Remember the contact lens that Jeremy Renner wore in the movie Mission Impossible: Ghost
Protocol to click pictures?
How we all instantly wished for such gesture-controlled contact lens to be a non fictitious technology!
But then, today, as the technology is getting smaller, smarter and faster every day, it should not have come as a surprise when the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology created a pair of contact lenses that can zoom up to 2.8x than the normal vision with the wink of the right eye.
From desktop computers to laptops to mobile phones and tablets, technology moguls took the concept of ubiquitous computing a notch up with wearable devices – in a simpler term, hands-free devices.
What is a wearable device?A wearable device is a computing device, which acts as a miniature computer that consumers can wear on or attach to their bodies as a device clip, smartwatches, smart glasses, clothing, jewelry or contact lens.
The embedded computer and electronic technologies enable the exchange of data/message between the wearer and the operator and manufacturer without human intervention. It links to a mobile app or the Internet through Bluetooth or work as a computer itself. They have scanning and sensory features to alert users of an email or text message, & to track information related to health and fitness. They collect, document and process data for enhanced access to information and personal assistance.
Google Glass, Apple’s iWatch, Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, push-to-talk devices like On Beep are some of the common examples of this recent technology. Other innovations include:
Sigmo– a language translator that can voice translate 25 languages in real-time.
BioStamp– an electronic tattoo or smart sensing stickers that expectant mothers can wear to monitor the heart rate and brain waves of the fetal, and also detect early signs of labour.
Oral B’s smart toothbrush– lets users monitor their oral care from the data collected from the user’s brushing frequency and technique. It also gives real-time guidance to improve brushing habits.
The entry of such wireless wearable technology devices has made life more convenient and day-to-day activities tractable. It expedites access to any records, data, content and statistics, anywhere and anytime.
Medicine, fashion, business, law and enforcement, and entertainment are some of the areas that have significantly benefited from such activity trackers. Juniper Research notes that the global spending on wearable technology is expected to reach $19 billion by 2018.
As companies are increasingly pushing for enterprise mobility, wearable devices are being part of the digital landscape in an enterprise. Like bring your own device (BYOD), companies are adopting flexible policies for hands free devices such as Android Wear and Apple Watch. This has let employees receive business information, email and calendar notifications on the smart watches and device on the go.
To address the inevitable concern of security of such wireless wearables in the enterprise mobility scheme, companies have employed applications for business operations that can work on any wearable device in the work environment. This will protect corporate data, maximizing employee productivity.
For enhancing customer experience, Virgin Atlantic, the British airline, associated with air transport specialist SITA and employed Google Glass recently. When a business class passenger arrives at the Heathrow airport, a staff, who will be wearing the smart device, will initiate the check-in process, update passengers on their flight information, weather and local events at their destination, in addition to translating foreign language information.
Wearable gadgets have also taken over the role of ensuring the safety of employees.
This is remarkably advantageous at warehouses, where field maintenance workers can log in activity and monitor their biometrics using voice. Some wearable devices embedded with sensors can also give feedback on a smartwatch in case of high risk of injury.
Smart glasses and smartwatches provide hands free access to data environmental disaster workers and mechanics.
Sales professional, real estate agents, military personnel too can benefit from such wearables at workplace.
This sector has been considerably enjoying the benefits of the wearable devices through numerous innovations.
A study by ABI Research, a technology market intelligence company,points out that wearable wireless medical device sale will hit more than 100 million devices per year by 2016. Some examples
The Valedo Back Therapy: This is a device for those with lower back pain health issue that features video game like interaction to give the user some exercises.
Abbott Diabetes Care:a glucose monitoring system for diabetes patients, which reads glucose
HealthPatch MD:A Bluetooth enabled reusable biosensor that helps healthcare professionals to monitor the vital information of the patients to track breathing, heart rate, temperature, body position).
The traditional pagers have been replaced with such wireless health devices, making hospital staff more productive. Patients too can spare numerous visits to hospitals and even make their stint at a hospital ‘smarter’.