When wearables first launched, many thought that they would become the next big thing and blow up like smartphones. While they didn’t quite catch on in the same way, they’ve still been gaining steam in the last few years and no one is giving up on them.
Here are a few ways you should expect to see wearables showing up this year:
In 2017, we’re expecting to see plenty of new spins on wearable tech, including hearables. According to MobileSyrup, the wearable war is moving from our wrists to our heads. Several smartphone players, hearing aid makers, headphone manufacturers and more are looking to put voice assistants in our ears, capture biometric data and manipulate listening experiences.
Apple was first to dive into this market with the launch of AirPods. Samsung, Sony, Jabra, Bose and other players are expected to get in the game in 2017.
Wearable tech and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The spotlight is on AI this year and wearables are hoping to piggyback on their success. As MobileSyrup reported, AI aims to put wearable tech back on people’s minds by letting them know how much it can enhance everyday life.
Utilizing AI and wearing sensors means using the data you’ve collected to affect change in your life rather than just looking at it.
“Deep learning is a massive missing piece when it comes to our connected world, wearable tech included, as cognitive computing and machine learning will make use of big data and connect the dots for users,” a MobileSyrup article stated.
Connected eye wear
Connect eye wear is looking to make a comeback this year. Although Google Glass didn’t have a good run back in 2015, MobileSyrup predicts connected eyewear will make it in 2017. These devices are not expected to be full wearable computers, they’re predicted to be fashionable glasses that feature bone conduction speakers, touchpads, microphones, sensors and more. The glasses will enable the user to listen to music, track health and more.
One example already on the market: Snap’s Spectacles. They’ll set you back about $130, but make using Snapchat a piece of cake. Record a 10 second video with the tap of a button on your lenses.
These certainly aren’t perfected and do have drawbacks. According to the LA Times, “They make boring wide shots and blurry night recordings. They don’t take stills and don’t zoom. And indoor usage is unlikely because wearing sunglasses inside is weird.”
An article in the newspaper went on to say that there are other options out there that may be cheaper and even better quality, but they are geared toward, “James Bond wannabes and extreme sports athletes.”
Smart clothing on the scene
While smart clothing may not become mainstream this year, it is something we are keeping an eye on. Sports apparel brands are expected to be the first to leap into the market with shoes. Under Armour, for example, has four pairs of smart shoes with sensors on the market. A connected trucker jacket and connected yoga wear are all reportedly being tested.