From Being a Fantasy to a Necessity: Wearable Technology Round-up

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Wearable-TechnologyWEARABLE’S TECHNOLOGY is perhaps the most interesting thing to happen in the technology industry till date. Each and every gadget we are currently using is on the urge of getting converted into a wearable technology. Wearable technology, also known as wearable’s, fashionable technology, fashion electronics or wearable gadgets are accessories or clothing gadgets incorporated with computer applications. Such applications are increasing in numbers with time and so are the electronic devices that can access these apps.

For the records, the calculator watch was the first official wearable technology device in the 1980’s and it by surprise was a massive success all around the globe. The calculator watch was first introduced in the 1975 under the brand name of Pulsar; this product was a craze among the science geek and enthuses of mathematics. However, the limited scope of usability pulled down the gadget’s popularity but some watch companies still have few models running in the market.

The Smartwatch and Google Glass are two prime examples of the wearable technology but the world knows that this just may have started as there are N number of products and makers joining the industry. The wearable niche is growing at a brisk speed and one can expect a bulk of things to happen in the following years.

However, it is important that we dig into the HISTORY of Wearable Technology before we presume a future for the same:

  • In the 1961 MIT mathematician Edward Thorp claimed that he along with co-founder Claude Shannon had created a successful wearable computer which could be used to cheat at the roulette table (such an act of cheating wasn’t illegal at the time of invention). With the research outcomes it was found that this First Wearable Computer provided a 44% advantage to its wear while playing the game. There were many similar inventions that happened in the next few years.
  • The Pulsar wrist watch calculator came out in the 1975 and as mentioned before was a craze among researchers and math enthuses around the world. The gadget also had a limited edition range that cost around $4,000 (a whopping amount those days).
  • By 1981 a high school student named Steve Mann invented a camera viewfinder by wiring a 6502 model computer to steel framed backpack. This viewfinder was attached to a helmet, Steve further went on to develop many other advanced equipments in the world of wearable computing and computerized photography.
  • After Terminator- the blockbuster movie released in 1984, scenes from the movie that showed computerized displays over real-life images. This was probably the indication about the things to come-draw of the Google Glass almost 30 before it happened.
  • In the 1987, there was a mild revolution in the hearing aid industry as the digital hearing aids were introduced in the forms of wearables. However, these gadgets enjoyed a limited success period due to their bulkiness and poor battery performance.
  • Steve Mann the person who invented camera viewfinder attached to the steel framed backpack again came up with a successful advanced version of a wearable wireless web camera in the year 1994. Steve is believed to be the first” life logger” by many from tech community.
  • In 2000, the first Bluetooth headset was shipped. Bluetooth was the latest buzz in the technology industry and captured the peak position in the world of connectivity.
  • Vitamin C-Series world’s first complete digital pacemaker was introduced in the year 2003. With use of this device complete info about a patient would be recorded within an unbelievable time frame of 18 seconds-(Then it was super quick).
  • By 2006, a combination of wearable iPod and clothing with pockets designed for the device jumped into the tech market. This was partnership introduction from two giants Nike and I-Pod. It was a sports kit that helps in synchronizing the player’s movement with their iPod. It is quite clear that the product was a smash-hit in the wearable gadget industry.
  • The every next year (2007) was a remarkable phase for the wearable technology as FITBIT the current wearable device giant was found. James Park and Eric Friedman struggled for nearly 7 years for starting up with their company due to the repeated hurdles from the manufacturing activity. Their first product got a sneak into the market by 2009 (though there wasn’t one then). This brand has several products variants under the same name which keeps records of different personal metrics such as sleep hours, quality of distance walked, physical condition-heartbeat, pulse rate etc. Fit Bit Tracker, Zip, One, Flex, Force, Charge, Charge HD and Surge are the models of this wireless enabled wearable brand.
  • Similarly, Glacier Computers a tech company introduced the W200 Wearable Computer in the same year which was specially designed to respond during the emergence situations for patients. This device was a pure wearable that provided maximum info in the hand-free format. It weighed around 10-ounces and completely waterproof.
  • In the year 2012, customized smart watches were kick started under the brand name of Pebble (now a renowned name in wearable’s) this smart watch achieved a massive return amounting to a whopping $10 million whereas the company just had a target of $100,000. Its second generation smart watch the Pebble Steel had an accelerated reception and looked much fashionable than the previous model.
  • 2013 was an energetic year powered by the Google Glass; the wearable device was first of its kind in the form of spectacles. It was provided to a sample Glass Explorers who were specially invited to try out the technology. Later the device was released for general public usage at base price of $1500 by May this year.
  • The current year (2014) has already witnessed couple of BIG launches in the wearable’s industry. First being the Google Glass in May and the latest is the iWatch from Apple (product announced, will be available by the mid of 2015)

 MOST WANTED WEARABLES according 44 Tech Experts

(Source: http://www.wearable.co.uk/)

 Google Glass:                                     

Google-GlassThe Google Glass has clearly emerged as the winner with 12 votes in its favor. The glass was released to a set of developers for pilot and then it was made available in the market by last May at a base price of $1500. It is a massive collection of media devices all put in one controlled by the voice recognition software and a touchpad on its frame which can be utilized for navigation and other purposes. The glass is useful for anything and everything starting from visual effects to capturing- videography, navigation to entertainment and communication. If the sources are to be believed they is a constant product development which is going on and the glass is expected to be an further advanced in its upcoming versions. (Source: http://www.google.com/glass/start/what-it-does/)

Pebble Smart Watch:

Pebble-watchPebble Technology developed and released the Smart Watch range in the year 2013. This innovation was in talks before it actually got launched due to the crowd funding episode through Kickstarter the world renowned crowd funding platform online. It has several features like the magnetometer, accelerometer, activity tracker and an ambient light sensor. It is the closest competitor to Google Glass with 5 votes.

Oculus RIFT:

Oculus-RiftWith 4 votes RIFT the wearable device developed by Oculus VS is placed in the third place. Though the device is in its final developing stages (launch expected in 2015) it is too famous for its unique virtual reality head mounted display with the control box. It is estimated to be a complete package for both official (professionals) and entertainment sources helping which most of the tech activities will be possible. During its years as an independent company Oculus VR is said to have invested a whopping amount of nearly $91 million for the making of RIFT.

There are other gadgets cum accessories like the NFC Rings and MISFIT Shine which find place on the list for the most wanted wearables.

Apple WATCH:                                                    

I-WatchApple WATCH is predicted to be the biggest launch in the world of wearable technology; the product is expected to be available for general public in early 2015. There is a boatload of features that was announced by Tim Cook-CEO of the company. It is undoubted the most awaited product and it is rightly put by the company as “All watches tell time but the Apple WATCH helps you make the most of it”. You can get further details about the product @ https://www.apple.com/in/watch

Most of the industry had predicted 2014 to be a benchmark year in the history of wearable technology and it has nearly been at par with the expectations. However, experts visualize a much happening 2015 as few of the most awaited devices along with never before technologies are all set to splash the market- Apple iWatch being the blockbuster of them all. Things are predicted to turn more like accessories than electronic gadgets or devices; the fashionable technology lifestyle seems to be setting in finally.

So we just need to WAIT and WATCH!!!