April 09, 2015 6 min read

Future of Wearable Technology

Wearable technology consists of accessories or articles of clothing that use computer and advanced electronics technologies.  Wearables can include any wearable devices and fashionable electronics. The design of such wearbles plays an important role in practical functions and features, but may also be designed to be visual appealing.

Wearables have become prevalent in the marketplace, with everything from smart glasses ( Google Glass) to smart watches (MOTA G2 Pro and Striiv Fusion Smartwatch).

Looking back at the first wearable devices, the first calculator watch was first released in 1975 under the Pulsar brand. It was very popular for science geeks and math nerds, and throughout the mid-1980s, having a calculator watch the “cool thing.”

Advanced technologies have allowed us to come a long way from the first calculator watch in 1975. What does the future hold for wearable technology? We're not really sure, but we decided to ask a few of the leaders in wearable technology to have their take on what the future holds for us.

   

Sonny of Founder of Misfit       

Sonny is the CEO of  Misfit Wearables and is best known for designing highly wearable computing products, including the Shine, an elegant activity monitor (Red Dot & A' Design Awards). Sonny was also the Founder and CEO of AgaMatrix, makers of the world's first iPhone-connected hardware medical device (Red Dot & GOOD Design Awards).

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years?

I think the most important thing for wearables to get to in the coming years is to deliver on more compelling use cases. The current generation of products mostly perform tracking and notifications features which while a great start, won't be enough to drive mainstream acceptance (as in getting billions of people to buy them).

Wearables need to deliver on use cases such as: identity, controls, and safety.

 

 Andy Clark Professor at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland

 Dr. Andy Clark is a professor of philosophy and chair in logic and metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Previously, he taught at Washington University at St. Louis and the University of Sussex in England. Clark is one of the founding members of the Contact collaborative research project, whose aim is to investigate the role environment plays in shaping the nature of conscious experience. Dr. Andy Clark research interests include philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, including robotics, artificial life, embodied cognition, and mind, technology and culture.

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years?

I think we may see more use of interfaces that route information in and out of the bio-system in ways that are easily able to by-pass the alienating bottlenecks of conscious attention and working memory. Examples would be using sub-threshold (rapidly flashed) visual inputs, vibro-tactile arrays mounted on less-used parts of the body, inaudible high-frequency (‘hypersonic’) sounds, etc. I wouldn't be surprised if we moved from Google Glass to Google Cocoon.

   

Isabel Pedersen Director of Decimal Lab                             

Isabel Pedersen is a Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture and is the director of the  Decimal Lab at the University of Ontario where she also holds a position as an Associate Professor of Communication Studies.She is the author of Ready to Wear: A Rhetoric of Wearable Computers and Reality-Shifting Media, which explores how carryable, wearable, and implantable technologies impact the ways that people interact with one another and participate in culture.

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years?

I think large and small companies, policy-makers, inventors and thought leaders are holding their breath to see what happens when some major releases happen soon. Apple Watch will be a game-changer, whether positive or negative, but we need another six months to define that trajectory. In my view, wearable technology will continue to evolve.

 

Glen Gilmore

A Forbes Top 50 "Social Media Power Influencer" two years in a row, Glen Gilmore is the author of "Social Media Law for Business" and contributing author to "Strategic Digital Marketing." Providing customized training to members of the Fortune 500, he is recognized as a top influencer in Social Business, Content Marketing, Wearables, and The Internet of Things.

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years?

Wearable technology will become commonplace in the near future. "Wearables" will become "invisibles" with nanotechnology.

 

   Maneesh Juneja Owner of MJ Analytics Ltd.            

Maneesh was voted 8th most influential person in Digital HealthinMarch 2015 and 10 th most influential person in Wearable Tech in December 2014. As someone not afraid to 'think the unthinkable', Maneesh Juneja has in 2014 delivered a talk in the UK & USA, entitled, "Healthcare in the future: Will advancing technology make doctors unemployed?". This triggered a debate on both sides of the Atlantic over Twitter. His bold thinking led him to the stage of TEDx StPeterPort in 2014, where he talked about how Digital Health technologies could be used to make Guernsey the best place to live on Earth.

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years.

I'd say think of wearables as a modality, and focus on how 'sensors' will evolve.

 

Hosain Rahman CEO of Jawbone   

Hosain Rahman is the CEO and founder of  Jawbone®, a world-leader in consumer technology and wearable products. Hosain has led the company to build innovative and elegantly designed products for the way we live today.

Where do you see wearables heading over the next 5 years?

Wearbles are the ultimate context engines. These devices can become a major part of your identity, and can know you better than you can know yourself. Though these devices are only measuring basic data at this point, but in the not so distant future the impact will become tremendous.

Think about it. As wearables become more and more attuned to users, they could – for instance – adjust your thermostat based on your internal temperature, tell your car that you are drowsy and not alert, tell you to go to bed if you are exhausted, tell you or your doctor that you are showing early signs of some disease or ailment. The possibilities are almost endless.

Nicole Guarascio former Trend Analyst at WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors 

Nicole translates future trends- applying them to consumer experience and product- for her clients, identifying their needs for design requirements. In addition to future forecasting, Nicole works with clients on brand voice, product line analysis, and omni- channel retailing. Her knowledge on the changing consumer landscape helps clients bridge the gap between their online and offline experiences.

Where do you see wearable heading over the next 5 years?

To make it big in the fashion world, wearables will need style and simple functionality from invisible technology.

As far as the future of wearbles, I think there are a lot of consumers who think that it’s really going to be in your face, that we’re going to look like cyborgs and everything is going to be monitored.

Success will be when the tech is invisible and it really makes sense for the consumer.

Bonus Expert

Billie Whitehouse, Co-Founder of Wearable Experiments

Billie Whitehouse is the designer of FUNDAWEAR. Fundawear was the catalyst to Billie founding the company WE:EX [ Wearable Experiments]. As director and designer Billie is invigorating the fashion industry and transforming it into a business focused on improving the quality of our lives.

Where do you see Wearable technology headed over the next 5 years?

Wearable technology will no longer be called wearable technology. It will simply be called ready-to-wear.

The real estate of the body will not be owned by Apple or Samsung it will continue to be shared between high street, luxury and fast fashion brands. The smart brands will figure out how to use their design aesthetics to affect the quality of their consumers lives with emerging technologies.

When we design with technologies we never let the tech come before the human experience. Clothing is one thing that we all have in common, its now time to allow it to do more for everyone than it has ever done before.

   

Conclusion

Both Nicole and Glen predicted that wearables will move to "invisibles". This isn't surprising and with the advancement of technology, it's very real in the near future.

Wearables, according to the experts, will become a part of the person's life and identity. Wearables will be able to help make decisions and control electronics and elements around you.

Here at Wellbots, we're waiting for a wearable device to monitor our caffeine levels and automatically brew a cup of coffee when caffeine levels drops too low.

Wellbots will stay ahead of the trends and as new products come out, we will test them, use them, and educate our customers on the latest technology.


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