What Is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology is a category of devices that can be worn as an accessory or as part of the material used in clothing. Most wearables are wrist worn, but an increasing number can be clipped to clothing or hung around the neck. Wearables can look like a piece of jewelry or be embedded in a sock or shoe.
Why would you want to wear a piece of technology? It can shine a light on the inner couch potato you didn’t know you had. Knowing exactly how many steps you have taken in a day can be eye-opening, and encourage you to move more. And, healthy behaviors in one area of your life bleed into other areas. When you’re physically active and feeling strong and energized, you are more likely to make healthy food choices. Healthy habits make you feel mentally stronger and able to take on more of your day.
The Categories of Wearables
Smartwatches connect to your smartphone to act as a mini window into your life. Telling the time is an after-thought of these wrist watches; they are waterproof for swimming, will give you your location through GPS, can notify you of calls and messages (and sometimes email and social media alerts as well), and more.
Fitness trackers come in many shapes, sizes and levels of sophistication. Usually worn on the wrist or clipped to a belt, they count the number of steps you take each day, and monitor your heart rate and calories burned.
This is the next step in wearables. While there are some on the market now, more are coming soon. They’ll include shirts to track your physical activity, mood jackets, shoes that play a song based on how quickly you are running, etc. The possibilities seem endless.
And More Is Coming…
The health care industry is getting on board. Fitting patients with a wearable device allows doctors to monitor symptoms and gather data to measure the progression of disease. This seems to help the most in patients with diseases like Parkinson’s or ALS.
Sources: wearabletechnologies.com; wearable.com