Wearable Technology for the Elderly

As people get older, they may find it difficult to face losing autonomy due to health concerns and other issues. Their friends and families worry about them living alone – and considering the dangers that older people can face from falls and other medical issues, those fears are understandable. Fortunately, there’s a happy medium now in wearable technology for the elderly.

New wearable sensors are making it possible for seniors to maintain their independence and autonomy while also giving them and their loved ones some peace of mind.

What Is Wearable Technology?

Simply put, wearable technology is any piece of technology that you can wear on your body. Examples of wearable technology might include shoes, belts, rings, watches, and other items.

Many of the options in wearable technology are surprisingly fashionable. You might expect them not to be, but as electronics have become smaller the possibility of creating sleek and wearable garments and accessories has become a reality.

Another way to look at wearable technology is to view it as the perfect marriage of fashion and technology. In fact, the theme of 2016’s Met Gala in New York was “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.” Celebrities attended wearing fashions that incorporated technology in a variety of ways. One of the most stunning ensembles of the evening was designed by Zac Posen and worn by actress Claire Danes. The dress appeared to be sky blue under bright light, but in the dark it was revealed to be made of fiber optic LED fabric that glowed like the night sky.

Of course, some wearable technology is mostly decorative, like Posen’s dress, while other options combine fashion and function.

What are the Benefits of Wearable Sensors for Elderly People?

The benefits of wearable sensors for elderly people are clear. They allow older people to balance their need for autonomy with protecting themselves in the event that they need help. And because technology has advanced, they can be fashionable while doing it.

Wearable sensors can do everything from monitoring heartbeats, respiration, and sleep patterns to helping people who are vision impaired avoid obstacles in their paths. They can also be connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology, allowing the easy transmission of biometric information to caregivers and family members.

What might amaze you about the wearable technology for the elderly that’s available today is that it is so sleek that you have probably seen people on the streets of London wearing it without even realizing what it was.

That’s helpful because for some older people, the thought of losing dignity by wearing a clunky monitor is not an appealing one. The new items available are far more unobtrusive than such sensors were in the past – and that means that it may be relatively easy to convince your loved one to wear one.

Examples of Wearable Technology for Elderly People

To give you an idea of how fashionable and functional wearable technology can be, let’s look at a few examples.

E.life Waterproof NFC Ringly Smart Ring Enabled Wearable Technology with Health Stone 

The NFC Smart Ring from Ringly has a sleek black design that belies its multiple functions. This ring operates in conjunction with a smart phone, keeping personal information (such as payment information or unlocking technology) on the underside of the ring and the things that need to be easily accessible, like your email address, in the top.

The ring itself never needs to be charged, making it ideal in the event the person wearing it is unable to reach their smart phone. Communication with the ring is simple, requiring only a whisper.

Misfit Shine Fitness + Sleep Monitor

If you want a piece of wearable technology to track your activities during the day and your sleep at night, the Misfit Shine Fitness + Sleep Monitor can help. The technology in this band, which looks like a high-end watch and can be worn on the wrist, shoe, bra, or even around the neck, goes beyond a simple step counter. It can track any physical activity and also keep track of your sleep cycles.

The Misfit Shine has a sleek black band and a gold-toned face. It can be worn with almost any outfit from casual to dressy.

Jawbone UP3 Teal Cross Heart Rate Activity and Sleep Tracker

Monitoring your heart rate can be important both as a measure of fitness and as a way of alerting you to potential problems. The Jawbone UP2 Teal Cross Heart Rate Activity and Sleep Tracker keeps track of your average heartbeat throughout the day.

At night, this device transforms into a sleep monitor. It monitors REM, light, and deep sleep, and it also includes a silent alarm that will wake you silently at the ideal place in your sleep cycle.

Conclusion

As both technology and fashion continue to evolve, you can expect to see more products with wearable technology for elderly people. These products can provide peace of mind and real-time monitoring while also making a fashionable addition to anybody’s wardrobe.

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Wearable tech for swimming

Wearable technology is starting to help the performance of swimmers for a variety of reasons. We delve deeper and investigate what’s available to help you swim in style when you next take a dip in Hampstead Heath ponds.

