Image courtesy of Keoni Cabral via Flickr.
The Internet of Things and wearable technology: two intersecting “next big things” that promise to morph the technology industry from today’s mobile world into tomorrow’s sensor-clad planet.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to jump to 9 billion devices by 2018, and wearable technology, as a subset of web-connected products, is estimated to account for about 485 million annual device shipments. Business Insider, Cisco, and others boast equally ambitious economic impact.[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”ZKCGTqHYJTMH3FsJQgtPllQYJUQDYG3K”]Considering wearables today are discarded at high rates and IoT solutions still lack in simple and universal control, there are many concerns and roadblocks that developers and companies are talking about.
These trends may or may not catch on, but already there are a plethora of such devices available for purchase. Here are some notable examples of IoT wearable technology for your entire body, from head to toe (excluding the well attended wristwatch).
iWinks’ Aurora headband uses video and audio cues to help users achieve lucid dreaming while asleep. Wearers can users can select features and record their sleep patterns with an accompanying app.
Then there’s Interaxon’s Muse — a brain-sensing headband that minimizes stress by aiding wearers in a relaxation and concentration process, attached to an app called Calm.
Meanwhile, the The Emotiv EPOCH lets users control digital devices, all with their mind. All of these devices work through EEG electrodes that are able to sense brainwaves.
By now, most people are aware of Google’s augmented reality product Google Glass, which allows users a live view of the real world, supplemented by computer-generated sensory input that ranges from photo-sharing to language translation and more.
Google is also developing a smart contact lens that can detect glucose levels in the eyes of patients with diabetes.
Microsoft, on the other hand, is developing a smart device that will help the blind sense the world around them without sight. Check out their concept video below:
Design consultancy Artefact’s digital locket Purple tethers to wearers’ phones and bluetooth; its circular screen pulls photos from social media and SMS so users can “peek” at and save pictures uploaded by people they are connected to.
Other necklaces, like the Misfit Shine pendant, are used to monitor fitness, while Samsung has a connected device called Gear Circle: essentially smart headphones that can be worn as a necklace when not in use.
If you think it’s too soon for smart trench coats, think again, because the company Motiif is developing just that: a sleek waterproof jacket dubbed “M” that offers built-in 4G data, a smartphone charger, and an app that provides weather information.
For medical purposes, there is a torso band (called SMART Belt) that can be used to detect oncoming seizures in epileptics, and a FDA-approved pacemaker implant that alerts a doctor when the wearer has heart trouble.
That’s right, we’re going there. Wearable, smart vibrators are actually a thing: company Vibease offers just such a discreet wearable device (for women) that connects with a smartphone app for custom vibrations in sync with a long distance partner, 50 Shades of Gray, or any other fantasy of your choosing.
What’s next? Smart diapers (and just when you thought things were getting sexy). Pixie Scientific has developed these sensor-clad garments for both babies and the elderly to detect and analyze urine, monitor health, etc.
Lechal smart shoes and insoles by Ducere Technologies sync to a wearer’s blue tooth and mobile phone. The shoes vibrate to tell you which direction to turn while running or walking using data pulled right from Google Maps, or buzz you notifications about nearby attractions.
Originally published on October 20, 2014.