The development of wearables technology

Let’s break some paradigms about these devices. First, the idea is not something new, the first notion of wearable arose in 1644 in the Qing Dynasty, and was called an abacus ring, used to perform mathematical accounts.

“But wearables are electronic devices used in the body.”

Following this logic, the first headphones come from the year 1910, and were created by Nathaniel Baldwin for the US Navy. Then we had the famous pacemaker, created by Earl Bakken, in 1958. In the meantime, we had some unethical inventions, such as the one developed by Edward O. Thorp in 1955, which created a cigarette-sized device. that helped him win at the casino roulette game.

Closer than we currently have, in 1972 Hamilton invented the digital clock. Here we have to quote Douglas Adams: “Rotating around this sun, at a distance of about 148 million kilometers, is an absolutely insignificant bluish-green planet whose primate-descendant life forms are so extraordinarily primitive who still think digital watches are a great idea. ”

Jokes aside, the first wearable we have today was developed in 2008, with the advent of Fitbit, a bracelet that, besides being a digital watch, monitors your physical activities and connects with your smartphone.

Enough of history, what do we have today?

First, let’s understand the term at its core and demystify the business name. Wearables are wearable IoTs, which in turn are embedded systems connected to the Internet. Of course there are minutiae between these technologies, but, roughly speaking, that’s all.

When it comes to wearables, it’s almost an automatic thought to refer to smartwatches and bracelets. Not that these devices should be ignored, but there are other important technologies as well. Currently, we see the use of wearables on several fronts. As an example, we have:

Sports training: development of devices capable of capturing data generated by athletes’ bodies through sensors and generating useful information capable of improving professional performance. Myontec Mbody connected shorts, Enflux Smart Clothing, WHOOP, Solos and K5 Wearable Metabolic Technology are some examples. Some luxury watch brands such as Rolex and IWC also apply this technology.

Patient rehab: There are some wearables geared towards this niche, one of them is the Serious Game called Fell Your Arm, developed in Unity3D and C # on top of the wearable Myo. The objective is the rehabilitation of people with congenital and / or acquired absence of the forearm, motivating them to use the prosthesis.

Assistive technologies for people with special needs: One of the devices aimed at this audience was developed by researchers from CSU – Colorado State University. This device allows deaf people to hear through a Bluetooth device implanted in the language. There is also a glove that is capable of generating sounds according to the user’s movements. This gadget is for both music demonstrations and hearing impaired people to communicate more easily through pounds.

Mobile health: This market is one of the fastest growing. We have numerous devices designed to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, blood glucose levels, fertile periods and even stress. OvulaRing, HealthPatch MD, FreeStyle Free Flash Glucose Monitoring System, MiniMed 530G System with Enlite Sensor, OneTouch Ping, Zio XT Patch and Quell are some examples.

Game development: There is a belt that was developed for horror games that measures a player’s anxiety level. The higher the anxiety, the harder the game becomes. Difficulty levels vary, more enemies may appear, the screen may be blurred, the player avatar may be slower or dizzy. And the only way to reduce the difficulty is to control yourself.

The development of wearables technology is predicted to be more advanced to replace several devices with larger sizes.

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