Wearables are becoming more and more popular as the technology advances, and for good reason too. Just like carrying a powerful smartphone on your person at all times is convenient, so is wearing a gadget that can track personal stats, information and more.
By carrying a fitness tracker while you’re running, you can record stats like the calories you’ve burned, steps you’ve taken, or distance you’ve traveled. Even better, all of this is done automatically without any interaction from you. Merely slap the fitness tracker on your wrist, activate the tracking mode — where applicable — and off you go.
Of course, fitness trackers are just one kind of wearable on the market today. There are lifeloggers, wearable cameras, smartwatches, VR and AR headsets, and so many more. They all seem to be moving in one direction when it comes to advancements. Manufacturers of these devices are all striving for one thing, perfecting biometric technology.
That’s exactly where wearables are headed in the future. But just what is biometrics?
What is biometrics?
The term “biometrics” is used to describe the measurement of stats related to the human body and its biology. It’s not necessarily always about the stats themselves, yet sometimes more about the collection of them. For example, a fingerprint scanner is a type of biometric authentication tool that simply scans a user’s fingerprint and then provides access — or denies it.
Biometric technology refers to any device or gadget that can measure stats associated with the body. Things like fitness trackers, heart-rate monitors, glucose meters all fall under that type of technology.
Believe it or not, the biometric tech that consumers generally get their hands on — in the form of wearable devices — is not all that accurate. Not to mention, they are nothing compared to what biometric technology could become in the future.
What is the future of wearable devices?
Just take the idea of what we can measure today with modern wearables and expand that to include anything you’d ever need or want to know about the body. Future devices will be able to calculate things like your posture-rating, glucose levels, brain activity, heart health, and longevity, or they might even be able to assess minor injuries.
What’s even more exciting is that we will be able to implement preventative life changes to improve our lives with the data these devices collect. For example, consider a wearable that measures your posture — while running, standing, or sitting — and tells you when it’s poor and how to improve it. It may also explain what kind of health issues you’ll experience later in life if you don’t make a change. A device like that could ensure we live long, healthy lives. Technically speaking, such a wearable would alter the future by reminding you that you need to sit up straight.
At the moment, these ideas may seem a bit far fetched especially when you take a look at the wearables that are commonly produced today. However, biometric technology is what will eventually change the way we interact with not just wearables but all devices.
Smartphones, tablets, and even some smart appliances already use tools like fingerprint scanners or health tracking to interact with the device in new ways. It’s not a stretch to believe that soon, biometric technology will be virtually everywhere.
Are there unique devices already?
You bet there are!
Despite not meeting their funding goals, a team was working on a device called the GlucosAlarm that could measure a person’s glucose levels through urine. It was meant to be another measurement tool for diabetics to help them monitor their health.
A similar device created by a company called Scripps Health comes in the form of a small capsule which gets injected into a patient’s bloodstream to measure glucose levels. Once inside the body, the device attaches to a capillary bed and monitors levels in real-time by sending information to a smartphone app. It’s even self-sustainable through hydroelectricity, just by using the flow of passing blood.
Jenny Tillotson of Central Saint Martins is working on a small biometric device called the eScent that will mask odors for users. Then there’s the Kokoon which measures the wearer’s brain activity through electroencephalogram or EEG to play music that will help them sleep better.
Keep in mind, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. In just a few years, we should be seeing a lot of amazing wearables hit the market.