In the last couple of years, wearables have graduated from being mere good-looking accessories to standalone devices featuring built-in GPS, advanced fitness tracking capabilities, ability to show notifications, e-mails and call logs and connecting with a range of other devices to perform a number of functions. That being said, wearable technology is a long way off from reaching its zenith, so much so that the industry will be worth $40 billion by 2018 and an impressive $100 billion by 2023. The astronomical rise will not take place just because wearables will be slimmer, more beautiful and feature longer battery lives, but also because there are a number of untapped technologies which will make them more powerful and user-friendly in the coming years.
Let's take for example the invention of a wearable sensor that can detect the presence of toxic gases around the location of the wearer. If the technology can be worked on to produce advanced sensors that could detect a number of toxic gases, wearables featuring such sensors would be widely used either by scientists and researchers in toxic environments, soldiers fighting in threatening nuclear and biological conditions and explorers in less-traveled caves and pits to keep themselves safe from toxic environments. Yet another major step forward in wearable technology is the introduction of wearable clothing. Thanks to the development of advanced sensors which can be stitched into traditional clothes, such clothing can be used to track fitness metrics of athletes like distance covered, calories burnt, average and peak heart rates and steps taken and may also be used to generate kinetic energy from the human body. If the technology takes shape in the coming days, it could become truly revolutionary both for the industry as well as its usefulness for the wearer.
Apart from working with advanced sensors which achieve various goals, today's wearables are being fitted with more lean yet powerful processors to let them function for long hours without stalling in the process. While Samsung and Apple use their own processors and operating systems with varying capabilities, Qualcomm recently launched Snapdragon Wear 2100 which not only takes up lesser space and adds more efficiency compared to the Snapdragon 400 chip, but also brings in a sensor hub which brings in more accurate sensor information. Featuring 4G LTE and low power Wi-Fi support as well, Snapdragon 2100, among other comparable wearable processors, could serve as stepping stones for more sensors to be integrated with modern wearables without affecting their performance.