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Notable Developments in Wearable Technology

Wearable technology has rapidly evolved in the past several years to become an integral part of our daily routines. It appears that wearable technology, which includes everything from smartwatches and fitness trackers to personal medical gadgets, can help us in a variety of ways, including making us more productive at work and better off physically.

In recent years, the demand for wireless wearable devices has exploded, fueling the rapid growth of the wearables business. In 2017, there were 526 million wearable gadgets online around the globe. This figure is expected to double by the year 2022.

The most popular wireless communications protocol for wearable devices is Bluetooth Low Energy, however more and more protocols are becoming compatible with these devices. Because of their ability to exploit Bluetooth radio with relative ease of use, wearables have made a significant impression in the fitness and healthcare industries, allowing for real-time monitoring of crucial data and transmission to other smart devices. The Internet of Things (IoT) is built upon the ever-expanding network of wirelessly connected gadgets, bringing us closer to realizing the vision of an intelligent, connected world. In this piece, we'll take a look at five emerging trends in wearable tech that you might have missed.

Additional Headphones

When most people think of wearable technology, they picture smartwatches and fitness trackers. Contrarily, the use of wearable and wireless audio devices is on the rise. For a more immersive and intuitive experience in an always-on world, pioneering earbuds like the Amazon® Echo Buds were designed to work in tandem with smartphones and other IoT-enabled devices. Users are increasingly interested in intelligent earbuds that not only boost volume but also connect wirelessly to their smartphone for use in a variety of contexts, including phone calls, music playback, and video gaming.

Conventional hearing aids are undergoing a seismic shift, causing a convergence between wireless earbuds and hearing aids, thanks to advancements in digital signal processing (DSP) technologies that have produced more efficient batteries and better Bluetooth® range. The high price of hearing aids is the primary reason why so few people who could benefit from them actually get one. Since the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 was signed into law, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has collaborated with consumer advocacy groups and the technology sector to develop rules for a new class of hearing aids that can be purchased without a prescription (OTC) Adults with mild to moderate hearing loss may soon have a new choice in terms of access to inexpensive hearing aids, thanks to the introduction of cutting-edge devices that combine sleek form with cutting-edge functionality. Put away any preconceived notions you may have about what it means to use a hearing aid, as well as any financial concerns you may have about purchasing one.

More High-Tech Attire

In the future, smart clothing will join the ranks of "wearables," which now include gadgets like fitness trackers and health monitors that we attach to our wrists. Socks that track your stride and offer advice on how to improve it, as well as swimwear that notifies its owner of dangerously high UV levels, are just two examples of the intelligent clothing options currently on the market.

In addition to the brain-sensing headband and stress-relieving necklace already mentioned, other significant wearables in the smart clothing area include smart fabrics for sports coaching and physiotherapy, and a variety of smart personal accessories. A smart ring equipped with Alexa®, for instance, can make it simpler to get around on a daily basis, while other forms of smart tags, such as COVID cards, can monitor a person's vitals around the clock to facilitate contact tracing in the wake of a pandemic.

Expanded Use of Head-Up Displays

Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are the future of wearable technology and will bring Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) into our daily life. Because they will allow users to engage with digital information and the real world around them at the same time, the potential benefits for AR HMD devices are extremely large. Battery life, computer vision, latency, and pixel density beyond 4K are just some of the obstacles that must be surmounted within a fixed 2-watt to 3-watt thermal budget for AR/VR solutions to satisfy market expectations.

Both the Magic Leap® One, which is being marketed as a "wearable spatial computer," and the HoloLens® 2, which is being marketed by Microsoft as "immersive, ergonomic, intuitive, and untethered," are two of the most promising augmented reality head-mounted display projects. In addition, FRL is working on holographic optics with a strategy that may one day lead to "future sunglasses-like VR technology." Lighter and more comfortable AR/VR wearables will enable their use beyond only gaming. AR/VR technology allows for more immersive and individualized mobile gaming experiences as the industry shifts focus from PC gaming to mobile devices.

Improved computational efficiency and extended battery life.

Because of advancements in System on Chips, often known as SOC technology, wearables are now able to analyze more data and have a battery life that is far longer. They are able to run artificial intelligence (AI), which helps them to make decisions more faster and carry out more complex jobs. Some examples of these tasks include always-on voice command, improved visuals and display, additional capabilities, and more. Some multi-function smartwatches, such as the most recent Oppo Watch, have a battery life that can last as long as 21 days on a single charge, which is significantly longer than the few days of battery life provided by earlier models. This constitutes a significant improvement in comparison to the battery life offered by older models.

The creation of sustainable wearable technology requires the incorporation of energy-efficient components and algorithms, and this is true regardless of whether the gadget in question is powered by a rechargeable or disposable battery. Manufacturers and designers are searching for ultra-low-power system-on-chips (SoCs), such as Ambiq's Apollo and Apollo Blue, in order to extend the battery life of their products, incorporate more complex and intelligent processing, use batteries that are smaller or more affordably priced, and maintain the same level of usability.


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