I think that wearable technology is going to have the most impact over the next 10 years. It is starting to move from just the real techies, early adaptors taking advantage of this to becoming more mainstream. While there has been much speculation of what it could do for us we are just at the early stages of development. This is why I have placed it at number one on my list
The main products out at the moment are smart watches and fitness trackers. The recent launch of Apple’s new watch has spurred a lot of interest in smart watches over the last few weeks, despite the poor specifications and compatibility that it currently has(1).
Fitness trackers are now having more features built into them, from just tracking movement initially, to being able to track someone’s heart rate, identify when they are asleep automatically and even sensing when is a good place in a users sleep rhythm to gently wake them.
Google recently launched a product, their Google Glass, that appears to have been a flop, however some commentators have suggested that this was never supposed to be taken seriously and was just them dipping their toes into the market(2).
Then there is the Melomind which reads your brain waves and then plays specially selected music to enable you to relax (3) that was showcased at this years Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
But there are so many more things that they could do. From Nokia’s vision of the future . . .
. . .to health applications like tracking what you eat and drink. UCLA have developed a necklace that can detect with surprising accuracy what you are eating based on your swallowing patterns (4). Something like this could be useful for diabetics, especially if it was paired with a device that while worn on your wrist was able to detect blood sugar levels and alert it’s user if their blood sugars where likely to be getting too high or too low based on current levels mixed with what they had consumed and what activity that had been doing.