigma towards glasses, which are the primary device for an augmented reality platform, is still very much alive. Snapchat’s new glasses might remove some of the animosity, but it will be up to future developers like Magic Leap, Google, and Microsoft to show why we need to wear them.
Wrist wearables are not great for fitness tracking, especially when compared to professional health monitors. In a recent study, Fitbit and other trackers only managed to reach 80 percent accuracy, and as heart-rate increased, accuracy continued to decrease.
The solution, for those that want 100 percent accuracy but don’t want the inconvenience of a chest strap, might be in the form of smart clothes.
Designers and engineers have started working on clothes that can monitor your health and activity, heat up when cold, and provide other meaningful benefits. The hope is that these small developments will enter into mainstream stores in the near future.
We spend an awful lot keeping our pets happy, healthy, and safe. That’s good news for wearable developers, who are starting to work on devices aimed at dogs, cats, and other household animals.
These wearables provide similar functionality to fitness trackers, showing the pet’s health, wellbeing, and activity. For pet owners with a busy schedule, it gives them a way to check in throughout the day.
One of the most exciting developments in tech over the past five years has been virtual reality, although not everyone thinks it is going to be huge and a growing number don’t like the experience at all.
Most of VR’s success so far has been in gaming, where Oculus, HTC, and PlayStation battle it out for platform control. Right now, most of the games are bog-standard, but it does give you a hint at what the future could hold.