Wearables have been around for several years now and are widely used for fitness and activity tracking, diet management, and other daily tasks. But wearables have the potential to play key roles in various industries from medicine to the military.
As wearable technology becomes more sophisticated (for example smart implants), so its usefulness in a variety of fields will grow. Here are several examples of developing uses of smart wearables for new applications:
Medical devices for smart monitoring and diagnosis
Wearables enable remote monitoring of a wide range of medical conditions including diabetes, cardiac disease, Parkinson’s and other illnesses. Remote monitoring can also improve home-based healthcare for the elderly and diagnostic capabilities. Smartphone connectivity and easy use are boosting adoption of medical wearables. The wearable medical device industry is moving full speed ahead to develop innovative products that will offer early diagnosis of diseases and increased life expectancy.
Smart glasses for advanced police surveillance
By connecting a smart wearable such as glasses to facial recognition software, police officers could take a picture of an individual and send the image to a police database where an instant search could be made for matches. Facial recognition technology that is already integrated with surveillance cameras could be installed in glasses and alert security personnel in the event that a suspect individual is approaching.
Adjustable wearables for increased payment convenience
We have recently witnessed increased cooperation between traditional watch manufacturers and mobile technology developers to increase smart payment capabilities. Mastercard has signed an agreement with Triwa and Fidesmo to develop a pilot product named Tapster, a smart wearable that enables tap-and-pay contactless transactions. Discover is now partnering with Garmin International to provide contactless payments on Garmin Pay.
Not to be outdone, the Timex Group is joining forces with Hong Kong-based Tappy Technologies to use the company’s tokenization chips, The Tappy platform enables users to attach a battery free chip to their watchband and integrate their payment card data within the device by utilizing the company’s Universal Passive Provisioning Unit. Consumers can choose to pay with whatever payment method is most convenient.
Helping soldiers in the field
Wearable technology can play a vital role in the field by tracking soldiers and enabling central command to coordinate operations more accurately. Hands-free communications and extended battery life can save both time and lives.
A newly developed wearable called Arielle comnibes body armor and a high-tech helmet which can regulate the body temperature of fighting forces in real time. The system also includes a vest-mounted camera, sensors and a smart watch. Sensors that are connected to an officer will trigger an alarm if a weapon is drawn. Data from the battlefield can be transmitted wirelessly through the system and back to any remote location.
The future of wearables
Wearables have a good deal to offer, and many technology companies are seeking new ways to use them to improve efficiency in the industrial and service sectors. Widespread adoption will depend upon the ability to produce smarter and more compact wearables that will seamlessly integrate with APIs, mobile apps and IoTs.