The Future of Wearables (Not Just Watches)

The once fictitious scenario where humans could do anything aided by technology is coming true. Heard of a video-recording bracelet or a drug-doping Band-Aid? We compiled wearable tech that promises to break ground in the coming months.

Wearable Clothes (Elegant ones)

 

Until now, wearables have mostly been on our wrists in the form of bulky watches. The need for style and wearables to mesh has arrived, as that’s probably the only way people will use wearables on a daily basis. Imagine being able to wear a shirt with tech pods that grow your sleeves at your command? Fun fact: This tech already exists.

Intel is already making notable progress in the wearable clothes field and their Chromat Adrenaline Dress (see below) is quite a start. This dress has Intel-powered wings that expand when the stress or adrenaline of the wearer spikes. According to their blog, Intel is also developing undergarments that respond to physiological cues.

 

Photo courtesy of Intel

Photo courtesy of Intel

 

Both technologies use Intel’s Curie Module, a hardware product that lets designers add functions to wearable. This is quite a start for the future of clothes and Intel has made clear that the aim isn’t for wearables to perform simplistic tasks (like just tracking steps) and is sponsoring America’s Greatest Makers, an event to tap into the minds of creative people.

 

Photo courtesy of Intel

Photo courtesy of Intel

 

Futuristic Hydrogel Bandages

 

Hydrogel bandages are devices that send medicine to the right places. The flexible soft material of the bandage can be enhanced with electronics or sensors to take your vital signs or administer medication, and since hydrogel is naturally stretchy, the smart bandage is perfect for knees and elbows where regular old Band-Aids just don’t do the trick.

Conductive wires, and semiconductor chips transport medicine to relieve the pain. Scientists are working on applying the smart bandage technology to internal medical applications where hydrogel would mimic local human tissue and use the same technology to sense and to comfort pain. The opportunities that this research could provide for mankind -- and the demand for software that this would create-- would be unprecedented.

Smart Bands and Smartwatches

 

We’ve all heard of these thanks to Fitbit. These fitness-oriented bands typically show the time, how many steps you’ve taken, calories burned, and can be quick-access stopwatches.

For the next year, Apple plans to combine the benefits of a fitness band into their Apple Watch through the use of “smart bands.” Apple is currently working on making their smartwatch “bands” more powerful and it’s speculated that it plans to release this innovation in early 2016. The new bands would connect to the now hidden data port on the side of the Watch, and will have new capacities to track the respiratory rate, offer body temperature sensors, track blood pressure, and keep tabs on blood oxygen. The smartwatch industry at large is expected to follow Apple’s lead.

Apple Watch’s hidden data port

Apple Watch’s hidden data port

 

Medical Necklaces  

 

If there's one accusation that the tech industry has been forced to withstand time and again, it's that many of the Silicon Valley devices do not solve a pressing need. They're first-world solutions for first-world problems, but inapplicable in countries that could most benefit.

Enters Khushi Baby, a digital necklace (see below) presented at UNICEF’s wearables for good challenge that stores electronic health data to track child immunization. By making use of near field communication (NFC), Khushi Baby can transmit and receive information by way of mobile. The data stored in the necklace can be synced to cloud technology, which is then utilized by health officials who see relevant information displayed on a dashboard.

 

Photo courtesy of Khushi Baby

Photo courtesy of Khushi Baby

 

Innovation

 

Apple, Intel, and other giants will undoubtedly lead the way in constructing the platforms for many of these devices and the demand for software to leverage the performance of these is set to grow.

Lolay is excited to reveal the projects that we are working on in this coming year. Pretty soon tech, pop culture, and design will become intermeshed to allow us to experience a higher quality of life in this interconnected new world.

Tech likes to network and collaborate and so does Lolay, so contact us today if you have any ideas about innovating with wearable software so we can help make that a reality. Don’t forget to subscribe to our email for fun updates!