The proliferation of technology is fueling a new generation of always-connected individuals. Nowadays, technology accompanies us at every step of the way, in the form of our smartphone, tablet and other devices. Functions such as checking your e-mail, messaging a friend or getting directions can be done in an instant and we are getting used to having everything within our reach. Now, with the rising popularity of wearable devices, technology is coming closer than ever. According to a forecast by research firm CCS Insight, global sales of wearable devices will grow from 29 million in 2014 to 172 million in 2018.
Wearable technology, per se, has been there for decades but has changed in form, type and functionality. One of the interesting forms of wearable technology in the past was a pager. The small telecommunication device worked as a personal radio receiver that beeped every time you got a call or message. Many different versions were created over the years, but the earliest forms primarily worked as a one-way communication device that would give you notifications in the form of numeric messages, such as a phone number, indicating that someone is trying to reach you or requesting a return call. Some versions lit up or vibrated instead of beeping, while some shared alphanumeric messages. With the advent of mobile devices and smartphones, the use of these 'beepers' has now subsided, but they are still used in some settings, such as hospitals where doctors are often 'paged' for emergencies.
Portable music players were also all the rage back in the days. It would be common to see teenagers with headphones walking along the streets listening to music. This trend still persists, but the music player has evolved from a relatively bulky device playing audio cassettes and CDs, to more versatile and compact mp3 players. Smartphones have also become the go-to device for portable music needs.
New generation of watches
In this age of instant gratification and constant connectivity, wearable technology has brought along many more exciting developments. Watches, for instance, have evolved from basic timepieces to multifunctional devices. The way they are worn has evolved as well – from being fastened to clothing or hung on chains to being used as pocket and wrist-watches. Digital watches also emerged as the cool new thing after traditional analog watches. Instead of the clock hands telling time, these devices showed the time in numeric form. But even as the trend of digital watches caught up, traditional/analog watches didn't lose their lustre. Years later, they are still widely used for their intricacies and as a status symbol.
The most recent evolution of watches has led to the birth of smartwatches. These smart devices bridge the gap between beauty, charm and connectivity. In addition to performing basic timepiece functions, smartwatches act like a mini smartphone on your wrist and your window to the world. Samsung, for instance, rolled out the Galaxy Gear series of functional smartwatches.
From receiving notifications and sending messages, to listening to music and tracking health & fitness levels, there is a lot that can be achieved with the help of the smartwatches. The latest release, the Gear S2, also features a new shape which has more to contribute than the design element. The new circular dial offers the functional convenience of browsing the watch options, such as notification and apps, with the simple rotation of the dial.
The evolution of wearable technology has also brought virtual reality closer than you think. Nowadays, large simulators or IMAX cinemas are not your only avenue to have a 3D experience.
Technology, such as Samsung's
Gear VR headset, brings virtual reality to your home. Simply worn as glasses with an ergonomic strap around your head, the headset serves as a gateway to the world.
By attaching your Galaxy S6 as a screen, you cannot only access the various functions of your phone, but also have an engaging experience – whether you are watching a movie, playing a game, browsing the Internet or viewing snaps in your photo gallery. Feel the thrill of being part of the movie with the Gear VR's 360 degree surround cinema-like experience. Immerse yourself, feel the pressure as the timer ticks, and see danger up close and personal as you engage in action and adventure games.
With such close-to-reality experiences and developments being powered by wearable technology, let's brace ourselves for more new and engaging experiences that supplement our daily routine, offer enhanced entertainment and take connectivity and interaction to the next level.