Wearable computers have evolved significantly over the years. These devices have become increasingly popular due to their portability and convenience. From smartwatches to augmented reality glasses, wearable technology is changing the way we interact with the world around us. According to research, the wearable technology market is expected to grow in the coming years, with more industries adopting wearable devices.
What is a Wearable Computer?
Wearable computers are computing devices designed to be worn on the body by people, such as on the wrist or as part of clothing or accessories. While mobile phones are commonly considered computers, wearable technology has expanded the range of available devices.
At its core, a wearable computer has a processing unit embedded in the device, allowing hands-free or eyes-free access to the technology. However, other features are commonly associated with wearable computers.
For example, wearable technology relies on sensors tracking individual data throughout the day or even 24 hours. It facilitates permanent communication between the user and the device. This makes it ideal for multitasking and enables users to change, filter, or block irrelevant or untimely information.
Moreover, wearable computers are more personalized than laptops or smartphones as they are customized for the individual wearer and can collect sensitive personal information. In comparison, there are no clear specifications or standards for wearable computers. But their portability and ability to provide constant access to technology make them an increasingly popular and important part of our daily lives.
Wearable Computer History
Wearable technology has come a long way since its early beginnings. One example is a ring with an embedded abacus, invented in 17th century China, and cameras mounted on pigeons during WW1. In the 1970s, calculator watches and portable radios such as the Walkman were popular. The 80s saw the release of the first wrist computer, a video game watch, and a computer mounted over the wearer’s eyes. The first cell phone was also marketed to consumers during this time.
In the 90s, prototype devices such as the sneaker phone emerged and were popularized in the 2000s. The following decade saw the invention and refinement of many modern wearable devices, including:
- The Levi’s ITD Anorak jacket allows wearers to incorporate cell phones and MP3 players. They headphones into the fabric and use a built-in button to switch between them.
- Bluetooth headsets are used for hands-free calls or listening to music.
- The Nike+ fitness tracker can be placed in a shoe to track the user’s workout routine.
- Bpay is a wearable payment system that can be used instead of a traditional credit card.
- The Apple Watch is a smartwatch that includes most of the functionality of a computer or cell phone.
- Quell is a pain management device worn by sufferers of chronic illnesses.
- Ringly, a smart ring can connect to another device, such as a smartphone, and alert the wearer whenever they have a notification to check.
These examples demonstrate the wide variety of wearable technology available today.
Read More: The Evolution of the History of Wearable Technology
Wearable Computer Examples
Wearable computing has become increasingly popular due to its potential for various use cases. Here are some wearable computer applications:
Wearable Computer Monitor Glasses – Smart Glasses
Smart glasses are a type of wearable mobile computer that can replace or enhance the user’s visual surroundings. American inventor Steve Mann first created these devices. And they are now produced by various companies, including Google, Epson, and Vuzix.
A typical smart glass device features:
- A mono-screen mini-computer with a web camera,
- various sensors,
- Internet access,
- IP telephony capabilities,
- and more.
Google Glass is perhaps the most well-known and multifunctional smart glass device. And some functions are controlled via a Wi-Fi smartphone.
The augmented reality features of smart glasses offer various entertainment opportunities. Such as facial recognition of people in the surrounding area and comparison with social network contacts. Additionally, smart glasses can display the shortest path for motorists and provide other helpful information.
Wearable Wrist Computer – Smart Watches
Smartwatches are wearable computing devices that are worn on the wrist, and they provide a variety of functions. They are powered by mobile operating systems, allowing third-party applications to be installed. Smartwatches also function as mobile media players and can be used to receive phone calls and respond to SMS and email. Additionally, they can act as a secondary screen to notify the user of new messages, reminders, and calls.
Along with standard features like GPS navigation and mobile phones, smartwatches have various sensors such as accelerometers, thermometers, and barometers. Some models are designed to be fitness trackers, which can track training programs and track heart rate. They can also collect data using external or built-in sensors and manage or receive data from other devices or computers.
In recent years, smartwatches have become increasingly popular due to their ability to track various aspects of health and fitness. Smartwatches can track steps taken, calories burned and even monitor sleep patterns. With the ability to connect to other devices and apps, smartwatches have become a convenient way to manage various aspects of one’s life.
Wearable Computers Devices – HMDs
Head-mounted displays (HMD) are wearable computing devices. It allows users to experience immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences. Some HMDs come with onboard operating systems, such as Android. It enables applications to run locally on the device, eliminating the need to connect to an external device to generate video. These HMDs are sometimes called smart glasses, which are mentioned above. However, there is no clear agreement on where to draw the line between HMDs and smart glasses.
One example of wearable computers HMD is the Microsoft HoloLens, a self-contained device. It combines a computer’s power with a headset’s convenience. It features a high-definition holographic display, spatial sound, and advanced sensors. It allows users to interact with digital content in the real world. The HoloLens is used in various industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, and education.
