Wearable technology

Technology moves at a rapid pace and in the year ahead we will see wearable devices become a key part of our daily lives – but at what cost?

“From smart wigs measuring blood pressure to smart jeans measuring mood swings, the world around us is about to get an awful lot smarter.”

If you hadn’t guessed it already ‘smart’ is the optimum word for the trends that will shape 2014 and wearable technology is no exception. Just as smart systems have developed, so have the possibilities to transfer this intelligence from objects to people; in the things that we wear on a daily basis.

How it works

We’ve already seen the beginnings of wearable tech with Google’s smart glasses and Samsung’s smart watch but in 2014 it is predicted this will accelerate as we see these technologies installed into both our clothes and accessories. These advanced electronic devices can then be monitored remotely via the internet or the cloud allowing us to find out new information and data about ourselves, in particular our well-being and health.

A controversial trend as some see this advancement as crossing privacy boundaries; whether it’s over-stepping the mark or an innovative way to explore our lifestyle choices will no doubt form part of a larger debate in the year ahead.

Sarah Wood, co-founder & COO of UNRULY & ambassador for the International Festival for Business:

“In 2014 we will see the rise of wearable technology and the Internet of Things. From smart wigs measuring blood pressure to smart jeans measuring mood swings, the world around us is about to get an awful lot smarter. Brands will be swift to take advantage of these new channels but they’ll need to tread carefully as they navigate our personal space.”

Global service design consultancy Fjord:

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Wearable tech that helps monitor health and wellness will become fashionable. Google’s Glass goggles may look naff but it won’t be long before its pioneering technology makes its way into our clothes and fashion accessories.

“2014 will see wearable tech and fashion advance into the health and wellness sector, spawning a growing demand for fashionable wearables that provide a stylish means of monitoring our health, enhancing our fitness and advising on our lifestyle choices.”

John Elkaim, vice president of marketing at social media specialist Gigya:

“In 2014, we’ll start to see these devices really communicate and interact, creating an unprecedented level of personalisation for consumers. This will be enabled by one key concept; identity.

“For example, imagine the following: You log into your Nike Fuelband via your Facebook ID and tell the device that you’re going for a 5km run. At the 4km mark, your Fuelband automatically tells your Nest thermostat (which you are also logged into via Facebook) that you are nearly home, and the thermostat begins cooling your home so that when you come back from your run, your apartment is the perfect temperature to help you cool down.

“It may sound like a distant futuristic concept, but by making identity the connective tissue between devices, it’s actually very possible that this could happen much sooner than we think.”

Mark Morley, industry marketing director at GXS:

“Google Glass has been one of the most frequently discussed ‘wearable devices’ to hit the market in 2013. But how could businesses adopt this technology in 2014? From a supply chain perspective, warehouse management and logistics could become early adopters of this technology. [Smart glasses] could be worn by pickers, guiding them to storage locations in a warehouse or to retrieve additional information about a product.”


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