The Gadget on Your Sleeve: Wearable Technology

Wearable Tech

When you think of wearable technology, you might think of superhero gear, like Tony Stark's Iron Man suit. While a weapons-enabled flying armored suit is likely still years away, the convergence of wardrobes and technology is resulting in an emerging line of technological gadgets you can wear anywhere.

Wearable tech is also likely to create IT jobs in the future: 81 percent of CIOs we surveyed believe wearable technology will be adapted in the workplace.


Remember the iconic 1980s Wayfarers – the Ray-Bans that everyone wanted? Those sunglasses might have been stylish, but today's glasses are smart. Google Glass, introduced in 2013, was meant to present a similar experience to using a smartphone, essentially resulting in a wearable computer. Though Glass is currently not on the market, other smart glasses such as Vuzix are available with video display and sharing features. Even more user-friendly "smart glasses" are on the horizon, including Microsoft's HoloLens


Wearable tech in the form of watches got its start back in 1977 with Hewlett Packard’s calculator watch – the “Cricket” – that retailed for $850. This was followed in 1984 by Casio’s Databank Telememo 10, and in addition to calculators, both devices featured groundbreaking functionality, including the ability to store phone numbers and appointments.

Today’s fashionable smart watches can do everything from track your heart rate to display texts and calendar updates. The Apple Watch, which was released in April, comes with a host of popular Apple features, including Siri and Apple Pay. Samsung and LG already have smart watches on the market that display your latest notifications. Tony Stark would be pleased.


If Tony Stark would enjoy the smart watch, his assistant Pepper Potts would love this next item. Yes, wearable technology means jewelry too. Today’s smart jewelry has evolved from the basic fitness trackers and wearable heart rate monitors of the 1980s to combine style and functionality in products like Cuff, a line of smart jewelry that monitors activity and calorie intake, sends a user alerts about phone calls and texts, and even notifies the wearer's contacts in the event of an emergency. Impressively, it lasts a full week on one charge.

If one thing's for certain, it's that wearable tech is now functional fashion. We're still in the early stages of adoption for wearable technology, but who knows where we'll be 5, 10 or 15 years from now. If the current trends continue, wearable technology will keep developers busy for years to come.

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