Swimming for health and fitness

Where previously, measuring performance in water was limited to athletes and their coaches, many devices have now become more affordable to help regular swimmers. Doing so helps gather data and trends to improve stamina and swimming technique.

Most common of these are heart rate monitors and performance measurement devices.

Underwater Heart Rate Monitors

As an anaerobic form of exercise, a heart rate monitor in the pool or the ponds is a useful way to set targets for a swimming session or for over several sessions. Changes over time can help measure improvements in overall health and fitness. Typically worn around the temple and ears, these devices work by allowing an Infra Red sensor to measure the blood flowing through capillaries.

This data is then sent to a built in processor which when set against the temple, translates the information into audio through bone conduction. One of the major benefits of this piece of technology is that it tells you exactly how hard your body is working in real time and can help you reach your optimum level no matter how intense or casual the swim is.

Finis Inc. has developed Aqua-Pulse, which uses infrared sensors and functions like an ear clip.

Instabeat is another device that can help swimmers in this area. With heart rate sensors mounted on swimming goggles, swimmers can instead have visual feedback on how they’re faring underwater.

Performance Feedback

Besides monitoring and relaying heart rate, Bone Conduction Technology is also being applied to give constant audio feedback on how fast you are swimming, together with other real time and calculated statistics that can help improve the performance of your swim.

The Misfit Shine and FlyFit are going to make appearances in the market very soon and if you decide to get one, has the potential to greatly improve your swimming performance.

The Speedo Aqua, the Garmin Swim Worldwide watch and the Swimsense have motion sensors on the devices that can help track how many laps, the pace, the stroke count and even identify the type of stroke you are doing.

The Basis Peak and the Mio Alpha 2 can track a great number of stats underwater and work really well in depths of up to 30 metres. The device can automatically be synced with a mobile app for reviewing the results later and the display screen can be customized.

Whether you want to track the distance travelled, read time underwater, use it as a stopwatch or check how many calories are burnt, underwater fitness trackers can help you track even the tiniest movements you do underwater, all thanks to a variety of complex, integrated sensors.

Audio and music players for swimming

Several companies have waterproofed traditional Mp3 devices to enable swimmers to listen to music underwater. This helps to get into the zone much quicker and is also more likely to help extend a work out. More prevalent though, are Mp3 devices that use bone conduction technology for audio transmission, which can be used in place of ear-phones.

The SwiMP3 uses jawbone conduction, where sound resonates through the jawbone and the music plays as you might expect.

Safety for professional divers and open water swimming

Underwater airbags are not just used for lifting heavy shipwrecks out of the water anymore! Kingii is the latest swimming, wearable tech. It is a wristband that can help take you to the surface, or keep you afloat when at risk of drowning or facing danger in open waters. The Kingii weighs less than an average smartphone and contains a rectangular pouch with a small capsule of carbon dioxide.

If you get into trouble when out swimming or need immediate assistance, all you need to do is tug on the bracelet, which will inflate the flotation device in a matter of seconds, inflating the airbag with carbon dioxide. This will then lift you up to the surface of the water and to safety.

Making swimming for leisure more fun

Underwater cameras including GoPro feature stunning video quality and is built to withstand extreme water pressure and environments. Wearable underwater cameras allow users to have their hands free for both leisure and extreme water sports.

Aids for Paralympians

When a Paralympic swimmer reaches the end of a lap, the coach would ordinarily tap him or her on the back as a signal to flip or turn around. Developed by the Spanish Paralympic Committee and in association with Samsung, Blind Caps are the newest entrants in the league of swimming wearable tech.

The device works by having hardware worn on the swimmer, which is connected to software on a smartwatch or a phone. The coach can then simply tap once on the phone or the watch to alert the swimmer when he or she has reached the end of the lap.Blind caps

The alert comes in the form of a gentle vibration when the swimmer reaches the end of the pool. With this piece of technology, comes a positive change in the way Paralympic games can now be conducted.

Whichever device you choose to take for your next swim, stay safe and have fun!

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Top 6 wearable smartwatch apps!

