If you have kept an eye towards technology recently, you have certainly seen a rise in ‘wearable technology’. If you haven’t, it’s time for a quick learning session! Wearable technology are devices that are part of a network of items embedded with sensors, software, or other electronics that allow for internet connectivity.
We’ve certainly come a long way since the days of calculator watches or even more recently, bluetooth headsets! Today, wearable tech is more James Bond than nerdy accessory. Imagination is the cornerstone of humanity: it’s the fuel of existence and creation is the vehicle. And imagination is running rampant through the tech industry.
A 2014 study by Forbes found that 71% of 16-to-24-year-olds want wearable tech. A valuable target market for many information and technology giants like Google and Apple. The new Apple Watch had sold 12 million devices by the end of 2015 – quite a feat considering they were selling for $349 a pop before discounts. Fitbit, a San Francisco-based company sells devices that can measure data, such as the “number of steps walked, quality of sleep, steps climbed, and other personal metrics.” As of the end of March 2015, over 20 million Fitbits have been sold. The ambitious Google Glass, an optical head-mounted display also known as smart glasses were a commercial flop. These smart glasses really pushed the limit of wearable tech – maybe even a little too far.
But is there money? The Apple Watch sales topped approximately $1.7 billion in 2015 alone. Fitbit, in its initial public offering (IPO) was valued at $4.1 billion after an increase in sales of 175% or $745 million in 2014. Google Glasses, a commercial flop, still sold over 831,000 glasses in 2014 originally priced at $1,500 a piece!
The cultural movement of wearable technology has transitioned from business and personal use items to fashion statements, fitness trackers, navigation tools, and communication & media. Whether you are looking for watches that can replace your phone and make you look like a confused secret agent in public or glasses that can automatically record all of your daily moments, the time is certainly now. You can keep your eyes glued to places like KickStarter or Indiegogo to see the inventiveness of new and emerging technology to make your life easier – and make you feel more like you are in a spy film.
Original publication: The Cowley Courier Traveler Newspaper