Science & Technology

Wearable tech is evolving rapidly

Wearable technology can help you with almost everything you need, but there are some wild devices out there.

Many people are eager to get their hands on new wearable tech like the Apple Watch, both for the social status it brings and the way it sometimes makes everyday tasks easier. Instead of pulling out and digging through a thick wallet looking for a credit card, you can just tap your watch. Wearable technology sales are expected to grow 26 percent worldwide in 2019. Companies are now thinking outside the box and creating new devices that focus on other things that we constantly do, like shop, sleep, listen to music, and many other tasks.

One thing we may be wearing technology to accomplish is making payments. Many companies enable their devices to be able to pay when it’s tapped on the card machine. Charlie Warzel, a Buzzfeed News Reporter who went on a month long experiment to live without cash and credit cards resorted to getting a body modification in order to pay. He flew to Sweden in order to get a payment chip enclosed in glass implanted into his hand. With this chip, he was able to pay when he linked his Venmo account to the chip. As of now, this is only available in Sweden as the country is far ahead when it comes to getting rid of cash. Visa being the biggest Credit Card company in the world, has also jumped on board the wearable tech train with a ring that can be linked with your account and can be used to pay wherever tap is available. They were not really sure if there would be a demand for it, so they unveiled it at the Olympics in Rio, where every athlete received one. Visa says it has “future plans” for the tech it displayed, but we will just have to wait longer to see that. However, the British start-up McLear, plans on releasing their payment ring that Visa supports in 2019.

Wearable tech will also help us sleep in the future. Sleep is such an important aspect of life, and if we don’t sleep enough or correctly, it takes a toll mentally and physically. That’s why Sleep.ai, a Dutch company founded in 2014, created wearable device for detecting if a user is snoring or grinding their teeth. The wearable is easy to use–you just slide it up your arm onto your bicep in a band and it listens to you. Another sleep product on the market is applied to your forehead. The tiny SleepTuner by Beddr is used in order to monitor various factors that impact sleep such as your oxygen level, breathing patterns, your sleeping position, heart rate and how long you are sleeping for.

Perhaps the most familiar kind of wearable technology, after watches, is wearable tech for music. Rotibox has created a hat with built in bluetooth earphones. More innovatively, Soundbrenner has released a metronome watch. You can set it to the beat you want, or it will vibrate to the beat being played. It is aimed to help musicians keep rhythm on their own. This product is really unique as there is a built-in music coach that learns the musician’s practice behaviours and motivates them to practise even more, as well as exercises to help with rhythm, speed, accuracy and endurance.

The new Nike Adapt BB that will be coming out in February. The shoe is marketed as a basketball shoe but can be used for day to day use. The shoe adjusts its fit depending on the situation. And you can lace them up with a touch of a button. Almost every aspect of the shoe is controlled by technology other than you having to put the shoe on your feet yourself.

Wearable technology is evolving rapidly with more new and sometimes very useful features being added to them. Now just imagine what new features will be unveiled in the future–self typing keyboard to write your technology posts for you? I’d buy it!

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