Smartwatch apps, though limited in number (close to 200 apps), offer some pretty compelling options for smartwatch users.

Smartwatch users can now check breaking news on their wrists, follow alerts, meteorological statistics, make calculations, check distances, order food and also virtually dim the lights of their homes!

With the advent of smartwatch apps and its capabilities, wearables such as smartwatches are bringing more functionality. Here are the top 6 wearable smartwatch apps to look out for in 2016.

1.   Wear Internet BrowserWearable Apps

Get all the latest information from the internet or browse your favourite websites with this efficient, mini browser that comes with an in-built keyboard function.

It may seem a tad inconvenient to scroll through pages of information on a smartwatch, but it is definitely a brag-worthy app and supports world wide browsing right from your wrist. If you are looking for quick information, you don’t necessarily need to pull out your laptop or your phone every time to connect to a local, Wi-Fi network.

You can instead, swiftly connect your smartwatch to the network and browse away! Handy, isn’t it?

2.   InstaWeather

Follow minute-to-minute weather or get a heads-up about the sleet coming your way with the ‘InstaWeather’ app for your smartwatch. A must have app to help decide what to wear during in the uncertain British weather.

This app goes beyond the basics and gives you weather insights in the form of detailed reports during different times of the day and radar images of approaching, wet weather in your city or neighbouring regions.

 3.   Hue Control

If you have Philipps Hue Lights at home, the Hue Control app will allow you to quickly and efficiently control your lighting, switch them on or off with a simple tap on the smartwatch – perfect for a romantic film night at home. Please note though that unfortunately they don’t snuff out candles after dinner!

With ‘Hue Control’ installed on your smartwatch, you will be able to have (pretty much) full control over the lighting in your house with a simple button.

If that wasn’t enough, you can scroll through lighting previews, adjust colour and intensity sliders and do much more on your smartwatch screen. This is definitely a useful app and one to watch in 2016.

Wearable Smartwatch4.   Eat24

If however your cooking didn’t quite turn out ok (or if you’re just exhausted from getting yourself ready for said date), you can now place food orders seamlessly without having to worry about entering your credit card information, location or address every time.

With this app installed, you can also view your previous orders and instantly re-order the food from the last time with a simple tap and a swish!

5.   Calculator for Android Wear

Once you have downloaded the ‘Calculator For Android Wear’ app on your phone, it will directly drop the calculator app onto your smartwatch.

With easy computation at your fingertips, you will never have to physically use a calculator or a smartphone for calculations ever again. An absolute must-have if you don’t like mental math too much.

 6.   Find My Phone

We all know what it’s like when we lose our phones and if you are constantly losing it, then this app could just be what you need! If you misplace your phone at home, you now have a solution with the ‘Find My Phone’ app.

Your smartwatch will automatically vibrate if the app disconnects from your phone and you can also have the app connect to your smartphone to start off a loud alarm to see where you’ve left it.

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Emerging wearables from CES 2016

The next-generation of tech was displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, leaving spectators dazzled and excited.

With more than a million products showcased, whether it was the LG Rollable Display, the smart bra or the Adrenaline dress by Intel, onlookers were revelling in the visual treats of the cool, cutting-edge product launches at the show.

Among the many ground-breaking product launches, wearable devices held a candle to the rest. Here is a compilation (in no particular order) of the top 6 emerging wearable devices that were seen at the CES in January 2016

   1.   The ‘Digitsole’ Smartshoe

This futuristic shoe is as ‘high-tech’ as it can get. Forget wearing socks, because these shoes come with temperature controls for cold feet in winter, with a staggering battery life and a sole that can help track activity levels and sleep patterns.

All you need to do is simply connect your smartphone to the smartshoe via Bluetooth! The shoes are expected to be available in the markets early Autumn 2016.

   2.   Mood Bracelets

After the mood rings, we now have the mood bracelets that are now becoming quite popular. These bracelets not only reflect a person’s mood or feelings, but go one step further in making suggestions on how to improve your mood if you are feeling blue!

