Explore the latest trends in wearable devices with our article. The diverse possibilities offered by health and fitness, GPS, VR and AR wearables.

Wearable technology has revolutionized the way we interact with electronic devices. Today, in addition to the usual Bluetooth headphones and smart watches, wearable devices are represented by AR glasses, smart socks and even smart swimsuits.

While wearable technology initially gained traction in the fitness industry, Apple's groundbreaking launch of the iWatch in 2015 propelled it into the mainstream technological landscape. This event marked the beginning of a significant shift towards wearable devices with capabilities far beyond simple step tracking.

Today, wearable technology has transitioned into numerous industries such as healthcare, wellness, and even fashion. In this article, we will delve into the latest trends in wearable technology, exploring its expanding applications and the potential it holds for shaping our future.

Example of a wearable device. Source: Unsplash

Trend 1: Less visible, looking more like jewelry or clothing

The wearable technology industry is experiencing a significant shift towards discreet and stylish devices that resemble jewelry, departing from the conventional fitness bands.

A noteworthy development in this industry is the emergence of a jewelry bracelet designed for personal safety. This innovative device is equipped with various features including a built-in siren, GPS module, and accelerometer. Its functionality enables users to effectively deter potential threats, transmit accurate location data, and gather movement-related information.

This trend has been successfully embodied in wearable NFC payment technology. As we move towards a cashless society in 2023-2024, the demand for contactless and convenient payment solutions is on the rise. Tech companies are partnering with financial institutions to improve security and streamline transactions, making wearable payments an essential aspect of our digital lives.

McLEAR, in collaboration with renowned financial and technology institutions such as Visa, has developed a cutting-edge payment ring that incorporates NFC payment technology solution. This revolutionary innovation not only offers the convenience of contactless payments but also boasts exceptional features such as waterproof and hypoallergenic materials, as well as a stylish and user-friendly design.

McLear Payment Ring

Trend 2: Wearable medical devices (healthcare and wellness)

The COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the need for real-time health monitoring and early detection of potential risks. This has led to a rise in the development of wearable devices in healthcare. Examples include heart monitors, as well as smart patches, etc. 

Abbott, a renowned leader in healthcare innovation, has pioneered significant advancements in cardiac monitoring with the introduction of the world's first Bluetooth-enabled Insertable Cardiac Monitor (ICM).

The Assert-IQ ICM offers superior accuracy in detecting arrhythmias and provides electrogram (EGM) details with exceptional clarity. The device's advanced capabilities enable healthcare professionals to examine intricate details of a patient's heart rhythms, facilitating more accurate diagnoses. This enhanced visualization empowers medical practitioners to provide targeted and personalized treatments.

Smart patches are thin, flexible health wearables that can be attached to the skin to monitor health parameters or deliver medication. These patches often contain sensors to track physiological parameters like heart rate, body temperature, and blood oxygen levels. 

Lief Therapeutics has developed a wearable patch called Lief. It tracks stress levels by measuring heart rate variability (HRV), a clinically-proven biomarker of stress, in real-time.

Corvolution, a German startup, has created a sensor patch named Mesana to address circulatory diagnostics and cardiovascular prevention. This discreet patch is worn on the chest and uses two electrodes to measure ECG. It automatically activates upon attachment to the body and also collects temperature, acceleration, and air pressure data. This data is then sent to Mesana's data center for analysis. The results offer a comprehensive health overview, including 16 different values categorized into sections such as Stress and Relaxation, Fitness and Activity, and Sleep and Risk.

Lief smart patch

Trend 3: GPS integration

Global positioning system (GPS) has become an essential tool for various industries, including transportation, logistics, and emergency services. The development of GPS technology has been instrumental in improving our accuracy and reliability in determining our location and finding the most efficient routes. The upcoming generation of GPS, known as GPS 3, has showcased significant advancements in its capabilities, particularly in terms of enhanced precision and security features. Moreover, personal GPS devices and smartphone applications have enabled individuals to navigate unfamiliar places with ease, fostering a sense of security and convenience.

Wearable devices have become increasingly popular for their integration of GPS trackers, which enable the monitoring of wearers' locations and the provision of location-based services. One major application of wearable GPS trackers is in the tracking of physical activity. Many fitness wearables utilize GPS sensors to track metrics such as distance covered, speed, and workout routes. Furthermore, GPS trackers can be utilized to navigate through unfamiliar terrain, making them useful in emergency situations and military operations. The safety and security provided by GPS trackers has also made them a valuable tool for parents who wish to monitor the whereabouts of their children.

