Barely a decade ago, it seemed like science fiction to imagine a watch which not only tells time, but could also make phone calls, connect with the entire world and bring you the latest updates and important information on your wrist. More fascinating still was a glass which you could wear in front of your eyes and it could bring the information you need right in front of your eyes.
Today, we are living in that age where anyone can now buy a smart watch or a Google glass. What was fiction a decade back is the reality of today. But what does this mean for our future? Let’s look at what we have and what we can expect.
When cell phones were launched, they were extremely expensive and outside the reach of an average buyer. But mass penetration and adoption have made mobile phones including Smartphones affordable. The segment of wearable gadgets is following the same trend.
Today we don’t have too many wearables which are affordable for an average buyer, but soon there will be. Some popular ones today include the Samsung Gear series, Sony Smart watches, and a few more which are now available in the market. But not too many of them are really “smartphone-smart”. By smartphone-Smart, I mean the ones which can connect with your smartphone to bring a lot of convenience to you like showing you notifications, information, read important messages and let you control your Smartphone. Some of these bands are just fitness tracker and are limited to this functionality only, while some others like the Samsung Gear devices are smartphone smart along with the fitness tracking features, which is a true smart wearable.
Fitness is one important area where these wearables and fitness bands are really personalized as well. You can enter your health and fitness information into the fitness tracking apps and it will help you follow your favourite workout schedules and keep track of your workouts, calories consumed etc.
Samsung is globally a leading player in the smart watch segment with their products like Gear Fit and Gear 2 which are more easily available across markets compared to any other brand. We also have smart watches by Sony, not LG and other brands have also showcased their wearable products and they should be in the market soon. There are speculations that Microsoft is about to enter the smart watch market to compete with Samsung. With time, these wearable will keep getting more and more affordable and we will be able to buy them without spending too much, much like we buy a good Bluetooth headset these days.
While we talk about the latest trends in technology today, we should also be prepared for more intrusive technologies. While it may seem like it is an overdose of technology, but they are really useful when it comes to accessing information in a jiffy. Google Glass is one such radical wearable gadget which brings information right in front of your eyes and we have heard rumours about the Samsung “Gear Blink” which would also be a wearable glass like solution.
The wearables of future will definitely go beyond the capabilities of the ones we have today. Heart-rate monitor on Gear series is one innovation we have seen recently, we may see many more innovations going forward. Maybe the wearables of future may also double up as your gaming controllers for motion sensing gaming.
Besides being more capable than before, these wearables will also become trendier and gel well with our lifestyles by not looking absurd or attracting too much attention. Samsung Gear 2 is a fine example of this since it looks well crafted and does not look much different in size and form factor than a usual wrist watch.
I will end this article with a small wish list; things I would want from a gadget which I can wear:
• Should not make me look like an alien (should look natural)
• Should connect with other devices seamlessly
• Should be affordable
• Should focus more on functionality than underlying platforms
This article has been contributed by Rohit Khurana, Editor and Founder of an online gadget and technology magazine Intellect Digest. He is a technology expert and has done some technology features with NDTV. Rohit also runs a youtube channel where he posts gadget review videos.