My oldest son, who has never met a stranger, struck up a conversation with a man in a restaurant the other day when the man’s watch caught his eye. This wasn’t just any watch — it was wearable technology. It was a device that integrated with the man’s cellphone, allowing him to use and manage several features of his cellphone from his wrist without ever removing his cellphone from his pocket.
Smart watches like the one that caught my son’s eye have increased in popularity this past year. One of the more popular makers is Pebble who has models that work with both Android and Apple iOS devices. They allow for more discreet use of your mobile technology and some even allow you to take pictures using the watch. Other popular wearables are the health sensors like Fitbit and Nike+ FuelBand. These wearable health sensors track pulse, sleep patterns, and activity levels. These sensors sync with apps on mobile devices that track your health goals and progress.
These health tracking wearable sensors are getting so popular that Apple at their recent World Wide Developer Conference demoed their new Health app which stores all your health data and a tool for developers called HealthKit that allows developers to access the health data stored on your mobile device creating an opportunity for new, more in-depth health information to be presented to you when you ask Siri how you are doing.
What about Google Glass? As far as popularity, Google’s experimental heads up display you wear like glasses has drawn the ire of nearly everyone in the vicinity of someone wearing one. The people who have had the opportunity to use Google glass have in general reported positive experiences using the device. This is in contrast to the experiences they have reported when wearing Google Glass around others. People tend to poke fun and have even been known to verbally and physically attack Glass wearers while they talk to themselves.
Wearable technology is still very new, and people’s acceptance of such devices being integrated into their everyday lives has come with some ups and downs. The wearable electronics trend is coming and looks to me like it isn’t showing any sign of stopping. As developers and manufactures figure out what people want and will accept socially more devices will begin to show up in our everyday lives.