Greetings to all from the scenic Harbour City as we engage head-on with the festive season. Plenty of bright Xmas trees and decorations all over the city. And for the most part, everyone is in a relatively upbeat mood. Do you think it’s because they’re happily awaiting my next article?

I’m not sure where it sits in world rankings but Sydney would have to qualify as one of the more “fit” cities I’ve ever been in. Plenty of Sydneysiders swimming, jogging, power walking and riding bicycles all over the place. That gave me the idea for my latest article. Wearable techs and how much they are impacting the “fit” types among us.

What is Wearable technology?

In trendy lingo, they are referred to as “wearables” electronic devices that can be worn as accessories, embedded in clothing, potentially embedded in the end user’s body, or tattooed on someone’s skin. They are at the forefront of what is known as the IoT (Internet of Things). 

In recent years we’ve seen new and disruptive innovations in the world of wearable technologies. Products such as Apple Watch, Fitbit, Oculus Rift, and Motiv Ring promise to change the way we receive, use, and share data. And of course, it’s delivered in a more personalised fashion. Now that I’ve provided my intro let’s have a look at some top trends.

The Hottest Trends in Wearables

  • Wearables to monitor Medication- One of the most impressive offerings to assist with medication is Abilify MyCite. It’s a combination of oral tablets embedded with an IEM sensor to assist patients with schizophrenia to manage medication. The patients record their medication intake with the sensor and communicate it via an app to their medical provider. 
  • Wearables for Better Mental Health- Muse has developed a wearable to address this. Muse has developed a headband EEG (Electroencephalogram) device that measures your brain activity whilst a comparable application guides you through meditation. 
  • More informed Customer Data Collection- Wearables open up new opportunities for digital marketers, in addition to enhancing the customer experience. Wearable devices and smartwatches can help advertisers quickly capture critical details like purchasing patterns and the location of their target audience. It also provides new opportunities for Application developers. Wearable devices mean that developers can create software for new systems and use wearables to come up with effective means for data collection. 
  • Creation of Payment Gateways- Another area of opportunity for wearables. The increasing range of development opts for contactless payment by registered apps. You can engage in transactions without any issue using wearables. As many of us can relate as contactless payments have really expanded in 2020. Especially at Dominos. Not that an incredibly fit person like myself would spend too much time there 🙂
  • The market for B2B wearables will grow- The range of potential applications in this area is vast. Opportunities include fitness bands to track employee health and limit workplace accidents, body cameras and VR headsets for employee training.

What are the top wearable technologies today?

  • Apple Watch – One of my good mates, a journalist with a top Aussie newspaper is a proud owner of this product. This offering from Apple came onto the scene back in 2015. It incorporates fitness tracking and health-oriented functionalities. It also seamlessly integrates with the iPhone as you’re able to make phone calls, send texts and check emails. Another winner for Apple. They’re currently on sixth iteration as it was released in September 2020. One of the new features for this version is a sleep monitoring app.
  • Fitbit – The Fitbit organisation releases a number of wearables. Their signature product is a fitness band worn on a person’s wrist that tracks physical activity. Their products are also designed to track activity and health markers including heart rate, quality of sleep and number of steps walked. Fitbit has been around in 2007; and is in the midst of takeover talks as we speak by Google. 
  • Oura Ring – The Oura is a device you wear on your finger and is equipped with infrared LED’s, temperature sensors, an accelerometer and a gyroscope (which measures motion). It’s capable of capturing the User’s heart rate, temperature and body movements like sleep patterns and steps. It was developed by a Finnish company of the same name and has been in existence since 2013.
  • Norm Glasses – To their credit they already seem to have a better opportunity than the ill-fated Google Glass from a few years back. That’s another story altogether. The Norm glasses are designed for everyday use. They utilise AR (Augmented Reality, a topic I recently covered) that allows the user to read text messages, make phone calls and reply to incoming messages hands free. The glasses have a built in gyroscope, accelerometer and a magnetometer (measures magnetic fields). This enables the user to respond with voice commands and head gestures to interact with the device. Cool!

 There’s so much potential in this area. The global wearable technology market was measured at $32.6 Billion in 2019, and is predicted to grow at 16% per annum through 2027. Perhaps between delivering these terrific articles and watching the Lakers, I should start developing a unique wearable technology? Time will tell. So readers of Digital Fixation, what are your thoughts on my article? And do you have a particular wearable favourite? Please drop us a line with your feedback. Until then stay happy, healthy and Digitally Fixated!