In 2021, Apple released their AirTag, a wearable device that allows users to attach a small device to any item and track its location any time. While many adults are using AirTags for their luggage, some clever parents are also attaching them to their children and their belongings.

Trend 4: Smart clothing

Smart clothing not only brings about convenience and comfort, but also reduces the risk of losing or misplacing separate gadgets. From smart socks to jackets, pants, and even swimsuits, the options are endless.

Tesla suit is the world's first full-body haptic suit that merges physical sensations with virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) experiences. The Tesla Suit aims to enhance immersion by enabling users to feel what they see, hear, and feel in virtual environments. The suit is embedded with motion capture sensors and haptic feedback systems, providing realistic tactile sensations, temperature changes, and electrostimulation as feedback. It is targeted towards various applications such as gaming, training, rehabilitation, entertainment, and simulations.

A pair of Sensoria smart socks can provide you with data on your foot placement while walking or running. Connected to an app, these socks provide valuable insights and tips to improve your technique. They track your steps, speed, altitude, and distance traveled, enabling you to see your progress and reach new fitness goals.

If you're into yoga, Wearable X’s Nadi X pants will revolutionize your practice. These smart pants can sense when your poses need refining and offer haptic feedback through small vibrations on the body part that requires adjustment. The accompanying app provides detailed instructions on how to optimize each pose and even offers personalized yoga flows to curate your very own yoga class. 

No more sunburns while lying on the beach, as your swimsuit can now remind you to apply SPF. The Neviano UV Protect swimsuit collection comes equipped with a UV sensor, about half the size of an adult's thumb. Waterproof and seamlessly connected to your smartphone, this sensor sends alerts when UV levels are dangerously high, reminding you to apply more sunscreen and protect your skin.

Tesla Suit

Trend 5: VR & AR (the Advent of AR Glasses)

In the world of technology, the popularity of AR and VR glasses is on the rise, thanks to the success of Meta's Oculus. This has inspired other tech companies to delve into the idea of transforming phones and gaming consoles into AR devices.

At the Meta Connect 2023 event, Meta and EssilorLuxottica unveiled their highly anticipated Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses collection. These next-generation glasses feature a sleek, redesigned form factor, enhanced core features, and exciting new AI capabilities.

With Ray-Ban Meta smart glasses, users can effortlessly stay present in the moment while staying connected to the digital world and creating lasting memories. These glasses come equipped with a built-in camera and microphone, allowing users to capture photos and videos, enjoy music, and conveniently make and receive calls.

The newest iteration of the Ray-Ban and Meta collaboration aims to take smart glasses to the next level with an improved fit, crystal-clear audio, and expanded storage capacity. The camera enhancements take center stage in this version, boasting a different aspect ratio and advanced stabilization technology for better image quality. Plus, now you have the ability to live stream your experiences, adding a whole new dimension to the glasses' capabilities.

Ray-Ban | Meta Smart Glasses

AR glasses are revolutionizing the field of operations, particularly in maintenance. In maintenance operations, these glasses provide technicians with crucial data, such as equipment manuals, inspection checklists, or step-by-step repair instructions, directly in their field of view. This eliminates the need to consult physical documents or separate handheld devices, saving significant time and effort. Technicians can visualize components hidden inside machines or observe animations of complex assembly procedures, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of the system. This augmented visualization significantly reduces the chances of errors or oversight during maintenance tasks. The advanced technology and intuitive features of Vuzix M4000 Smart Glasses provide a seamless and hands-free AR experience. With a high-resolution display and powerful processor, these glasses offer crystal-clear imagery and enhanced graphics. The standout feature is their compatibility with various industry applications, empowering users to work smarter and more efficiently by providing real-time data and contextual information.

In closing,

wearable technology has become increasingly prevalent in various industries, including healthcare, fashion, and safety. The trends in wearable technology that have emerged include the desire for more discreet and stylish devices, the development of health wearables focused on real-time health monitoring, the integration of GPS trackers for safety purposes, the advent of smart clothing, and the rise of AR glasses with diverse applications. These trends indicate the continuous expansion and potential impact of wearable technology in shaping our future.