Wearables Head to Tail

Have you sent Santa your list of all the wearables you'll want under the tree this year? Maybe you've asked for a fitness tracker, a health monitor or that fancy new smart watch. But don't stop there!

As we continue to integrate technology with our desire for self-improvement and lifestyle control, a slew of wearables - from arm bands to socks to bras to a dog tail-wagging monitor - will be clipped, adhered, buttoned, inserted, ingested or worn to gather our vitals, movement and lives as we toast 2015 goodbye.

Naughty or nice, if you're still unsure which wearables you want watching you, Fjord (part of Accenture Interactive) has a nifty infographic showing the multitude of gadgets for various body parts. From the head to upper body to wrists to feet to anywhere, our body has become both the controller and interface according to Fjord. Their research indicates that about 70% of wearables are intended to monitor our body in some way, with the remaining 23 percent designed for communication. 59% of these health-oriented devices monitor your health and 48 percent track fitness. Around 7% can help a person sleep better. Fjord predicts that wearable technology will become a growing trend for health care providers and digital applications for health care organizations have become a growing area of focus for Fjord.

On your head you can wear a smart cycling helmet which takes your pulse and reports it to a smartphone app or a brain activity measurement tool to help understand and improve focus.

On your upper body you can have a sensor and app tell you when you are slumping to improve posture or a t-shirt designed to capture biometrics or even the Microsoft Smart Bra designed to measure perspiration and heart rate in order to detect emotional triggers.

Of course for the wrist we got the smart watches and fitness trackers but there is also devices that can tell you about sun exposure, how much food you've eaten and calories burned during the feeding frenzy.

For your feet and pretty much anywhere on or in your body, there are smart socks that track your running technique with sensors around the ankle, sensors in the sole of shoes to measure motion parameters, gadget sensors that fit in your pocket for movement measurements and even second skin type materials that stick anywhere on the body and provides personalized health data on a variety of measurements. And if that's not enough, there are ingestible sensors that can monitor how much medicine is absorbed by the body and the PillCam that gives you a colonoscopy by having a light and two color video cameras within the pill.

Not to be left out, your pet is also pawing up their list and DogStar Life is working on building TailTalk, a tail-mounted sensor intended to track your dog's emotions based on tail movements. Built into this tail clip-on is an accelerometer and gyroscope so it knows the difference between happy tail-wagging when you walk in the door verses when the tail is tucked or standing at attention. The sensor then sends the information to an app that translates the movement data into emotions, telling you if your dog is stressed, happy or crazy thrilled.

And soon, I'm sure, there will be one that measures your significant other's reaction to the lame gift you got them. Like the evil eye death stare data isn't enough.



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Published Oct 21, 2015
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