We are not fully aware about physical or mental condition. Of course there are apps that include biorhythms and various other features that help you. However, wearables go one step further. They do it automatically and, in the process, help you realize your full potential. Man is a machine and, in these days of high competition, he must do his best. Wearables can help you do just that.
What is a wearable?
A bracelet, a ring, a necklace and a watch are all wearables but of the passive kind as are clothes and shoes and hats. However, this is the age of artificial intelligence powered smart tech in the form of wearables. Wearables have evolved since the days of Dick Tracy the famous comic character and his legendary radio watch. Wearables can do a lot more these days. Smart wearables these days include everything from the famed Google glass to wristwear to even clothing. These devices have smart tech and sensors that can track heart rate, body temperature, muscle bio signals and brainwaves of the wearer. Smart footwear incorporates sensors and is linked to Google Maps to direct walkers towards their destination. Fitness trackers are becoming common these days. Wearables can help the visually impaired to navigate better. Fabrics become smarter with embedded circuits that sense movement, temperature and other parameters including breathing and walking pattern. You can know about your heart rate, calories you burn, blood pressure, time you spent in working out and, in future, about blood alcohol, health condition and health risk.
Technology is advancing with Intel’s Curie microprocessor that can be embedded into apparels and, with 3D printed carbon fiber, change color based on adrenaline levels besides sensing temperature.
On a lighter note, wearables are capable of raising entertainment and shopping experience to greater heights.
Wearables give you the capability to know yourself, your strong points, your weak points and take suitable steps to bring about changes for the better.
How do wearables improve performance and quality of life?
Wearables today are quite capable and the wave of the future promises even more. So how exactly do they improve performance of an individual? It depends on the wearable and its capabilities and how an individual puts it to use and how business puts it to use. Apart from personal considerations there are environmental, social and economic aspects too that one can consider.
At a personal level
Each individual would benefit by knowing more about his physical state and wearables help to do just that. It is possible for an individual to know how many steps he has walked, his blood pressure and heart rate at various times of the day and during various activities, sleep tracking, calories consumed/burned and his body temperature as well as biorhythm. With this data he can take corrective action. For instance, a headband wearable monitors brainwaves and if it indicates he exceeds anxiety levels, the device could recommend various measures to achieve calm. Exercise tracking and analytics could help a person become fitter. You can know your limits and exceed them safely. It is like having a personal coach by your side. If a wearable device has sensors that can track blood flow resistance and skin conductance as well as blood volume pulse, then the device can signal health risks well in advance besides giving current status. One can get sportswear embedded with muscle targeting electrodes that help to stimulate muscle groups and increase performance for athletes and for ordinary people. Foot players, for instance, have access to technology in the form of sensor insoles for shoes that can help to record details of their play.
Employers would be overjoyed to have employees who can do more and do everything better and wearables may help them achieve this goal as well as save costs in the process. Enterprises that are aware about the benefits of wearables supply employees with wearables to wear at work. Apart from health monitoring these devices also help workers email or phone or text while on the shop floor. Employees can track their activities and health status and become fitter and employers save on insurance costs in the process. Goldsmith University in London carried out a survey named The Human Cloud at Work that showed wearables increased productivity by 8.5% and job satisfaction by 3.5%. At another level one can track how many steps employees take and how many of these are unnecessary and are resulting in fatigue and therefore come up with plans to optimize movements.
Retailers can improve their performance by offering shoppers the facility of wearing a wearable device. This kind of device worn by shoppers inside shopping malls not only helps retailers let buyers order and buy using the device but it also tracks their movements and can be a security aid.
Where there are sensors and wearables one can say they connect to the Internet of Things and generate voluminous amounts of data that can be put to good use in various categories. Such data can help businesses derive useful insights. From the environmental perspective, it can glean data that can help individuals, for instance, identify areas that have high amounts of pollutants.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning underlie apps and technologies in the wearables. What wearables have achieved is mainly due to the linking of sensors with hardware and software but there is still lots that can be done in various spheres. Companies that develop wearable devices or use their data in some way will find it profitable to have a long term tie up with developers specializing in artificial intelligence, mobile apps and machine learning development.