Wearable technologies: how to protect their electronics…

Author : Jade Bridges | Technical Manager | Electrolube

01 December 2020

Protecting wearable electronics_AR headset_580x280
Protecting wearable electronics_AR headset_580x280

Wearable technology arguably began with the watch, enabling individuals to tell the time – initially in the 16th century via necklace-worn devices, and later in the 20th century as the wristwatch. The first digital watch, the Pulsar in 1972, is often considered the first consumer electronic wearable to achieve global success. Fast forward to the 21st Century & we now see electronic technology integrated into virtually every part of daily life.

The full version of this article was originally featured in the December 2020 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. Sign up to receive your own copy each month.

In 2000, the first Bluetooth headset was sold, and 2004 saw the launch of the Go Pro action camera. 2013 heralded the development of Google Glass, the first voice-operated optical head-mounted display, with hands-free internet access, augmented reality (AR) and the ability to capture images. Amazon’s Echo Loop, its first Alexa-enabled smart ring, launched in 2019. As Jade Bridges, Technical Manager at electro-chemical solutions expert, Electrolube tells us, the number of connected wearable devices is expected to reach over 1.1 billion worldwide by 2022, accelerated by the shift from 4G to 5G. Design engineers have successfully extended and enriched the functionality of clothing and other devices, harnessing the electronic functions used in everyday life and incorporating them into devices and accessories that can comfortably be worn on the body – but how can they protect such devices from the elements?...

Health and activity tracking has been one of the areas to really benefit from wearable technology, with numerous devices capable of monitoring an individual’s movement, heart-rate and performance, alongside environmental conditions and potential health risks. The wearable technology market has been steadily growing over the past few years through the huge popularity of fitness trackers and ‘the quantified self’: monitoring diet, exercise, sleep and movement. Some devices even detect sedentary behaviour – long associated with health concerns – and prompt the wearer to move periodically. Prompts to improve posture have also been effective in studies illustrating positive changes of behaviour.

The future will likely see many further collaborations between clothing manufacturers and technology companies, incorporating smart sensors with 5G technology and enabling closer connections between humans and the IoT. According to a 2019 study by market & consumer data company, Statista, the most popular areas of the world for wearable technology were China, USA, India, UK and Germany, with the largest market share of 36.4% among the 25-36 age group.

Read the full article in EPDT's December 2020 issue...


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