Small and Smaller
Apps have become integral to our lives. There is an app for eating out, an app for eating in, an app to book doctors’ appointments, to watch movies, television content, to hail taxies, to shop- you name it, and there is an app for it. It’s the ultimate human expression in Nano-technology. Quickly and efficiently, your whole world is getting smaller; small enough to fit in a cell phone hardly four inches by two inches. And today, even something as incredible and somewhat terrifying an achievement as that is yesterday’s news. Cause the human mind is now in a race to fit into ever smaller, tighter and hitherto unthinkable spaces. Today we have gadgets that will make 007’s Sean Connery and Roger Moore go wheeeee! in a jiffy! Your cell phone can now pretty much be configured into your watch; and as wearable accessories go, this is never going out of style! (a little amen! just to be on the safe side). A little innocuous looking band worn on the hand can track your heartbeat, the distance you have covered, your speed, the calories you have spent- and what not! Not only does it do that, it also relays that information to a paired app on your tab or cell phone. You no more just use apps, you wear them. 2018 is the year of wearable apps!
Types of Wearable Technologies
These wearable apps have pretty much become part of our skin. They can be found embedded in a host of user durables. Companies like Apple and Motorola have been producing smart watches for some time now. Now with brands like Xiaomi bringing out its own products, the technology, hitherto expensive and limited in terms of a target audience, has come in the budget range of pretty much anyone.
Smart Dresses: Remember Jackie Chan and the Tuxedo! Well, the idea isn’t as outlandish today as it might have seen when the movie came out. Sure, you won’t be able to climb water towers like Spiderman or fight with just your legs, or for that matter do a passable impression of James Brown singing Sex Machine! The use of smart technology in dresses is a bit more practical than that and while the technology might not make you a rather twitchy 007, it certainly has the power to make you safer by reducing vulnerabilities, esp medical. How?
Smart fabrics are nothing new. They have been around since 1990’s. It’s simply weaving in wires and sensors within the normal fabric which turn the fabric into an interactive entity, where the sensors can receive and react to body movements, fluctuation in heart rates etc. However, it is only now, with the development of the right technology that we are able to mainstream this kind of technology.
Smart Bands: Often also containing a digital watch, these, as I was talking about before, are capable of tracking your every movement, storing and analyzing data and giving you results on demand and real time. Take the example of fitbits. They look innocuous enough. In fact, at first glance, most look like cheap electronic watches or some (rather lamentably in my humble opinion) like friendship bands or trinkets we pick up on a holiday. They are however some the most incredible pieces of technology that has ever been mass produced. From recording your distance, speed and calorie count while jogging or while on a treadmill, the more advanced versions can even track your heart rate, blood pressure and fatigue levels. Some also come with the option of controlling your Bluetooth headset through your phone, since most are paired with your phone.
Smart Watches: Smart watches were the first true smart accessories to become a part of fashion. Apple and Motorola have had products in their lineup for more than a couple of years now. Smart watches can be connected to phones and help provide a rather hands free experience. Today, smart watches can even monitor UV rays and pollution levels!
Smart Jewelry: They offer similar functions to that of smart watches like call, text or email alerts, providing the user a more hands free experience.
Medical Implantables: Most medical firms have felt the need to hire mobile app developers now that smart technology has started to effect medical implants too. We have had pacemakers since long. However we now have smart pacemakers, defibrillators etc which can be tracked remotely or via a paired mobile app. This helps in real time data collection of the patient and is critical in saving lives.
Head Mounted Displays: Head mounted displays are now a rage, esp in gaming circles and amongst frequent travelers. These devices have inbuilt apps that can be paired with the phone tab etc to give a complete entertainment experience to the user.
Real Life Changes
Wearable apps are also at the forefront of making real-life lifestyle changes in many societies too. Apps have been developed which are aimed at enhancing the security of the working woman- a challenge many countries face. After a spate of rapes in the Indian capital of Delhi for instance, apps which could send out the exact location of the user and alert local authorities about the imminent danger facing the user were developed.
Such technology has also increased the independence of senior citizens in greying societies like japan, since instead of constant physical medical monitoring, implantables have helped track their health and arrested negative fallouts.
Diabetes patients have been alerted to their sugar levels through wearable technology and has prevented serious harm befalling many.
Wearable apps and technologies are the direction that technology is taking. We all feel the need to be smarter and higher functioning beings. Technology can only help, and soon, there will be a day when we would cease to use gadgets in most aspects of life, since most of the technology will pretty much become part of our very skin.