Is Wearable Technology On The Way Out Rather Than ‘The Next Big Thing’?
Whilst wearable technology is being touted as ‘the next big thing’ by technology articles around the globe, those who have already trialed the products are leaning more towards the opinion of them not being worth it. Many of these products are actually available today, but have they fizzled out before ever really taking off? In this article, we have analysed a product at each of the low, mid and high ends of the spectrum.
Low End – Fitness Bands
Some of the most affordable wearable technologies that you can purchase are fitness bands, which are used to track motion or ‘steps’. They are developed by manufacturers like Jawbone, Fitbit, LG, Samsung and Huawei, and generally cost less than $200. Whilst the bands are popular amongst fitness junkies, studies have shown that they may not be all that accurate in tracking our steps. For those just looking to improve their fitness, however, this is not an issue.
Some people have even questioned whether there is a security risk associated with the use of fitness bands, as those using Bluetooth connections are vulnerable to being hacked. This could be of great concern if the device tracks where you are or if you’re using the same passwords for different things.
Mid Range – Smartwatches
In the middle of the wearable technology scale, smartwatches can hook up to your smartphone and make it easier to check your notifications. They are developed by manufacturers like Pebble, Samsung, LG and Sony, and will set you back between $200 and $300. Those with grayscale screens are said to last anywhere three to seven days between charges, whilst those with colour screens will be lucky to make it two days without going flat.
High End – Google Glass
One of the most expensive wearable technologies currently available is Google Glass, which is a pair of glasses that offer computer capabilities. They will set you back around US$1500, AUD$2000 or more than £1000. This technology has, however, been met with weariness and even ridicule from the general public – many are worried about their friends ignoring them in favour of the online world, whereas others dub wearers “Glassholes” for buying into the hype.
Whilst there are certainly some upsides to wearable technology – they offer the capability to do everything, from monitor Parkinson’s disease through to plugging users into the online world – it is also important to remember that there are plenty of downsides, too. As research advances, we are starting to see that some of these technologies (notably, fitness bands and smartwatches) aren’t all their cracked up to be and that more experimentation is required.