【Smart Wearables】 Innovations That Come with Sensors and Monitors

by Pei-Syuan Lai

Since smartphones became indispensable to people’s daily life, many manufacturers have started to develop wearables that are smart enough to satisfy people’s needs. Wearable devices can detect users’ bio-signals and perform hands-free tasks. Thus, many new ventures are attracted by the potential of smart applications, creating enormous business opportunities for wearable technology.

Smart Glasses- Accessing Information That Is Invisible to the Naked Eye

Smart glasses and VR goggles are designed to run data at the instant a user spots their target. By using voice input, the wearables can identify any given person, incident, or object through cloud computing. The results will be shown on the lenses of smart glasses or the screen of AR devices. Thus, users can acquire relevant information anytime and anyplace without clicking any button, with the device enhancing the efficiency of information access and providing more enjoyment in life.

In museums, smart glasses are used to provide guided tours. By incorporating hidden encoding and vision-based positioning, smart glasses can provide users with guidance based on their needs without blocking their sights. It can also offer users more options to gain a variety of information. Besides, in medical assistance, smart glasses can instantly show healthcare providers the information they need on their lenses, which can help reduce the time spent on the orientation and training for new medical staff.

Guided tours in museums with smart glasses (Image by Institute for Information Industry)

Smart Clothing- Physiological Data Gathered Around!

After the rise of wearables, companies of intelligent devices start reaching out to the general consumers by developing smart clothing. By adopting Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, smart clothing is connected to smartphones to collect and analyze all types of physiological data. Currently, this technology has been applied in various fields. For instance, developers at Chang Gung University have used smart clothing in medical care to collect data about electrocardiography (ECG) signals, respiration signals, body fluids, and body temperature. The collected data will then be uploaded to cloud storage so doctors can remotely monitor and track the health condition of the elderly and patients for 24 hours nonstop.

Main features of smart clothing (Image by Fashion Network)

When it comes to exercise and fitness, Dr. Genevieve Bell, an anthropologist and also one of Intel’s best-known researchers, demonstrated the smart cycling jersey at Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in 2013. With circuits woven in the jersey, when cyclists grip on the brakes, the Red LED lights in the back of their jersey sparkle as safety lighting to signal other road users. In 2014, Cityzen Sciences, a French-based start-up, displayed its shirts made of smart-sensing fabrics at Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The shirt has an embedded accelerometer, heart-rate and body temperature monitor, motion sensor, GPS, and altimeter. Users can wear the shirt for body-training or monitoring their health condition.

Smart shirts by Cityzen Sciences (Image by usine digitale)