Wear the world in you! The glorious future of Wearable Technology
Presently, you carry the world in your hands. With one smartphone, any information from anywhere in the world reaches you instantaneously. But, wait. Technology is meant to make life easy and simple. From the discovery of fire by primitive men, that has been the supreme motto behind every innovation. One discovery after the other followed to remove all the obstacles one by one. Today you can carry the world but isn’t carrying too a bit tedious? You have to make a sudden pause in your daily life to access content that you carry. Plus, you don’t always feel comfortable when you have to take care of another device as you move. How often have you been extra cautious to make sure you don’t slip your smartphone. Also, you are confused by the number of devices available for various purposes. The customer always need more and they need it on one device and they want to be highly comfortable as well! Which is why the future is you wearing the world. With the technology cruising like ever before, very soon you can wear the entire world in you and move around without interrupting a single moment of your daily life!
All of the wearables we saw until now exist outside our body. You have to fix or attach them to a wrist, arm or some part of your body. But, what if they could reside inside your own body! What if the technology is implanted into your body. Many experts consider this as the biggest leap in wearable technology. Let us take a look at some of the implantable wearables that could soon be a part of our life.
In a recent experiment, Researchers of ‘AutoDesk’, embedded touch sensors, LEDs, speakers and vibration motors under the skin of a corpse’s arm. The researchers claim that traditional interactive features could well work through skin and the data obtained through their study could well be used for future interactive implants. For further studies, they used the artificial skin to attach small implants to volunteers’ arms and then tested how they felt moving around with interactive devices. They also tested the skin effects during typical controls such as buttons and microphones and also went on to study the light quality and sound and vibration. Quite interestingly, they even communicated and charged devices through Bluetooth! If this becomes a real possibility in the future, we could have smartphones stored inside us! If that happens, your data will also travel with you and you can never forget them. The real and complete possibilities of implanted smartphones can only be known when it gets popular but experts are of the opinion that phones and other devices can be implanted more directly to the nervous system and this would significantly enhance the future communication levels!
Ever wondered if you forgot to have your medicines? Ever wondered if your medicine is really working for you? The future might just have the solution. A British research team is in the process of developing cyber pills called Proteus that are equipped with microprocessors to help you stay on track. The chip functions by being imbedded into a pill. Just ingest it at the same time as you have your medicine and it will work inside you, recording the time you took your dose. That data travels from your skin to a stick on the patch and then to a mobile application. The pills can further chat up with your doctors too. They can text your doctor information related to your medication habit (whether you are consuming it properly) and also if the medicine is working in the desired manner or not.
Perhaps the most scintillating aspect about the future of wearable technology is Smart Dust. Smart Dust devices are nothing but small wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect almost everything from light to vibrations. Nanotechnology is the obvious call of the future and every prospective device is getting tinier. Thus, a Smart Dust is a tiny dust size device with unbelievable potential. It consists of nanostructured silicon sensor that can instantly assemble, make sense and report on their inhibiting local environment. This involves sensing, computing, wireless communication possibilities and autonomous power supply. In other words, they can be arrays of full computers with antennas, each tinier than a grain of sand that can organize themselves inside the body and empower a range of complex internal mechanisms. Imagine these devices healing your body from a pain quite instantly. Imagine them attacking cancer at a very early stage. The scope is simply enormous. They could also store critical personal information inside the body in a deeply encrypted manner. In the future, using Smart Dust, doctors will not have to open you up for a surgery. They just have to implant smart dust onto your body and arrive at a solution on screen!
Suppose you broke your arm playing football. Unfortunately, imagine that neither splint nor surgery was able to fix the fracture. Doctors recommend that you need a bone graft, meaning they have to take bone from elsewhere to fill the gap. Here you have two options. Allow the surgeon to cut bone from another place in your body or get a new bone from a dead person. There is risk involved in both. Bone from another body could carry disease and grafts from your own body can cause painful infections or even nerve damage. But wait. What if you can grow your own bone from your own cells. This is what Dr. Nina Tandon is striving to achieve! ‘EpiBone’, which has Dr. Nina Tandon as the CEO, is the world’s first company growing living human bones for skeletal reconstruction! Nina Tandon has created a massive influence in the world and her impact spreads from children with congenital facial defects in patients with head trauma. Nina’s effect and the technology of implantable smart organs will only improve its scope in the future. Scientists in the future will just have to take certain kind of plastic and add live human cells in the proper structure and medium to make a new bone, tissue or skin. In the near future, even smart liver or cornea will be implanted on to the body. Very soon, we will be able to create tissues for every part of the body!
We have seen what promise implantables hold. Now let us see what some of the wearable products have to offer for the future.
