Wearable technology has exploded in popularity and has already affected many markets, including security and safety, medicine, sports and fitness, lifestyle, communications, and glamour, just to name a few.
Smart watches, firefighter jackets, biometric insoles, gas masks with sensors and biofeedback patches are among the applications that are currently available or in the process of being developed. Other applications include hearing aids, sensor bans, interactive belts and bracelets, ski masks and smart socks. Wearable tech will also soon include heated jackets and GPS-enabled shoes.
Manufacture of Wearable Technology Becoming Easier
A new company called MetaWear has developed an ARM+Bluetooth LE Platform that allows anyone to develop wearable products that are ready for manufacture, certified, cost-optimized and ready to ship to customers. The company ran a campaign on Kickstarter with the goal of $8,000 and raised over $115,000.
MetaWear notes that traditional development boards are limited with respect to size, cost and scalability. For example, the Raspberry_PI is too big to fit into jewelry or clothing and Arduino prototypes are not factory and customer ready.
According to MetaWear, the platform reduces the time and cost of prototyping by 90% and produces a board with a tiny form factor (17mm x 26mm) that fits any application. There is also an API for controlling the MetaWear board from iOS and Android apps.
Some of the software currently available includes:
- An anti-theft and authenticity checker for valuables like your bike, Prada purse or Gucci wallet
- Necklaces that send text messages to your significant other
- A headband that counts calories and miles
- iBeacons and devices for home automation
- A motion alarm to detect thieves and intruders
- A camera trigger for your Smartphone
- A handlebar mounted device with a speed indicator, turn signals and LED feedback when you get a call
For more on MetaWear, see their Kickstarter project.