Wearable Computers

Wearable computers are not a new concept, as far back as the 1960s Start Trek characters were wearing a variety of the devices – however the concept has only just begun to take off as a viable concept in the lasst 5 years due to advances in:

  • Battery technology allowing sufficient battery life to make the products useful.
  • Minaturisation

Common types of wearable computers include:

  • Smart Watches (Pebble, IWatch)
  • Fitness Trackers (Fitbit)
  • Smart glasses (Google Glass)
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality Glasses

smartwatch-828786_640

Main uses

Wearable computers are mainly used for:

  • Supplementing the notifications from mobile phones to keep track of social media and appointments
  • Tracking health and fitness, such as heart rate, sleep patterns and step counts
  • Providing addition data about the user’s surroundings through the use of augment reality googles.
  • Providing an immersive virtual experience using virtual reality.

google glass

Advantages

The advantages of wearable technology include:

  • Ultra portable
  • Allow the user to operate a computer ‘hands-free’. THis is very useful for surgeons who can see data whilst operating.
  • Less likely to lose / damage than a phone
  • More discreet than a phone for checking email / notifications
  • Can monitor fitness and health easily

Disadvantages

The disadvantages of wearable technology include:

  • Very small screen so limited interaction possible
  • Poor battery life for most devices
  • Low processing power, so a limited number of applications.
  • Cameras and recording devices can cause privacy concerns.