The potential of wearable technologies

The wearables market has won more and more space in daily activities, promising to revolutionize our day-to-day. According to Gartner consultancy forecasts, worldwide sales of wearable technologies should reach $ 28.7 billion in 2016, which represents an advance of almost 19% over the previous year. Despite promising potential sales, there is much still to be done for Wearable Technologies to transform the way information is transmitted and picked up. This is a market that has not yet reached its full disruptive potential.

For most consumers, the wearables are seen and used as an extension of the current smartphones, being consulted to facilitate tasks and to achieve efficiency in different functions. According to Steve Mann (who in 1998 coined the term in his article “Definition of Wearable Computer”), wearable technologies can be classified as gadgets that are constantly helping the user to perform certain functions while he/she is free to perform other daily activities.

Perhaps the best known of wearables so far is the Apple Watch, the smart watch from Apple. According to IDC Consulting, the Apple Watch has approximately 58% of the wearable technologies market. What no one knows yet is whether this adhesion to the technology is happening as a natural evolution of the Internet of Things, or as a fad.

So far, the potential for wearables has mostly been used by the sports market. Neverthless, the future of this innovation is promising in several other sectors. If exploited in an innovative way, wearable technologies can be used with more vehemence in the medical field, for example. Imagine an accessory able to perform a constant monitoring of blood pressure, without the need to use your hands. Or, in the security area, a necklace, brooch or something else similar with a camera attached, which can be used by a police officer to pass information to the control unit without having to use the hands. In the teaching area, wearables could transmit courses directly to devices used on the wrist, which could be heard during hiking, travelling in buses, trains, etc… All this without using your hands.

Although they are not indispensable yet, according to research, consumers are already willing to spend reasonable sums to have this technology. Much progress has already been made on the wearable devices. With its increasing use, we will soon witness information being broadcast not only passive but also actively.