Coming back to the Terminator kind of an experience, smart glasses can add information alongside anything the wearer sees and together with Augmented Reality, they can do wonders. Suppose you are about to purchase an apartment. With one little click on the glass you can see the complete history that went into the construction of the apartment. The kind of labour work that was involved, the quality of the materials used or even the history of its tenants. Very soon, you will not need anyone vouching for the apartment and you can figure out entire details yourself. Thereby, you can be guaranteed that you are only paying what the apartment is worth for. The advertising and commercial materials that you see in the future will be nothing like you have ever witnessed. On the outset, it might just be a pictorial figure of the latest car. But, if you use your smart glasses you can see its entire construction history, its performances and you can even select across every minute component in the vehicle and see how it would work. That too on different roads and conditions! What about tourism? Guess guides will be out of work soon. You will not need anyone describing you the things you see in front of yourself. Be it a war the Alexander the Great fought or rituals and traditions of ancient Egypt. You can see it in front of your eyes in real. Imagine, doctors reading your complete medical history by just looking at you and without going through your lifelong medical records. The possibilities are just endless.
Smart Contact Lens
What if you are the sort of person who hates wearing glasses. How would you like smart contact lenses? Sounds like another sci-fi right? But it turns out that your eyeballs are the best place to put technology. The smart contact lens that provides you superhuman vision, heads-up displays, video cameras, medical sensors and much more are already in the making. For next generation kids, the superheroes of the 20th century and early 21st century movies might look like average people. Smart lenses can easily be implanted. They don’t need a surgery and you can easily remove or insert it whenever you want. They have exposure to both air and the body’s internal chemistry and since they are exposed to both mechanical movement of blinking and the light, they can produce energy. Imagine browsing the internet, watching live news or even watching a movie right in front of your eyes and on the go. No one else will even know what you are watching. The next generation television, computers and movie hall could well be your own eye!
In the future, smart contact lenses can develop virtual assistants that could understand you much more than anyone else. The assistant will be able to read your smiles, tears and emotions and understand what makes you happy and what gets you disappointed. They will be able to predict your thoughts and intentions and respond accordingly. Imagine, your virtual assistant showing you a list of doctors immediately as you feel uneasy. You might feel it’s a small issue but the virtual assistant can tell how bad your condition is and what doctors you could consult. Or imagine your virtual assistant playing your favorite music by reading your mood! Imagine it giving you the list of hotels and menus as soon as you feel hungry. Imagine it showing you the uber cars available just when you wanted to go out. Imagine them giving you the list of tourist spots and flights available just when you think of going on a vacation with your girlfriend. Microchips that can be embedded into your fingernails can serve as a keyboard for virtual screens and this will allow you to draw in three dimensions and provide instant holographic interaction with your friends.
What if your clothes could communicate your mood? The smart clothes of the future could well have sensors fit in that could measure your physiology and screen it to the world around you. So, if you are angry and annoyed, others can read it from your dress and stay away. If you are thinking about applying for a long leave or if you are afraid about communicating an error that you committed to your supervisor, you can easily figure out when he is in the best of his mood and approach him accordingly! Next time you see a girl you like, you could actually check out if she is in the mood to accept your coffee invitation. Your mood garment can even telecast data to your insurers, doctors, and friends. So if you meet with any unfortunate accident or if you feel disturbed, the information can be readily transferred to them. Very soon, the buttons in your dress could be GPS enabled and they could even track your movements and learn your habits. This will correspondingly inform all your other devices what you are up to and they can provide suggestions accordingly. For example, your smartphone can automatically display the nearby restaurants, clubs, movie halls, tourist attractions and so on if you are in a new place. In other words, in the future, you will never lose your way. In case if you do and the button stops receiving signals, they can instantly alert your friends and family or even call Emergency for help. Additionally, enterprises like Clothing+ have already started developing garments with functional medical applications which allows you to create Virtual Reality Content. This is supposed to be a major leap in transhumanism movement.
Sensors that detect harmful environment
Researchers at MIT have already developed a wearable sensor that can trace amounts of toxic gas. It is made up of a series of carbon nanotubes and it weighs less than a paper. If exposed to toxic gases, they can send an alert to a paired device like a smartphone. This is a perfect aid for soldiers on the battlefield and in the future it will have huge implications in the field of medicine as well. This would also help to regulate and control our environment as global warming is a growing area of concern. In factories, laboratories and other places, they can detect leakage of gases like hydrogen or other pathogenic gases. This can also be a significant tool for space research as they can provide vital information regarding the atmospheric components of other planets.
Ever since the 1970s, governments and private organizations have used biometric technology in identity cards, health cards, visa, passport control and various such services. Today, there are even advanced face and voice recognition patterns. But what if there are smart sensors that could analyse the way you walk, the way you look and even the minute elements of your skin. They can even record your thoughts and an organization can easily spot an intruder. So, in the future, your employer will be able to tell how well do you like doing your job, how dedicated you are and how loyal you are to the firm! In other words, it will be easy to see through you. The same procedure can be put to efficient use in the passport, visa, and other immigration facilities and this will ensure supreme security.
How would you like it if you are equipped with a sensor that interconnects all your lights, windows, doors and appliances. How often have you slept forgetting to turn a device or an appliance off. What if there is a smart sensor that lets the device switch off automatically? Similarly, they can notify you about potential dangers any appliance possess and can alert you about the weather forecast. So if there is a rain or a storm approaching, your window will shut down automatically and other devices too will respond accordingly. Suppose you have an old person or a differently abled person or someone suffering from memory loss in your home. Smart homes that have round buttons placed at strategic points would instantly remind the person to follow the series of tasks and would also alert you if a regular routine is not complete.