Recent developments in the technological world have all indicated that wearable technology, once considered almost impossible, could be approaching the market with such a potential force that one might label a retail tsunami. Players in the field think it is the next big thing. Major companies are in a race to come up with the best and most appealing wearable apps incorporated in wearable tech gear. Arguably, these high tech devices could be as big as the Smartphone, perhaps in a few years. An analysis of the factors that are influential in this case seeks to determine the extent to which this may or may not be true.
Expectations are high; that wearable tech gear will contribute towards achieving a high quality life that is yearned for by most people. However, the extent of success of these products in as far as usage and market reception are concerned is not only dependent on the level of technology used, but also on other social factors like fashion-consciousness and the social message sent. Most users may not care much about the retail price, rather what possessing the gadgets says about them.
The author of the article argues that wearable technology faces challenges presented by the “Trucker Hat Principle” and the “Bluedouche Principle”. One can readily agree with him due to a number of reasons. The Bloudouche Principle is relevant. Firstly, one notes that irrespective of what the functionality of the gadgets may be, the social message that one sends by putting them on is important. They may be stylish, but one must consider what other people will think. As it were, even the best industrial/ technological design can be rendered superfluous by the suggestive social message it sends. The example of the Bluetooth piece given in the article explains this point in the best way. The gadget is a gorgeous piece, but it basically says that the wearer is obliged to receive or make a call anytime. The implication here is that the world dictates the user. It would make more sense if the converse were the case; that they dictate the world. Amid the ambition for further advancement in this field, the challenge is to balance functionality, trendiness and the social picture created.
On the other hand, the Trucker Hat Principle gains relevance in that if the wearable gear and apps gain popularity (as they are expected to do), chances are high that everybody will be wearing one. Quite naturally, most people will not be comfortable with such a scenario. For this reason, need for individuality must be taken into consideration. The uniqueness scale for a consumer need must be central in any tech company’s layout plans as regards design and production. Achieving this uniqueness for billions of people in the world is not realistic. A company may resort to widening variety by, say, producing different colors of the same item, but there are not as many colors. In addition, attempting to achieve this by altering functionality may pose unseen technological challenges.
In spite of the challenges discussed, some factors still favor the growth of wearable technology. For instance, recent breakthroughs in technology mean that any ambitions for the design and manufacture of the said devices are made possible since minimal challenges in terms of technology will be encountered. Advanced micro-chips with high processor speeds and expanded memory are now in production. Another factor that could contribute to the growth of wearable technology is an ever-growing demand for a better life quality. Most people would like a change from what they are already familiar with. This implies that any devices manufactured will have a waiting market. Nothing can boost an industry’s growth more than a ready market can. Input in terms of investment may be enormous, but stakeholders can be assured that they shall get returns since a lot of people are willing to buy their wearable gear. Another dimension of looking at this factor is that since more people wish for convenience in their various fields of specialization or day to day activities, they would be willing to buy anything that offers that. Clearly, this is what wearable apps and gear seek to do.
Wearable technology finds application in almost every sphere of life. For example, the security sector can find it useful in many ways. It could apply it for unauthorized entry notifications or general security breach alerts. This would be through capturing and storing audio and video information. Since this happens in real time, real time activities could be monitored. Physical location of occurrences will be easy to determine. Also, it can be applied in medicine to warn on physical parameters like temperature, both internal and external. The games and sporting industry could also apply it to make accurate automated timings.
To a great extent, wearable technology will be as significant as the smart phone since it, to state plainly, takes life to the next level. One might argue that there shall be questions around it concerning information security and privacy, much the same way it was with the Smartphone. Both are equally advanced in the degree of access to information. However, the consolation is that the devices are somehow costly. Therefore, they will be in the hands of a few people, for now.
An entrepreneur ambitious enough would want to describe the idea that utilizes wearable technology. Suppose one is in the health industry, and they see the need to enable people monitor alcohol levels in the bloodstream. A tiny device could be designed to give a warning ahead of time that one’s body has taken in as much alcohol as it can safely consume. This will help improve life and make it safer. Application could be in a party where one is drinking, and they need to drive later. Governments could buy this idea to help reduce the many incidents of road accidents that claim thousands of lives annually. This way, wearable technology, will indeed be a life-saving means.
Considering the platforms of application of wearable technology, it is without doubt destined to be as big as the Smartphone. It cannot be disputed that reception in the market will be at very high levels since some people have had a taste of a few of the gadgets that have already been produced. Many more wait upon new ones.