What’s Ahead for the Wide World of Wearables?
Business Solutions It sounds far-fetched, but with advances in wearable technology anything now seems possible. And consumer interest isn’t likely to wane.
A new report from Research and Markets predicts the global market for wearables will reach $3.3 billion by 2020.
From the start
Most of us have grown comfortable with wearables, even if we don’t use them ourselves. Shoppers with watches from Apple, Samsung and others pay for coffee through mobile payments. And there is no shortage of people measuring steps walked, sleep habits and more with Fitbit and other bracelet devices.
"If you can’t refuse that second piece of pie, your nagging belt may just do it for you."
But wearables have moved beyond the wrist. Developers are experimenting with everything from sunglasses to dresses to shoes that deliver and monitor data, provide notifications and Internet services, and serve as mobile payment platforms. Implanted chips (we already do this in pets to provide location services) or data-enriched tattoos don’t seem as otherworldly as they once did.
On the horizon
Coming later this year is a cocktail ring that serves as a payment device. Ringly jewelry is on the market as a notifications tool, allowing wearers to check updates from social media and other sites. Through a partnership with MasterCard, wearers will be able to point the ring at a contactless reader to pay for sandwiches, concert tickets and more.
Also on track for late 2016 is mobile payment capability on a General Motors key fob. And Samsung recently demonstrated WELT, a belt that measures tension exerted by the wearer’s belly while also monitoring waist size, eating habits and exercise. It all amounts to something to look forward to—or not. If you can’t refuse that second piece of pie, your nagging belt may just do it for you.