Wearable technology is a topic that I have been aware of for many years now, yet has only recently drawn my attention with some interesting new developments. Previously most of the wearable technology that I had known or seen were the smart watches, Fitbits, and as seen in movies, hand-phones. However some recent articles I was reading through brought up interesting uses for wearable technology beyond communication, in particular many were looking into ways for improving and aiding the health and wellbeing of people.
For wearable technology to assist with health is an impressive idea, however only if used for the right health issues. I remember once hearing about necklaces for the elderly that had motion detectors in them and would sent an alert to let people know if they had fallen, however there were a lot of issues with the motion detector giving off false readings and alerting people when nothing was wrong. Instead one of the recent articles I was reading was a wearable technology that was experimenting with colour changing tattoos that could monitor certain levels in your body's chemistry. Examples were given that a diabetic patient could monitor their glucose levels by the tattoo's changing colour or that the tattoo could provide assistance for doctors with quick diagnoses. This seems like a perfect combination of wearability and technology to me, as a tattoo could be small, permanent and unobtrusive and if it were able to quickly aid people and doctors in monitoring patient's health then I can imagine it becoming a staple in the future.
Another wearable tech that I had read about was exploring a different vein of use involving temporary tattoos. These tattoos used gold leaf to create circuits with the capabilities of your body becoming a touch pad, personal radio ID, or even having glowing LED displays. The DuoSkin tattoo can allow you to swipe and tap around your phone’s music and unlock doors or turnstiles protected by NFC. Again this type of wearable technology is aesthetically pleasing as well as having multiple possibilities for communication, interfaces and health benefits. With the NFC technology the wearable could provide your ID and contacts at hospitals or in emergencies, or in less life threatening situations, could connect you to other people; a simple way of communication and connection over a long distance.
In all of these cases the technology is a long way from perfect and then further again from being readily available and affordable to the public, however they are promising signs for future developments in the area and I look forward to the day when health and communication can be as easy as looking at our hand or arm.