Imagine firefighters inside a burning building wearing sensors on their helmets and clothing that measure heart rate and other vital signs while their partners outside the building carefully monitor this information. Or a business person walking into an important meeting carrying nothing but the glasses he wears that displays all the information he requires. These two examples of existing wearable technology are already being played out.
Wearable technology incorporates microelectronics in the form of sensors, microprocessors, and wireless transmitters that are worn on the body in a variety of ways. They can be worn on a wrist band, within a shoe, on glasses, jewelry, wristwatches, and clothing. The receiver of this wireless communication is often a mobile device. This technology has applications in sports, business, health care, law enforcement, textiles, and the military.
How does mobile app development tie into wearable technology? This largely depends on the specifics of the technology. Biosensor wearables for example, require a mobile device that analyzes and displays the bio signals. The uses for biosensor wearables and their apps are many. People with dementia who tend to wander can be tracked via a GPS bio sensor. Doctors can monitor the health of discharged patients.
Athletes and physical fitness enthusiasts can monitor their performance as well as their body’s reaction to the physical stress. This is done by measuring heart rate, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. The application’s purpose is displaying this information in a form that’s useful for the layman athlete.
Another wearable technology example is Google Glass which has promise but seems to be faltering. Part of the problem is its relative lack of applications that make it useful to a particular market. A potential use for Google Glass is allowing a doctor to check a patient’s vitals as he performs a surgery.
In the end, the success or failure of a particular form of wearable technology rests on the application that defines its purpose and usefulness to the consumer. This purpose is determined by good marketing research that identifies needs that aren’t adequately met or those that can be substantially improved by the new technology.
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