Wearable technologies are becoming increasingly commonplace in our day-to-day life. To be clear, wearable technologies are “a general term for a group of devices—including fitness trackers and smartwatches—that are designed to be worn throughout the day,” according to the Goodwill Community Foundation.
In this week’s article, we will be discussing wearable technologies. More specifically, we will be breaking down the different types of wearable technologies. These include: Wristwear, rings, headwear, smart clothing, and medical sensors.
Wristwear is the most common type of wearable technology. Apple Watches and Pixel Watches are two examples of wristwear, also known as smart watches. Wristwear also includes fitness trackers like Fitbits and Garmin watches.
Wristwear such as Apple Watches and Pixel Watches act as an additional accessory linked to users’ smartphones which allow them to access notifications, make and answer calls, and read and respond to texts, often using the voice-typing functions.
While Apple Watches and Pixel Watches also have fitness tracking capabilities, Fitbits and Garmin watches are specifically designed for fitness tracking, counting users’ steps, recording users’ heart rates, and calculating calories burnt. Though, more fitness trackers now have smartwatch capabilities.
Smart rings are a type of fitness tracker as well. However, as opposed to incorporating fitness tracking capabilities onto a wrist watch, they are incorporated into rings, as well as other types of jewellery. Users may be more inclined to use smart rings for their greater inconspicuousness unlike watches.
Smart rings can often interface with smart phones to keep record of all the aforementioned fitness metrics. Some smart rings go beyond fitness tracking and may have NFC capabilities, which allow for information sharing and even contactless payments.
42 Gears add “Many other unique iterations of smart jewelry exist, from bangles to bracelets, with some designs even created by well-known fashion firms. In the near future, the Joule will expand the range of potential smart jewelry; a smart health-tracking device that doubles as an earring backing…”
Headwear refers to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (VR) headsets. Meta’s Oculus, Samsung, Google, and Sony produce the most commonly used VR headsets. VR headsets allow users to completely immerse themselves in a computer-generated world.
On the other hand, VR headsets, like Microsoft’s Hololens, integrate the real world with computer-generated imagery. For example, the headset allows users to see animated characters on busy streets.
The former type of headsets have been used in all sorts of training programmes, as well as video games, whereas the latter type of headsets are used to keep track of information, in addition to video games, too.
Smart clothing refers to clothing with lighting, display, sensors, and antennas, among other things. However, According to 42 Gear, “By making contact with a larger amount of one’s body, smart clothing can provide deeper insights than other examples of modern wearable technology can, enabling advanced tracking for both medical care and lifestyle improvement.
Samsung conducts extensive research in this sector, and has filed a number of promising patents; if these patents become commercially-available products, Samsung may soon release smart shirts capable of diagnosing respiratory diseases and smart shoes that monitor running form.
Consumers can already purchase Siren Socks (smart socks that can detect developing foot ulcers), Nadi X smart pants by Wearable X (yoga pants that vibrate to improve form during yoga exercises), and Naviano smart swimsuits that provide alerts when the user should apply sunscreen…”
Medical sensors are arguably the second most common type of wearable technology. They include vital sign sensors such as heart rate monitors, blood pressure sensors, ECG sensors, and temperature sensors. However, while medical sensors in the past are often big, bulky equipment patients are hooked up to, medical sensors are becoming more and more subtle and efficient, combining different types of sensors into one tiny patch.
For example, “The Terasaki Institute for Biomedical Innovation invented wearable electronic skin for monitoring health. A next-generation of wearables, this ultra-thin e-skin patch can be attached to the wearer’s chest area along with a small wireless transmitter by using water spray and can be worn for up to a week. It is sensitive enough to pick up and record electro signals, such as heartbeats and muscle movements,” writes Tech Target.
Wearable technologies are becoming more and more prevalent in everyday life. As it currently stands, there are six different types of wearable technologies: Wristwear, rings, headwear, smart clothing, and medical sensors.
Central Midori has extensive experience in wearable technologies. We are involved in the development of wearable lighting and smart wristbands for hospital children identification. Central Midori is also currently producing a forehead pulse oximetry sensor for wearable medical sensors and in footwear where we make a smart insole including temperature and pressure sensor.
Our products have the advantage of miniaturisation, thin, light and flexible, skin compatibility, durability, and low cost printability. If you and your company are interested in wearable technologies, Central Midori is here for all your wearable technological needs.