Wearables are smart electronic devices that can be worn on the body, implanted in the body, or incorporated into clothing and are used to collect and transmit data.
Wearables are smart electronic devices that can be worn on the body, implanted in the body, or incorporated into clothing. A few common examples of wearable accessories are smartwatches, health and fitness monitors, and even pet tracking devices.
The purpose of devices like these, and others is to collect data, analyze it and provide useful feedback. With a fitness band, you are collecting data about steps taken, calories consumed and burned, and your heart rate. That data is then translated into useful information for the wearer.
Wearable devices in the form of implants are also being developed. If you have a pet, you may have opted to have a small RFID chip implanted under their skin. This chip transmits information about your pet and your contact information should your pet get lost. It will even let the finder know if your pet is on any medication.
It has been reported that the US military is considering embedding similar chips to keep tabs on troops. But is the average citizen ready for this technology?
In Sweden, thousands of people are voluntarily getting wearable implants. Their chips can be programmed to open doors, share social media profiles, and even catch a ride on Sweden’s SJ train system.
Wearables can also be useful to help keep workers safe. Road maintenance crews are often exposed to high-risk work environments. They work close to heavy traffic, in all types of weather conditions, and even in hard-to-access areas.
Amey’s road maintenance teams in north-east England tested out different forms of wearables containing biometric and location sensors. These sensors monitored their physical activity and surroundings.
A bracelet measured vital signs, a collar detected signs of drowsiness, and an ear clip measured blood flow and detected signs of stress and fatigue. They also wore a device that would relay the worker’s precise location if they required assistance.
As the results of this prototype were quite encouraging, Amey is looking for more ways to offer this technology to employees working in other business units to further improve workplace safety.