Wearables: how do they help me?
Over the past few years, there has been a boom in wearables. But just as with all new technology there are people that are skeptical if they are useful and worthwhile or just another gimmick.
There are many types of wearable, so it’s important to treat each case as it comes. Wearable devices arguably started when Bluetooth came out in the early 2000s. For a while they were the only connected device you could own. But now, things have changed dramatically.
Perhaps the most famous type of wearable device is the smart watch. From luxury designers like Montblanc and Tag Heuer to smartphone makers Apple and Samsung, there are dozens of models available – the latest being the Google Android Wear 2.0. Some have GPS so you can track where you go and some have embedded SIMs so you don’t need to have your smartphone with you. They let you read messages, check the weather, your calendar and a couple of other things (like order a taxi!). They are definitely the most feature-rich device, with the only downside being you have to charge them often. Voice command is also likely to become an increasingly prominent feature, as consumer appetite for AI assistants grows (check out our post on Amazon Echo and Siri and Cortana to find out more).
These wearables are excellent if you’re an active person looking to keep fit. They can tell you how far you’ve run, the route, your heart rate and a few other measurements. There has been a little bit of controversy surrounding the 10,000 steps rule that many people seem to know. The thinking goes that this is just a number with little scientific fact, and that people might need a lot more than walking to keep fit. There is no doubt that it’s a good reminder to keep active, and fitness trackers in general do let you keep up with your fitness goals.
Fitness trackers are also becoming increasingly fashion-conscious, competing with traditional luxury watches. Now you can buy trackers which don’t just help you get fit, but also make you look more stylish. Plus, different forms are hitting the market, such as fitness tracking rings like Motiv.
Virtual reality headsets
If you haven’t tried Virtual Reality, you really should, because it’s really fun being able to dive into another world. There are cheap versions available that need a smartphone to work, and others that are standalone devices. The only issue with virtual reality at the moment is that unless you’re a gamer, the things you can watch and experience in VR probably won’t hold your attention for that long.
This is one type of wearable that is potentially very useful. Companies are putting chips in wearable devices that let people pay for things. You can find these chips in smart watches, but also dedicated bands. They could be used at music festivals and sporting events to store tickets and be loaded with money so it doesn’t matter if you run out of cash. If you’re in the market for a wearable device, we would definitely advise checking out if you can pay for things with it.
This last category is still in its very early stages. But some designers are starting to weave technology into their clothing. Levi’s is experimenting with Google to launch a jacket that lets you control you phone by touching a part of the fabric. If it takes off it could boost the wearable revolution.
In all, if you’re an active person or just looking for something new, it probably makes sense to invest in a wearable.