Wearables: the future of technology
Recently, there has been an explosion in the popularity of wearable technology across the world.
Wearable devices promise to enhance our lives, integrating technology into everyday clothing and jewellery. Here are some of the latest and more unusual devices to hit the wearable technology scene.
Many wearable technologies are emerging which monitor personal fitness, enabling wearers to keep fit and healthy whilst on the move. The most discreet version we have found so far is the Ear-O-Smart, an earring that keeps track of your heart rate. In an effort to combine fashion trends with technology, the Ear-O-Smart is a decorative piece of jewellery, which links to your smartphone. It collects data on your heart rate, physical activity levels and the number of calories you burn each day. We’re not sure if this will catch on in the same way as smartwatches, but it’s certainly an interesting gadget for monitoring fitness. Check out this video to find out more about the Ear-O-Smart.
Image by The Dot.
For the blind and visually impaired, there are many barriers to engaging with technology. When using smartphones and watches, users often have to rely on text readers to read messages aloud to them. Tech company the Dot have challenged this, by creating a new smartwatch which converts messages into Braille. It uses an ‘active Braille’ system, which enables the wearer to keep their finger still on the screen whilst metal pins rise and fall, creating a moving message.
Image by Ekso Bionics TM.
Ekso Bionics have been working on ‘Ekso,’ a human exoskeleton, since 2005. The aim is to create bionic suits which enable people with any amount of paralysis or weakness in the legs to stand and walk. The devices can be used by a physical therapist to enhance rehabilitation therapy for stroke patients. Ekso can also be used by patients with spinal cord paralysis – a fantastic invention to empower those who could not otherwise use their legs.
Image by Sara Kerens, Jewelbots, February 2015.
Another company venturing into the world of electronic jewellery is Jewelbots. Aimed at young girls, the Jewelbot is a programmable friendship bracelet that allows the wearer to communicate with their friends. Girls can program it to light up when they get a text message, a new Instagram follower or when their favourite television show is about to start. The idea is to introduce girls to the principles of coding in a simple, fun way. For those who have mastered the basics, there is also the option to link up the Jewelbot with computer software. Whilst gendered technology may not be everyone’s cup of tea, Jewelbots could certainly help to spark the interest of some girls in programming.
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