The mood bracelet, developed by Sentio Solutions, a San-Francisco based company, is all set for release in December 2016 and is the first among the many wearable tech devices that gauges emotions and makes recommendations.

   3.   The Adrenaline Dress

The Intel booth at the CES was packed with visitors. The new ‘Adrenaline Dress’ by Intel, contracts and expands based on the wearer’s stress levels and body temperatures and is designed by keeping in mind the fight or flight syndrome in animals.

This stunning dress comes with 3D prints all over and is uniquely designed with wings at the back.

Wearable Gadgets_2

   4.   Wearable Translators

The CES unveiled some useful inventions this year and among them, was the ‘Wearable Translator’ that comes in the size of a regular thumb drive.

All it needs, is for the person to speak into the wearable translator and the translator then converts what is recorded into a language of your choice.

   5.   Smart Ski Airbag-Vest

Ski professionals and enthusiasts will now be in for a treat with the smart ski airbag-vest that inflates in a 100 milliseconds to protect the neck, spine, back and ribs during a collision or fall.

This innovative airbag-vest is embedded with wireless technology that detects loss of balance during skiing and inflates immediately. Approved by the French Ski Federation, the smart ski airbag-vest is considered one of the smartest wearables of 2016.

   6.   The Smart ‘OMbra’

OMbra is one of the first smart-bras designed by a Montreal-based company, OMsignal and is due for release in Spring 2016.

The sports bra is designed to track calorie-intake, distance and other vital signs like the heart rate and breathing rhythms/patterns. With a futuristic sports bra such as the OMbra, working out in the gym or going on those morning runs promises to be interesting.

Wearable Gadgets_3

Wearable trends to look out for in 2016

Wearable Tech Trends

According to a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine, wearable technology will become the top trend of 2016, with its whole new range of capabilities and options.

The Apple Watch set a high bar for smartwatches and replaced the average fitness tracker with its sheer pizzazz. Till now, the Apple Watch retained its position as the leader in the smartwatches segment, but this year is going to bring with it a host of other trendy wearable technology in multiple segments that could single-handedly make the Apple Watch seem passé.

With a combination of suave meets smart, here is a list of the top 5 wearable tech trends to look out for in the year 2016:

 1.   Smart-couture

Smart-Couture

From intelligent sports-bras to LED dresses that move if you are being watched, 2016 promises a host of offbeat wearable technology that will blow your mind!

Designers such as ‘Asher Levine’ have partnered with the company ‘Phone Halo’ for the manufacture of tracker chips. These are being embedded into couture designs, wherein if the owner misplaces a garment in the cupboard or elsewhere, he/she will be able to locate it using the respective tracker app on the mobile phone.

   2.   Smart socks

Smart socks such as ‘Sensoria’ are paired with special sensory anklets that relay information regarding the level of foot activity or sudden, harmful movements to the wearer, via an app.

The smart socks market is estimated to soar with high-usage by marathon runners. These smart socks will send important form data or pressure signal alerts to the runner during the course of running or any other activity.

   3.   GPS Pet Collars

If you are looking to go that extra mile to protect your furry friends this year; think of investing in a GPS collar like ‘Nuzzle’!

GPS Mapping, activity monitoring and other wellness stats are some of the key features of this GPS pet collar. Not only will you be able to track your dog or discover useful information, your pet will also have a nice funky addition to his collection of collars.

   4.   Swimming Wearables

Swimming Wearables

Swimming wearables are all set to become a big trend. Swimming caps and goggles are now integrated with state-of-the-art bio-mechanics and record data pertaining to strokes counts, breaths under water, kick speeds, kick-turn times and real-time audio.

With wearables such as these permeating the market, competitive swimming is going to go up and will change the way pros and swimming enthusiasts use their swimming gear altogether.

   5.   Wearables That Could Save Your Life!

Imagine walking down on a lonely street, when suddenly an alarm on your body ticks off and alerts you of impending danger. Though this may sound extremely next-gen, the fact of the matter is, these wearables have been designed and are set to be released in markets around the globe.

Wearable technology such as ‘Athena’ could protect women from harm and come with groundbreaking GPS alerts for tracking purposes. This apart, these very wearables are being designed to alert people of floods, earthquakes and other natural calamities too. Watch out for wearables that could save your life in 2016.

