I remain fascinated by everything that’s happening in the wearable technology space. I wrote about this space earlier, looking at companies such as Jawbone and Airstrip. With the annual Consumer Electronics Show (‘CES’) just behind us, I thought it would be good to look at some wearable trends to keep an eye on in 2014:
- Gaming – The Oculus Rift is the first product that comes to mind when I think about wearable innovations in the gaming space. Rumoured to launch in Summer this year, the Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset which can be used for 3D gaming. This headset is all about ‘immersive technology’, which means that users can interact with games, being able to move your head in whichever way you’d like – just like in normal life (see Fig. 1 below).
- Fitness – Products such as Fitbit and Nike’s Fuelband are already quite mainstream. One doesn’t have to be a clairvoyant to predict that this trend of using wearable technology to measure fitness levels and daily activity is going to continue in 2014. Smartwatches such as Pebble (see Fig. 2 below) are definitely going to reinforce this trend.
- Audio & Photo – It might sound a bit spooky – and I’m unsure of some of the legal consequences involved – but soon we could all be recording audio or taking pictures without other people even being aware. Small wearable devices such as Kapture and Narrative (see Fig. 3 below) help users to record audio or take pictures respectively on the go. Most of these devices already integrate fully with smartphones so that for example all the pictures that you take whilst you’re running are automatically organised or stored on your phone.
Main learning point: Wearable technology will no doubt continue to develop further in 2014. It will be interesting to see how the various wearable devices out there will integrate with each other (think the “internet of things”) and what new use cases will materialise (think areas such as healthcare, time management and finance).
Fig. 1 – Testing the Oculus Rift developer kit (taken from: http://www.youtube.com/user/testedcom)
Fig. 2 – Review of the Pebble Smartwatch by Engadget (taken from: http://www.youtube.com/user/engadget)
Fig. 3 – Narrative Clip promo clip (taken from: http://vimeo.com/getnarrative)
Related links for further learning: