Definition of wearable computer
“A wearable computer is a portable computer that is worn on the body and is mostly used for health purposes”.
They can also be used as hands-free e.g. they can get signals from muscles, voice, brain, head position, lips, eye position and these gestures are to control other devices and computers.
The idea of wearable computers started in the 1500s and this era, a pocket watch was introduced. In 1667, a smart glass was developed that can detect lips movement and this smart glass used an LED device. This discovery was made by Hubert Upton. The steady work on wearable computers started in the 1990s and many types of wearable computers were made.
The price of wearable computer can range from $5 to $1000.
Uses of wearable computer
Wearable computers can do common tasks as smartphones and other computers can do. They can also do health tracking services e.g. sleep monitoring, walk tracks, heartbeat, blood pressure checking and calorie tracking.
You can connect a smart watch with your smartphone and read and reply to messages from your smartwatch. You can also read emails, listen to music, watch sports and watch weather reports. A smartwatch can also transmit health-related data to the smartphone by using a Bluetooth connection.
Some smartwatches can be charged by using solar energy and body temperature also.
A most advanced form of a wearable computer is smart jewellery. Smart jewellery can be either smart rings, bracelets and bangles.
Another form of a wearable computer is smart clothing. By using smart clothing, it is possible to diagnose respiratory diseases. You can also track location by using smart clothing.
Smart shoes note down your steps i.e. how much you walk by wearing a smart shoe.
Implantables is another type of wearable computer. You can take smart pills in your body and these pills can inspect blood pressure and other health-related metrics.
A new form of a wearable computer is smart tattoos. The experiment works on smart tattoos is on the way. You can connect smart tattoos with a smart watch and smartphone. Smart tattoos can help patients in monitoring health-related issues.
The modern use of wearable computers is HMDs (Head-mounted displays). You can read your smartphone and smartwatch screen by using HMDs. HMDs technology is embedded in smart glass and you can view virtual reality show like AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality). The HMDs are used by gamers and you can play games as you are really in the game. HMDs is also used in business to virtually see building structure and other construction machinery.
Popular vendors of wearable computers run on Apple watchOS, Tizen, Google Fit, MediaTek’ LinkIt and Google wear OS.
A wearable computer is also used in the military. In the military, wearable computers are used to perform different tasks like earphones, laser range finders, thermal sight for vision at night, video cameras to take and send photos.
Benefits of wearable computer
Some benefits of wearable computers are explained below:-
Work everywhere: You can work anywhere and do the tasks that you can do with your laptop e.g. you can check emails, check weather information, visit websites etc.
Improved communication: You can communicate with other people like video calling, taking/sharing pictures, sharing your location.
Face recognition: If you are in a crowd and want to detect any face then your wearable computer (smart glass) can do this for you. You can also get the Google data of any person by using Google glass.
Easy to carry: Wearable computer is of small size and is lightweight. You can easily wear and carry on with you without damaging your body.
Increase performance: You can increase your productivity in the office and gym by using wearable computers. You can input different types of data like a screenshot of your workspace. You can track your walking, bicycling, jumping, running and sleeping also.
Good Accuracy: You cannot measure any instance of body movement accurately but with a wearable computer you can do such tracking of body movement easily and with accuracy.
Limitations of wearable computer
Some limitations of wearable computers are:-
Expensive: It is expensive to buy a wearable computer. Some wearable computers are also costly than smartphones.
Temperature limitation: If you use a wearable computer in hot weather then it will irritate you.
Heavy: Some wearable computers are heavy that are difficult to wear on your body e.g. military devices.
Privacy issue: In most locations, smart devices are not permittable to use. It is risky to use a wearable computer because important data can be leaked from these devices
Headaches: If you use these smart devices for a long time then you can get headaches and your health will affect.
Storage issue: These type of smart devices has low storage capacity and you have to delete extra data from them occasionally.
A lot of wiring: You will need to carry extra cables for longer usage of wearable computers. For example charging cable, data cable, headset cable etc.
Low data transfer: Most wearable computers work via Bluetooth which have a slow data transfer speed.
Examples of wearable computer
- Smart Watch
- Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs)
- Smart Clothing
- Smart Jewelry e.g. smart ring
- Google Glass
- Apple Glass
- Microsoft HoloLens
- Bar Code Reader
- Eye Trackers
- Face Detection
- Detecting Six Sense Gestures
- Measuring of body temperature