Another example of wearable computers is the Oculus Quest 2, a wireless HMD. It allows users to experience immersive virtual reality without being tethered to a computer or gaming console. It features high-resolution displays, integrated speakers, and advanced hand-tracking technology. It allows for more natural VR interactions.
As technology advances, we can expect to see even more innovative uses for HMDs and smart glasses in the future. From entertainment and gaming to education and healthcare, these devices have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with digital content and the world around us.
Read More: Top 7 Best Types of Wearable Technology
Current Trends in Wearable Computers
Wearable technology has been around for a while, but it’s constantly evolving. Here are some of the current trends in wearable computing:
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Wearable devices are now being used to create immersive experiences. For example, Virtual reality headsets can transport wearers to new worlds. Augmented reality glasses can overlay digital information in the real world.
Clothing embedded with sensors and other technology is becoming increasingly popular. Smart clothing can monitor vital signs, track posture, and even adjust to changes in body temperature.
Wearable devices are also being used for payments. Some smartwatches and fitness bands allow users to make contactless payments. This is a convenient alternative to carrying cash or a credit card.
Wearable devices are being used to improve workplace productivity. For example, some companies use smart glasses to give workers hands-free access to information and instructions. At the same time, others use smartwatches to improve communication and collaboration.
Wearable devices are no longer just functional – they’re fashionable too. Companies are designing smartwatches, fitness bands, and other devices that look more like jewelry or traditional watches. These make them more appealing to a wider audience.
Wearable Computers Change How We Work?
Wearable computers are changing how we work in several ways. These devices allow us to access important data and applications while remaining hands-free. This makes it easier to multitask and perform tasks more efficiently. Wearable technology can also help with task management and communication. This makes workers stay organized and in touch with coworkers easier.
Wearable technology is also transforming how we approach workplace safety. Smart glasses and other wearable devices can provide real-time feedback and alerts on potential safety hazards. It helps workers avoid accidents and stay safe on the job. Wearable technology can also be used to monitor employee health and wellness. It helps employers identify and address potential health issues before they become a problem.
Finally, wearable technology is changing the way we approach training and education. With wearable devices, employees can receive on-the-job training and real-time feedback. It makes learning new skills and improving performance easier. Wearable technology can also provide access to educational resources and training materials. This makes it easier for workers to stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and best practices.
Challenges and Opportunities in Wearable Computers
Wearable computers offer both challenges and opportunities. The need to ensure user data privacy and security is a challenge. This is due to their constant connection to the internet and small size, making them vulnerable to hacking and data breaches. Additionally, battery life is challenging as most wearable devices require frequent charging.
However, the benefits of wearable devices are significant. Fitness trackers have transformed how people monitor and track their physical activity, while smartwatches and glasses provide hands-free communication and convenient access to information. In the workplace, wearable devices have the potential to improve productivity by enabling workers to access information and communicate more efficiently.
Moreover, wearable computers have promising applications in healthcare. Remote monitoring devices allow doctors to monitor patients with chronic illnesses in real time. It reduces hospital readmissions and improves patient outcomes. Wearable devices can also aid in the early detection and prevention of diseases.
Wearable computer can potentially transform how we live, work, and communicate. While there are challenges to overcome, innovation opportunities and productivity are immense. Seeing how wearable computers shape our daily lives will be exciting as technology evolves.
Read More: 6 Drawbacks and Benefits of Wearable Technology
Video Source: An official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
More Questions About Wearable Computers
Why Use Wearable Computers?
Wearable computers offer several benefits, such as:Hands-free access to information, Improved productivity, Convenient health, Fitness data monitoring. They can also enhance communication and collaboration in the workplace. This provides new opportunities for remote patient monitoring in healthcare.
How do Wearable Computers Work?
Wearable computers typically collect data through sensors and send it to a connected device. Such as a smartphone or computer for processing and analysis.
What are Some Popular Brands of Wearable Computers?
Popular brands of wearable computers include: Apple Watch, Samsung Galaxy Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, Huawei Watch.
How Long do the Batteries on Wearable Computers Typically Last?
The battery life of wearable computers varies depending on the device and usage but typically ranges from one to several days.
What are the 5 Uses of Wearable Computers?
There are many uses for wearable computers, including: Fitness tracking and monitoring, Hands-free communication and access to information, Enhanced productivity in the workplace, Remote patient monitoring in healthcare, Early detection and prevention of diseases.
What is a Wearable Computer also Known as?
A wearable computer is also known as a wearable device, wearable technology, or simply wearables.
What are the Most Common Wearable Computers?
The most common wearable computer is the smartwatch, followed closely by fitness trackers and smart glasses. Other examples of wearable computers include smart clothing, head-mounted displays, and medical devices.