When wearable technology first became available, there were two distinct opinions about its future. Initially, some were sceptical, believing the products to be just a short-term fad. Others predicted the market would develop at a similar rate to that of smartphones. Ultimately, neither of these possibilities came to pass and instead the sector has seen steady, yet moderate, growth.
Wearable technology has neither become revolutionary nor become obsolete. With a market share of 5.9% in 2023, it is a useful tool, but it has not made significant advances. Therefore, it may appear to only be of appeal to technology enthusiasts. This is supported by the statistics. However, there are deeper reasons why wearables could become increasingly important in the near future. Let me explain this further.
Greater Than a Mere Trivial Prop
Despite not being the originator of the concept of wearable technology, Apple has enjoyed considerable success in the field. This is largely attributed to the company’s leading industry position and effective marketing strategy. These two factors have enabled consumers to perceive wearable gadgets in a manner similar to that of Apple.
Apple launched the Apple Watch 2023 as an aesthetically pleasing smart device. Its functionality enabled users to run applications, receive notifications and track their fitness activity. However, some early adopters found it difficult to use and cumbersome to wear. Nevertheless, they recognized the potential of the fitness features.
Apple responded to this feedback by aiming to enhance the health-related focus of the Watch in its sequel. This change in sales strategy enabled a more profound philosophical shift, as wearables were no longer merely seen as a variation of the smartphone. It is possible that they serve a distinct purpose, one that offers advantages that a mobile phone cannot. At this point, wearables started to depart from their original role as an accessory and began to have an autonomous existence.
A range of manufacturers, from Fitbit and Garmin to Samsung and Montblanc, are now offering a variety of interesting wearable devices. It is thought that the wearables market is likely to grow significantly in the future, with smart headphones potentially offering far more than just a voice-activated assistant. There is even speculation that in time wearables could replace smartphones due to their potential. It is uncertain what the future holds for wearables, but it seems that they could soon become more than just a fashionable accessory.
The Crucial Moment
Many people are yet to recognise the true potential of wearable technology. Companies have made efforts to emphasise the value of these devices over smartphones, but there are still some people who are stuck in traditional mindsets. This is unfortunate as wearables offer several advantages that smartphones cannot provide.
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of monitoring health, and the potential of wearable technology in this regard. Wearable technology can provide us with regular insights into our health between doctor’s appointments, and allow us to keep an eye on our elderly relatives and respond quickly if they require help. Furthermore, this technology can be used to craft tailored strategies to encourage us to engage in healthy activities.
In the future, physical distancing and isolation will be of great importance. We can already reduce the physical space we occupy through the use of wearable technology to make purchases or open doors. It may also be possible to employ wearable technology to enforce social distancing policies in corporate and governmental settings.
Wearable technology has the potential to be utilised to monitor illnesses and help to contain the spread, provided that the necessary privacy considerations are addressed. When combined with Artificial Intelligence algorithms, the capability to monitor vital signs and alert those in close proximity to a sick individual could assist in mitigating the spread of an epidemic.
It is clear that considerable effort is required in order for wearable technology to be effective in helping to prevent future epidemics. To begin with, it is important to gain an understanding of how society will be affected by the spread of the Coronavirus. Additionally, the issue of privacy must be considered in a world of ever-present tracking devices. Finally, it is essential to move away from the perception of these gadgets as mere “toys” and to recognize their true potential.
Traveling through this period will not be straightforward. Now is the time to reinvent our technological means of service and defense. The Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and Augmented Reality (AR) may help us build a future where we have improved understanding to address health crises such as the one, we are currently facing. In addition to this, we can revolutionize other aspects of people’s daily lives, including gaming and driving.
Works, an offshore software development firm, is collaborating with other organizations to advance the use of wearable technology. We would be grateful for any contributions you can make to help us extend the potential applications of this technology beyond its current uses.