All the wearable trends are set to bring about a difference in how we lead our lives for the year 2016 with tons of benefits, oodles of features and futuristic technology.

A game changer for healthcare

As wearable technology has gained more traction in our day-to-day lives, it has also forayed and extended its growth into the healthcare sector.

What started out as a simple, life-style device has evolved into innovative break-throughs that could shape the future of the health management industry. The data from wearable technology offer health professionals insights into a patient’s well-being that can be used to provide better care in a personalised way.

medical 2Wearable devices can empower a person and educate them with real-time data on their health and well being.

Data as basic as the number of steps you have taken to as complex as how well your lungs are working can be accessed through wearable devices. You can easily check your blood pressure by glancing at the display and for further review, it syncs this data to your smartphone, so you can view it anytime, anywhere with the analysis of associated life-style habits.

The device can provide valuable recommendations such as what food to consume if blood sugar levels fall. In addition, these devices can also measure levels of brain activity, body temperature and hydration.

This technology has made living with diabetes not so dreaded as it used to be. There are glucose monitors available that one can carry in a tiny case and an insulin pump that is attached to the person at all times.

The devices provide its wearer with regular health updates and contain historical data. It also helps to make quick decisions by giving timely feedback thereby being in control over the situation.

Wearable devices don’t just identify the problem and provide suggestions, but they also are poised to play a key role in offering solutions.

For example, Valedo, one of the health-oriented wearables available in the market, is a pair of wearables that come as a relief to those who have issues related to lower back health. It makes use of an accelerometer, a gyro meter and a magnetometer to capture your motion across a 3D plane and then suggests 45 different exercise options through its interactive interface depending on your health condition and requirement.

Wearables are now being modified by engineers to incorporate algorithms that analyse more biometric data.

wearable technology medical useAs wearable devices are being widely adopted for personal health management, its application on the professional front is also on the rise.

Google Glass – the smart eyewear, helps surgeons to perform surgery with more precision by having the CT and X-ray images directly in their field. This helps the surgeon to devote their full attention to the patient and not have to worry about leaving the room for getting the X-ray reports.

It has also become easier to monitor a patient’s vital signs minute-by-minute as opposed to the four-hour check which is usually done at the hospitals.

BioPatch is a smart device that notifies any adverse signs or symptoms found in the body and alerts the nurse via smartphones thus helping them efficiently prioritize their time.

Wearable technology also has the potential to save you from occasional trips to the hospital by transmitting the necessary health related data to the doctor via wireless devices thus revolutionizing the doctor-patient interaction and improving the comfort of the patient.

How readily and to what extent this is taken advantage of remains to be seen.

The top 5 wearable brands today

Wearable technology is one of the fastest growing trends in modern times and the demand for particular brands is rising rapidly.

Though there are recurrent debates regarding the necessity and the overall value of these devices today, wearable technology manufacturers continue to manufacture enhanced, people-friendly wearable tech, to appeal to a growing demographic of health-conscious people, the education industry and some tertiary sectors.

LG ,_ _ _ _ _ _-_14507399524‘Google glass’ has researchers buzzing with excitement, whilst some gamers have found their little slice of heaven with the ‘Oculus Rift’, the VR viewer, that takes the user into a virtual gaming world, as if they were present in the game themselves.

Wearable technology also comes in the form of smartwatches – your personal fitness tracker, your wallet and your app manager all-in-one. ‘Moto 360’ and ‘Apple Watch’ are some of the few examples of the leading smartwatches in the market.

Here is a round-up of the most popular wearable technology manufacturers and brands in the market today –

1. Fitbit

Fitbit is the clear winner in the global wearable technology market. In the first quarter of the year 2015, Fitbit shipped 3.9 million wearable devices, accounting for nearly 34.2% of the market.

The three wearable devices, the Charge, the Charge HR and the Surge are devices that help consumers keep a tab on their fitness levels, their weight, diet and activity and are currently the most-used activity-tracking wearables around the world; and also the most talked-about.

