Remember the good old days watching the Jetsons and being utterly fascinated by their high tech gadgets? The Jetsons were streaming live TV on their watches as early as 1962! If you’ve ever watched an episode of Knight Rider, you’d see Michael Knight interacting with his sensor-laden wristband. When The Terminator was released in the theatres, scenes from the movie depicted the cyborg’s point of view, showing computer displays over real life imagery; remind you of anything?
With the Smart Watches it is entirely possible to stream live TV on our watches. Today, the sensors in our technology allow us to monitor our health, track daily fitness and so much more, that even Michael Knight would be impressed. With the Google Glass, we can pretty much see the world from the cyborg’s vision. Who knew back then, that this would actually be possible?
It is highly probable that the perception of wearable technology backdates to the 80’s and 90’s, where the public’s appetite for its potential was driven by these media depictions. After all, many of the engineers employed with major software influencers today, would have grown up having these images already etched into their subconscious. It is very much possible that TV and cinema fundamentally shaped the culture of wearable devices in the real world today. The fad may be recent, but the idea and concept of wearable technology goes ways back.
So, we go back to our initial question, wearable technology is the NEW hot topic – or is it?
Let’s consider for a moment what wearable technology really means. Ask any new age kid, and the response will be mixed with computers and automation. However, technology, in its simple definition is a collection of tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures used by humans. As per this definition, wearable technology includes watches and headphones, but we never perceived them that way, did we?
Wearable technology practically dates back to the 1500’s with the inventions of eyeglasses, pocket watches and wristwatches. The first invention of wearables with computing was in the 1960’s when an MIT mathematics professor Edward Thorp created and successfully used the first wearable computer to cheat at roulette. In 1975 the Calculator Wristwatch, the Pulsar, had sparked a small media frenzy. In 1980’s headphones were popularized during the Walkman Boom. A perfect example of the creation of high-end wearables were the first digital hearing aids in 1987. In 2000 Bluetooth headsets were introduced to the public. In 2006 the Nike + iPod sport kit became significantly popular, allowing users to sync their movements to their iPods, giving rise to a new turf of health-tracking wearables. Surely, all of these are examples of existing, successful wearable technology?
While we may be hearing a lot more about wearable technology as of late, what we see now are actually the first fruits of a cultural and social shift that had begun a long time ago. However, we have finally arrived at a point where years of research and development have paid off, and where the hardware is advanced and economically feasible for visionaries’ ideas to be converted into reality. The wearable technology of today knows us better than we know ourselves. Imagine a world which optimally adjusts itself to your personal situation, and knows you’re getting ill before you do? The future is here, and we’re living it.
Read the next article coming up on wearable tech to know the coolest features we’ve seen in today's technology.
Written By: Dipika Asnani; Digital Marketing & Content writing at Promobi Technologies.