Wearable Technology “The Next Megatrend”!
Soon after the Motorola Mobility (Google owned subsidiary) filed a patent for an electronic smart skin tattoo, Sony has dived in to outshine the invention. Sony has filed a patent for special smart wigs with built-in sensors and a wearable computing device that is adapted to cover at least a part of a head of a user. The invention disclosure reveals that at least one sensor, the processing unit and the communication interface will be arranged in the wig and remain partly covered by it in order to be visually hidden during use.
This is a bit more bizarre than the tattoo concept but is in line with the growing upward trend for wearable tech devices with which people are accessorizing, like the color-coordinated fitness trackers and super-spy-like smart watches.
The wearable technology is everywhere: on your wrist, on your shoes, wrapped around your chest and connected to your phone. These products that now seem insane are actually “the next megatrend”. They would definitely change the way we live, work, and play. As per some estimates, by 2017, consumers will be demanding for more wearable devices, boosting shipments to a total 64M— 8 times more than the 8.3M purchased in 2012.
The wearable computing trend has been gradually growing and more and more devices such as Pebble Watches, Google Glass and Nike FuelBands, are gathering attention of consumers. Yet, it is a challenge to entice consumers for wearable tech devices because designs of all the wearable gears are not much fashionable and aesthetically appealing and as such consumers are not always willing to wear them.
Here are some of the uses of a wearable gear- Wearable tech products provide information we really need to improve our health and our lives. There is much that can be done with help of these devices. Consumers can use them to count steps, calories, heart rate and collecting so much data.
Google has developed “Google Glass”, a wearable device that syncs with email, text messages, Facebook, Twitter, takes photos, records movies, and can search the web besides providing location information, maps and directions that it displays in a small prism above a user’s right eye.• Many are sports-related gadgets, including Reebok’s Checklight for monitoring the number of blows to the head football players take, Instabeat for tracking swimmers’ heart rate, calories, laps, and breathing patterns, and Misfit Shine, which tracks steps taken, activity levels, and sleep.
Prominent inventions & Companies in Wearable Tech Domain
A comprehensive research reveals that several tech companies including Samsung, Apple, Pebble and Sony have entered the wearable tech market space recently. But at present, few devices such as Pebble smart-watch and Misfit’s Shine have become successful. The British firm Intelligent Environments has even launched a new banking app for use with Pebble wearable smart devices. It uses a high precision 3-axis accelerometer to measure activity levels based on the users’ vertical and horizontal movements, so it can track when a user is asleep, and track their fitness levels. Other successful device is MC10’s wearable tech “Biostamp,” a seamless sensing sticker that measures a variety of physiological functions: data from the brain, muscles, heart, body temperature, even hydration levels. MC10 is a renowned name in fitness, consumer health, and medical devices market.
Apple is also soon going to deliver its first piece of real wearable technology or a grander scheme for how wearable tech can be used. It much recently filed a US patent application 20130294306 where it uses mobile radio communication devices, such as cell phones, to provide network access to their other devices without having to manually enable such connections. The other devices can benefit from the network access while remaining in low-power mode during a short-range connection that uses a low-power enabled connection.
Patents Related to Wearable Technology
Data from state-of-the-art searches reveal that there is heavy patenting in wearable technology domain. As such, companies like Fullpower Technologies, a provider of technology for wearable computing devices, have a huge patent portfolio with several patents such as US Patents 8,187,182, 7,647,195, 7,970,586, and 8,320,578 among others.
Google, the developer of “Google Glass” pioneers in commercialization of the products of the wearable technology domain. There are speculations that Google has amassed Hon Hai patents for use in the display technology for Google Glass as much recently, Google Inc. bought its technology patents used in gaming and training simulations. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. owns several patents related to wearable tech, for instance, Patent No. US 8419268 B2 entitled “Wearable electronic device”.
Patent No. US7229385 B2 entitled “Wearable device” is in name of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and invention relates to a flexible body configured and sized to be secured onto a wearer that will support the display element at a comfortable viewing angle.
Patent No. US 8517896 B2 entitled “Wearable device assembly having athletic functionality” is assigned to Nike, Inc. and relates to a wearable USB type device having athletic functionality. The device may also be configured to receive calibration data such that a measured distance may be converted to a known distance based on athletic activity performed by a user.
Patent Application EP2504961 A1 assigned to Pebble Industries Inc. relates to an invention for helping users experiencing an increasing number of alerts and notifications on their mobile devices via an accessory capable of notifying the user of alerts from the network-connected device, allowing the user to quickly be advised of alerts without needing to first interact with the network-connected device.
As we take a glance into the future of wearable technology, we see it find applications in wider genre that goes beyond sports, health and fitness. However, its continued growth depends on ability of tech companies to keep inventing devices which will deliver meaningful and actionable data to improve consumer’s lives. Consumers expect the technology to be able to let them interact and share their data with others via an immersive, connected system. Moreover, they also demand that interpretation of the data collected from wearable tech provides an insight(or advise) so as to enhance the user experience, and encourage its sharing with others. Thus, inventors and researchers must be well aware of the present patenting scenario, the prior-art and the overall advancement in the wearable technology domain. They must seek patentability searches and technology watch before the onset of patenting process to assess their invention. There is a growing demand for better equipped smart wearable devices which alone can be met if such devices are made which will find extensive applications in all the desired areas from healthcare diagnostics, augmented reality gaming, to agriculture where they can serve in effective monitoring of natural resources.