Wearable technology is still in its infancy, but as the technology gets smaller, the batteries last longer and the developers come up with new and innovative ideas, its integration into everyday life is inevitable. Between passive and active input, there will be a piece of wearable technology for everyone. The following are just a few types of wearable technology that are already gaining traction:
The pedometer was one of the first wearable devices. Over time, they have become more accurate and useful. While a pedometer can track the number of steps you took and get a rough estimate of the calories you burned, that’s about all it can do. Today’s tracking modules, however, can track your steps, watch your calories, monitor your heart rate, fit into just about anything and do more.
Being able to fit into small spaces is where this particular wearable is headed in the future. Instead of having to buy a dedicated smartwatch, like the Apple Watch, you can have the option of fitting it into something more contemporary, like the Fossil Q, which essentially puts this technology into one of its regular watches.
It looks like 2016 and 2017 are going to have big pushes in the technology for virtual reality headsets. Premium VR headsets like the Oculus are nearly ready for the consumer market while Samsung’s Gear VR is already hitting shelves. Screens are finally getting to a resolution high enough to eliminate the so-called “screen door effect,” which happens when the image is magnified to give a full panoramic view and the pixels can be seen. This low-resolution problem used to draw users out of the virtual reality experience, but the advancements in screen resolution will make this problem disappear.
Once these headsets start to get major market penetration, app developers will create new and novel ways to use virtual reality that you may have never considered.
The Bluetooth headset was another one of the earliest wearable technologies that has become ubiquitous in today’s technology. Between lower power being needed for Bluetooth and better battery life, wireless headphones are becoming more and more of a viable option. With rumors flying that Apple is trying to move the iPhone away from having a 3.5mm headphone jack, Bluetooth technology might be important to you in the near future.
The quality of wireless headphones has been improving as well. Custom earbuds and noise-canceling technology mean you can isolate yourself from the world more easily than ever before. While headphones currently need to be plugged into a USB port, wireless charging will soon be available, meaning you can get a charge just by storing them and never be without your music.
Another technology that can easily be integrated into existing and non-smart devices is NFC tags. NFC, or near field communication, is the same technology that allows RFID cards to open doors and keyless cars to start when you sit in the driver’s seat.
Visa’s payWave and Apple Pay are examples of existing NFC technology that enable you to make payments through your smartphone. As the amount of cardless payment programs expands, it looks like NFC technology will only continue to advance.