Headphones, watches, bracelets or glasses that, in addition to the function for which they were originally designed, offer more possibilities, such as measuring our heart rate or taking calls. This is what is known as wearable, a technology that goes unnoticed among our accessories or clothing.
The word wearable may be a little foreign to our daily vocabulary, but the reality is that we live with it more and more. It is a term that other languages have adopted from English, and simply means something that we can wear. Thus, when we talk about wearable devices, we mean watches, bracelets, headphones, glasses, shoes, key chains or any other accessories or clothing that we can wear and that is able to perform some additional tasks while providing us with data of interest, such as health status, routines, places, news, the weather forecast, etc.
Bracelets and watches, the best-known wearables
Although the coronavirus pandemic resulted in lockdowns and restrictions on movement in various parts of the world, people’s interest in staying active and taking care of their health triggered a surge in the use of such electronic devices. Among the most popular are smart watches or bracelets which, in addition to telling the time, have also been designed to record physical activity, measure heart rate, calories burned and sleep quality, and perform an increasing number of functionalities related to health and well-being, as well as to do everyday things such as taking a call or receiving a notification.
This type of technology, using connectivity – mainly via the mobile phone – to view data in real time, has begun to play a significant role in people’s daily lives. So much so that in 2022 the global sale of wearable devices is forecast to exceed $97 billion, according to data provided by GlobalData, the data consultancy.
Wearables for all tastes
In addition to monitoring parameters related to people’s physical condition, we find functions that can be applied in other areas of daily life, such as information, work, safety and entertainment.
In the field of safety, we can find wearables like cycling helmets. These devices incorporate options such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and connectivity to emergency numbers to alert cyclists to any unforeseen events that may occur during their ride. For workers exposed to a high level of risk, such as firefighters, there is clothing capable of monitoring oxygen or heat levels and sending them a signal.
Wearable technology has a wide range of applications in our daily lives. Its success lies in the variety of functions it can offer while remaining unnoticed as just another everyday accessory. However, it is necessary to make appropriate use of the possibilities offered by the various wearables, as we could become victims of data leakage, expose our personal information in the public domain and jeopardise our security.