Wearables have definitely arrived in our everyday lives. They are smart bridge builders between lifestyle gadgets and health assistants. Becoming ever smaller, they are inconspicuously integrated in our lives and suspiciously often contain AT&S components. Just like the new Fauna audio glasses made by the Graz-based start-up Usound.
“Wearables are computer technologies that can be worn on the body or head. They are a specific form of ubiquitous computing, the omnipresence of data processing, and part of the Internet of Things. We also speak of wearable technology and wearable computers. Their purpose is usually to support an activity in the real world, for example through (additional) information, evaluations or instructions.”
This is how Oliver Bendel, Professor for Information Systems, Economic Ethics, Information Ethics and Machine Ethics at the FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Institute for Information Systems, describes the topic for the “Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon” business encyclopedia.
The term primarily refers to smartwatches/wristbands and data glasses. In addition, there are smart rings, clothing, bags and backpacks, shoe soles and anything that is being invented in this context and in this moment or newly combined and provided with additional functions. Even Bluetooth underwear is available now.
What all wearables have in common is their unobtrusive design – and wherever clarity plays a role, AT&S is close.
Under Armour Hovr
A running shoe with integrated sensors providing instant feedback via smartphone. Stride length, cadence and speed are transmitted to the MapMyRun app in real time and whispered into the runner’s ear as needed.
Amazon Echo Loop
In the experimenting stage since 2019, the ring has speakers and a microphone and connects users with Alexa and, consequently, with the smart home. Anywhere, anytime.
Wearable technologies are getting ever cheaper. Their use in hygiene-sensitive situations is becoming conceivable. Diagnosing diseases before they break out will become a topic. Early detection of COVID-19 via wearables will become possible as we can now monitor physical parameters and biochemical markers. We can:
- take blood pressure (smart ring)
- monitor heart rate, sleep rhythm and activity level (armband)
- measure body temperature (clothing)
- identify glucose, lactate, infections, oxygen saturation (microneedle patches)
- record an ECG (smart patches)
- check eye pressure (smart lenses)
- measure breathing patterns, particle concentrations in the respiration air (face mask)
- show biomarkers for stress – e.g. cortisol (electronic epidermal tattoos)
- detect drugs, antibodies, antibiotics (on-teeth devices)
These devices can also assist in the treatment and monitoring of the recovery process of patients isolated at home.
Not all of these wearables are affordable for everyone yet. Relatively large data amounts are required to make accurate forecasts. However, the technical prerequisites to be better prepared to fight pandemics, at least in the future, exist.
Air Pods Pro 2
Apple will very likely equip its new, smart generation of earphones with motion sensors, leaving the doors wide open for fitness and gaming applications. Due to a lack of space there will no longer be any control elements.
We already know noise canceling. Spatial audio will be further optimized. A sound experience like in a movie theater is waiting for us.
Underwear signaling the partner that we are ready for togetherness, automatically muting smartphones and playing romantic music.
Fauna audio glasses made in Graz
Equipped with AT&S printed circuit boards, Fauna glasses look like normal, fashionable glasses, but also include a Bluetooth music system and a hands-free module at the same time. Four micro speakers lead the sound directly to the Fauna wearer’s ear, making sure that people in the person’s surroundings hear as little as possible of the audio output, while the wearer can enjoy the full sound quality. Two microphones provide stereo sound also for the conversation partners.
Fauna is connected to a smartphone or PC via Bluetooth and operated via touch pads on the side pieces of the glasses. Fauna is charged in its case, which itself contains an integrated power bank.
This is Fauna – outside: a designer piece made of Italian acetate. Inside: high-tech from Leoben. Overall: a wonderful piece of lifestyle.
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