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Next-Generation Wearables: Beyond Novelty

Aeris_Blog_NextGenWearables1.jpgThe first production model of the Apple Watch released earlier in 2015 saw over a million pre-orders the day the product was announced. The popularity and large-scale adoption of the Apple Watch demonstrates immense value potential in wearable devices. Next-generation wearable gadgets symbolize the prevalence of connectivity, mobility, and automation as part of the ongoing Internet of Things (IoT) movement thats now become a reality to consumers.

Smart watches are just one category of next-gen wearables. Other categories extend to earphones, anklets, heart monitors, etc. The term next-gen essentially describes any device that offers futuristic capabilities and value propositions. In the case of wearable gadgets, these extend to convenience, performance, functionality, connectivity, automation, and mobility for devices worn like any other accessary or ornament.

The marketplace is saturated with numerous products for monitoring vital signs, taking calls, and browsing the Web, but a next-gen wearable is more than just a use case of mobile devices because it establishes that essential connection with the human body just like an ordinary pair of glasses, an arm band, or earphones.

New Wearables Break Traditional Boundaries

One of the most perceptive characteristics of a next-gen wearable is its ability to do more than its primary function. Consumers buy watches to tell time, but a smart watch performs activity tracking, communications, and a variety of other functions. Next-generation wearable devices offer more than their traditional counterparts.

Bragis the Dash device, for example, is a wireless smart headphone that works as a fitness tracker and a music player. As a fitness tracker, the Dash can monitor vital signs and performance metrics. Connect the headphone to an app, and the information is downloaded and analyzed against a plan developed by the owner. With this capability, users can meet their exercise goals, follow a pre-defined exercise plan and optimize their exercise program to ensure the best results.

Wearables Serve Up Consumer Convenience and More

The next-gen wearable becomes a part of the consumer and is put on and taken off when the consumer wants. Users dont have to carry wearable devices in their pockets like smartphones, so the devices are considered less intrusive and effort-intensive.

Aeris_Blog_NextGenWearables2.jpgConsider Nixies wearable camera. The device is worn, not carried, by the consumer. With a simple gesture, the device detaches itself to fly away from the consumer. The camera takes pictures and videos and eventually returns back to the user to be worn again. While the Nixie product is limited in functionality, it points to the trend of convenience portrayed by all next-gen wearables. As functionality is added to a wearable, users will benefit from the convenience already delivered by other smart devices.

Wearables also enable consumers to work with hands free. The Vuzix M100 are one example these smart glasses run Android apps, and users can access data and video as they work. An HD camera can capture pictures or videos for viewing by a team member or at a later date. GPS systems track location, and integrated head tracking enables situational awareness based on the direction and angle of the wearers head. The glasses can be used independently or connected to another Android device. More importantly, the M100 has the same features and capabilities of current smartphones. Innovations at Vuzix enable theater experiences in the convenience of ones home with another of their products, the Wrap 1200DX.

Better Decision Making With Next-Gen Wearables

Smart devices provide an advantage in connectivity and better decision making. Access to data anywhere or at any time improves the lives of consumers. Some next-gen wearables provide unprecedented access to real-time data like never before. Take the Pacif-i device for instance this is a baby pacifier with a twist. The device monitors the babys temperature and transmits that data to a connected app on the parents smartphone. Parents can add the babys medication information into the app. Such data enables both the parent and doctor to make better decisions regarding the babys health. A small tracker in the pacifier reduces the potential of losing another pacifier, something any parent could appreciate.

A decade ago, Apple set the trend for smartphones. Today, the demand is even higher as consumers experience the connectivity and convenience provided by the technologies. Another decade-long trend may have started with next-gen wearables by providing greater convenience to the consumer without the loss of connectivity. While smartphones are a part of the todays culture, next-gen wearables are a part of tomorrows everyday life.