2. Xiaomi

Xiaomi is literally the dark horse of the wearable market in China, and it is now making its presence felt globally. With a market share of 17.1%, the brand is known for its best-selling wearable device – the Mi Band.

Unlike other giants in the wearable technology market, the Mi Band cannot tell the time, connect to external apps or even display notifications. So what makes this band stand out from the rest in the crowd? It’s cheaper than most wearables and still has almost the same functions as a Fitbit or a Jawbone.

Its simplistic appearance is one of its greatest USP’s and its 30-day battery life is one that other big brands such as Apple, Fitbit, Samsung and Moto need to look out for.

3. Apple Inc.

After a recent survey conducted on 2,000 smartphone users in the US, Apple was declared the ‘coolest wearable brand’ among all other brands and is the company that every other company benchmarks themselves against.

According to a recent report, Apple is second in line as one of the most popular wearable technology manufacturers and has shipped 3.6 million units of its only wearable device – the Apple Watch, giving the company a colossal 19.9% share of the entire global market.

Most popular wearable technology manufacturers4. Samsung

Samsung’s ‘Gear’ range includes Tizen-powered Gear, Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo, Gear S and Gear Fit.

These smartwatches come in a range of colors, customizable themes and display SMS’s, incoming calls, 3G Radio, physical activity, emails and other 3rd party apps in the background.

Though both Apple and Samsung are two different ecosystems of their own, the two brands have always been pitted against one another when it comes to technology. Even in the case of wearable devices, there are differences right off the bat.

The displays in both watches are obviously different – one is round, while the other is rectangular. The Samsung smartwatch is also lighter.

The other difference between the Samsung and the Apple wearable devices is that, while the ‘Gear’ smartwatches are compatible on Samsung and other Android mobile phone devices, the Apple Watch works only with the iPhone.

Samsung however, has a larger reach due to its standard quality and is far more affordable in terms of price.

5. Motorola

The Moto 360 and the Moto 360 Sport range have been released and are already grabbing interest with its premium features.

Appearance-wise, the Moto smartwatches are considered some of the best-looking in the wearable technology industry and come with Gorilla Glass 3 protection for the display and the Live Dial feature for Android Wear. The Moto 360 range shows time, notifications, comes with a bright LED display, plays music and tracks fitness levels.

With so many wearable technologies breaking into multiple industries and with the future looking bright and welcoming for these next-gen devices.

Smartwatches & payment systems

Smartwatch owners can now use their smartwatches for a wide variety of functions. Data stored and retrieved on smartwatches is becoming more reliable, secure, with multiple levels of authentication.

clock-653391_640Smartwatches have shown that they can retrieve information, check the weather, help with navigation, check call logs, store apps and monitor personal health care data.

In recent times, smartwatches also serve as ID, store ticketing info for events and in the future, are also seen as devices that can help their owners make quick payments at a checkout.

Though people still prefer the one-step wireless card tap, fishing it or a phone out from a purse or pocket can be quite fumbly. Smartwatches combine the best of both.

Here’s some information on the different payment systems that are compatible and those that are yet to be configured with smartwatches:

Apple Pay

The Apple Watch supports the Apple Pay system and is currently the only smartwatch in the market to support a payment system. It’s shown great success with its users and is currently dominating the smartwatch market with at least 4 million units of the wearable being sold since its introduction to the market.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay has already been launched in Korea and the United States and though it has still not caught fire in the United States or the UK, Samsung Pay has shown great amount of success in its homeland with 100,000 payments being made in a day with the Samsung Pay function.

The upcoming Samsung Smartwatches will include the Samsung Pay function that will enable easier and a more reliable transaction process on the go, with all your details secured safely on your wrist. ‘Handy’ for a night out on the town (sorry, pun intended…).

smart-watches-and-payment-systemsPaying for your latte with ‘Pebble’

Though a dedicated payment system has not been initiated with the ‘Pebble’, it does provide the facility to pay for coffees at Starbucks outlets around the world.

This payment barcode only uniquely appears on the ‘Pebble’ display, which can then be fed into the Starbucks app scanner and voila! You’ve paid for your coffee!

