With the incessant development in mobile technologies, the devices we once deemed as revolutionary, such as the smartphones and tablets, are now being replaced by more portable high-tech gadgets in the form of wearables. The idea is not all new to consumers, as smartwatches have been around on the market for a couple of years now brought by the leading mobile companies such as Samsung and Sony. In fact, we featured recently that Apple is also set to release their own smart wristwatch called the Apple Watch (once dubbed as the ‘iWatch) early this year. But, what we should expect this time are more wearable technologies that are focused on providing specialized assistance to specific health needs.
The latest Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2015) showcased various health-focused wearables that are set to be launched soon on the market sometime this year or in the next couple of years. In this post, we want to present some of the next batch of wearables focused to provide in-depth wellness assistance.
Today’s commercial smartwatches and fitness bands offer the same health-assisting features. O2 said these devices come with their own heart monitor pedometer, sleep detector, and even GPS. It may have different design or additional mobile features, but its health and fitness capabilities are all the same. In fact, a Gartner study said that 50 percent of consumers that are planning to purchase a wearable this year will opt for a smartwatch rather than fitness bands since it offer the same health features with more mobile functionalities (ability to connect to the internet, touchscreen display, etc.).
However, a game changer will be on the rise soon as a human data analytics company in Milan, Italy (Empatica) came up with a revolutionary smart band that can assist people with chronic epileptic attacks. The Embrace band started as a crowdfunded project in Indiegogo that has reached 422 percent of its goal. The devices are set to be delivered to the supporters on July of this year. It looks similar to other smartwatches on the market, but with no touchscreen display. What it offers is the ability to save lives of people with Epilepsy by alerting their companions when an attack happens. Through an application installed on their device or a paired Embrace device, the nearby companion (family, friends, or carer) will be alerted by the app on their handset or a vibrate on their band. It can also track activity feedback, stress levels, and sleep patterns of the patient.
Another much-awaited health wearable is Google’s Smart Contact Lens. The search giant company seeks partnership with pharmaceutical firm Novartis to create the innovative smart lens that is said to assist people with Diabetes. This technology is able to monitor blood-sugar levels through the tears of the user. Andrew Morse of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) wrote, “the lenses contain a tiny sensor that relays data on glucose contained in tears via an equally tiny antenna.” Apart from assisting diabetics, the contact lens is also designed to correct the user’s vision.
Unveiled early last year, this smart lens will be the newest addition to Google’s growing number of wearables, including the Android Wear collection. Novartis representatives reported that they hope to launch the prototype early this year. But, Google CEO Larry Page said they want to make sure they avoid the failed fate of past inventors who have a revolutionary technology ideas but received no profit.
During the CES 2015, ‘Digital Health and Fitness’ is one of the categories highlighted at the event. In fact, it was a large group that it has its own section of the conference. Here are other specialized health wearable technologies presented at the event.
TempTraq – for fever
This is a wearable stick-on thermometer that is powered by a small battery pack that transmits real-time temperature reading to your mobile device via an app. It is highly advisable for parents, especially if they want to check on their child’s well-being as it also alerts you when a fever spikes up. However, this device can only be used once and would require to be replaced when it doesn’t stick anymore.
Another revolutionary wearable device recently launched was the Quell, a device that relieves pain through stimulating sensors that sends signal to the brain which relaxes the nerve endings in your calf. It promises as much as 40 hours of pain relief and tracks sleep quality if the pain affects your bed time.
Improve your posture with the help of this upcoming wearable device called the Upright that trains you to eliminate any current or developing back problems. It needs to be worn to sit on your back, as it alerts you through a vibration when you slouch to keep your back straighten up.
Overall, wearable technology will continue to develop similar to any mobile technologies out there. What’s your thought on the upcoming health-focused wearable devices?