With the anticipation of Apple’s smart watch a.k.a the Apple Watch, the last few days have seen a good amount of debate concerning wearable technology. At Conceptualize, we have been following this trend quite closely. Here’s our take on the 3 most lucrative and useful industries for wearable tech (and no – we don’t think smart watches are quite as useful as they are made out to be):
A broad category, this encompasses apparel and accessories. Since wearable tech is essentially derived from jewelry and relies on the fact that people already wear accessories, this category was one of the first to see major strides in its development. As seen by recent events, this category has now gotten much bigger with big brands like Swarovski and Ralph Lauren joining the bandwagon.
Swarovski has played to its strength by teaming with Misfit, the maker of “connected” products, to incorporate its ‘Swarovski Shine Activity Tracking Crystal‘ into a bracelet. Not one to be left behind, Ralph Lauren recently showcased its ‘polo tech’ shirt. The shirt actively monitors heartbeat, respiration and stress levels.
However, what is our personal favorite? We’d have to say it’d be ‘Cuff’. The Cuff is an activity tracker that also allows users to receive and send notifications, especially in emergency situations. It is a combination of various jewelry pieces and the CuffLinc, a waterproof black device that links to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Fitting perfectly in the accompanying accessories, the CuffLinc gets concealed from plain sight while serving its purpose. The best thing is that you don’t have to charge it. The CuffLinc battery lasts for a year, after which you can send it back to the company for a replacement.
While this industry has seen huge developments, there is still a long way to go. This is made evident by fashion giant Tommy Hilfiger’s recent foray in this category.
Imagine – it is midnight and you are walking back home. You’re alone on the streets except for a mysterious stranger who is following you. What would you do in this situation?
While there may not be any need to worry, we have to agree with the phrase “better safe than sorry’. In such cases, or various other situations of dire emergency, we need to take immediate action. Taking out our phone from our pockets, or even worse a handbag, and then dialing a number takes too much time. What we need is a seamless action that triggers a message to all our emergency responders.
Among many other companies, SilentBeacon and Cuff, are trying to fulfill this need. However, we need it to be more intuitive. For instance, what happens if you are involved in a car accident that temporarily paralyzes your hands? Or someone has captured you at gunpoint thus not allowing you the freedom to move an inch?
If any product can address all these situations, we’ve got a winner on our hands!
Predicted to exceed $40 billion in sales, the market for wearable healthcare products is one of the pioneers of the wearable category. Starting from activity trackers such as Jawbone and Fitbit, this category now encompasses several of its own major sub-categories.
Instabeat, H2 and Footlogger each tap into these sub-categories. Instabeat is a waterproof swimming monitor that utilizes patent-pending technology to track and display heart rate in real-time. On the other hand, H2 is the world’s first wearable blood pressure monitor that allows users to measure and record their blood pressure in under 20 seconds. Lastly, Footlogger insole is an activity tracker that utilizes technology to predict and monitor various health issues including dementia, spinal disease and rehabilitation (stroke, paralysis).
Unfortunately, there is no device that caters to all or most of the above sub-categories. With all these devices, we have to choose what we would like to monitor rather than being able to monitor various health issues simultaneously. Bringing such a device to life would certainly help millions of people; all of whom are looking to monitor more than just their heart rate or track the number of calories they burned.
Comment below to let us know what your favorite wearable is and what makes it so unique.