With talks of the Android Pay system being introduced to ‘Pebble’, the possibilities could be endless!

Then ….there are dedicated smartwatches for payments

For the cost-conscious, there are dedicated smartwatches that help keep track of expenses while also making payments. The Cash Smartwatch is more like a smartwatch app than a watch itself that allows its users to keep a tab of payments and in the near future, make payments itself.

The Wirecard Band on the other hand uses NFC technology. The band, though not exactly a smartwatch, functions like a payment band working with a contactless payment process. The user wearing the Wirecard band simply places the band against the NFC payment terminal and the payment goes through.

With Apple Pay breaking into the market and talks of Android Pay and Samsung Pay making progress, smartwatches are starting to revolutionize the way that payments are being made today. According to a source, wearable technology is in fact the best way for companies such as Apple and Samsung to attract consumers to their mobile payment systems, rather than smartphones.

Tech in class – trends for today

Laptops, smartphones and tablets have all made their appearances in digital-friendly classrooms and now, it’s time for wearable technology to do its bit. Here’s a summary of some recent studies into the popularity of wearable technology today and in the near future –

Andriod Features 3Trends now

More than a hundred classes around the world are using VR viewers to magically transport themselves to historical spots around the world thanks to an innovative app by Google known as ‘Expeditions’.

The result of having these classrooms implement VR viewers has been phenomenal. As a result students are showing greater engagement in classrooms.

‘Muse headbands’, work more like ‘brain-activity monitors’ and were implemented at the University of Victoria and New York University.

Here, researchers helped teachers improve the educational outcome of students by finding out which subjects, lectures or classes students enjoyed and were best for a students’ learning experience.

Trends for the future

A recent, 2014 Horizon Report has stated that wearable technologies will be adopted by higher education institutes around the globe within three to five years. A good number of top universities have already begun experimenting with wearable technology for teaching.
Recent studies have shown that teachers who use technology in the classrooms have a direct effect on the behaviour of students in classrooms.

If teachers are early adopters, there is a greater chance of impacting the pace of the ‘adoption of technology’ by students. This thereby, influences how students behave in classrooms and how technology is being used in the classrooms.

Students will have self-directed access to information and knowledge, quite literally at their fingertips. With wearable technologies such as smartwatches, Muse and GoPro seeping into classrooms; the possibilities and learning experiences for both, students and teachers are pretty impressive.

Taking wearables to class

Wearable technology is gaining traction in offices, gyms, households and now, in classrooms around the world.

Wearable technology has changed the way students and teachers exchange, learn and absorb information within a classroom and students can now take videos, work on their presentations, search for information and even record classroom sessions.

1. VR viewers

VR viewers, also known as Virtual Reality viewers, give students the opportunity to get ‘hands-on’ experience in fun, creative and interactive ways. By using VR Viewers, students can travel across geographical boundaries to places of interest, interact with others in different classrooms as well as interact with environments that they cannot otherwise physically get to.

Wearable technology in education2. Smartwatches

Think of a watch that is able to give you any information you require from Google, tell you the weather outside, remind you of your next assignment submission and also contain apps that can help you at work. Smartwatches are easy to use and are the next-gen technology that can help students access education and information seamlessly and effortlessly.

3. GoPro

The GoPro Camera is a unique camera that is being used in classrooms across the globe now. Not only is it used by adventure travelers but also helps teachers and students capture events in the classroom and record teachings.

4. Google Glass

Teachers and students can in the near future, exchange information and interact with each other through Google Glass; glasses with an integrated micro-computer. Google glasses can help students and teachers research, record videos and translate languages.

When mobile phones first emerged, many schools and teachers barred students and discouraged parents from bringing these items to the classroom. Many teachers probably tutted at the thought of the humble calculator in an exam room. Exams clearly wouldn’t quite be the same with Google on your wrist – but perhaps, just perhaps examiners may start to get creative too, assuming of course that these devices are accessible to all and give no specific student an unfair advantage over others.

Just imagine giving your Viva in a VR enabled conference hall, with interested parties and fellow students from other universities from around the world.

Watch this space!