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New Advances In Sensor Technologies Will Shrink Down Wearables Until They Become “Invisible”

May 1, 2015 - Written By Ricardo Trevizo

Sensors with more innovations in their area, are each day becoming smaller. This is something that has been leading the industry analysts and experts to believe that with every decrease in the sensors’ size, wearables themselves will also face changes in their dimensions. Even if the market is trending towards smartwatches and fitness bands which the user can interact with, what everyone is really waiting for, is a new generation of wearables with a size so small, they become virtually invisible. “Hearables” is another part of the wearable industry that will most likely begin to trend within the next five years. Imagine having all the information you need without having to see a screen, all your notifications and data will be read to you right in your ear, by a device so small it will be unnoticeable.

Right now the industry seems to be adopting smartwatches fairly well, with the constant launch of Android Wear devices and other wearables, it seems like they are here to stay. But after analyzing the way sensors included in said wearables; specialists have deduced that, in just five years, the whole wearables trend will change and customers will begin seeking “invisible” wearables, which would include all the features that currently are in your smartwatch or fitness band but in a much smaller device. The first device that will take advantage of this trend comes from Nikolaj Hviid, creator of The Dash, a smart pair of wireless earbuds.

The Dash is one of the first all-in-one wearables that look both discrete and simple. This new pair of earbuds provides numerous features that were previously only obtained through the use of more than one wearable device. Inside the Dash comes a music player with 4GB of storage capacity, a smart bone-conduction microphone so your voice is heard loud and clear, and a number of sensors that perceive your position, your heart rate, and even your body temperature. One of the specialists, Nick Hunn, predicts that smartwatches will still dominate the wearable market for another three years, but after that, more devices like the Dash will begin to appear leaving behind the smartwatch era. These new kind of “Hearables”, according to Nick Hunn, have more potential than current wearables as they can pack more features with only half the power and cost of a smartwatch. Hearables will in five years surpass smartwatches and will account for over $15 billion, which is half of the $30 billion that the whole wearable market accounts for.

Kow Ping, owner of the company “Well Being Digital Ltd”, has also addressed how the sensor industry is fast changing and spoke about how accelerometers have evolved to measuring just 1 square millimeter, were previously the technology was two or three times as big. Ping noted that when sensor technology gets the capabilities of harvesting energy from the user’s own body heat or motion, they will become much smaller. Well Being Digital Ltd is a company working to add sensors to most existing apparel; the company has even added sensors to a sports bra which will be powered by the relative motion. Wearables are still in the process of being adopted by users and, with the industry quickly changing, it is not clear how well customers will react to new innovations in this area of technology.