The History and Future of Wearable Tech: From Eyeglasses to Smart Contact Lenses
Wearable technology has come a long way since its early beginnings. From eyeglasses to the Apple Watch and virtual reality headsets, it has evolved into a diverse and rapidly expanding industry that merges fashion and technology. Wearable tech refers to electronic devices worn on the body, either independently or as part of clothing or accessories.
The earliest examples of wearable tech date back to hundreds of years ago with the invention of eyeglasses. While they may not be considered high-tech today, they fit the definition of wearable tech as they enhance human performance through specialized materials. The real breakthrough for wearable tech came in the middle of the 20th century with innovative counting tools used for cheating in casinos and calculator wristwatches that gained popularity in the 1970s.
In the 1980s, wearable tech expanded with the introduction of the Sony Walkman and digital hearing aids. The late 1990s marked the start of the Internet of Things (IoT) movement, which integrated technology into various devices. Bluetooth headsets, iPods, Fitbits, and wearable webcams emerged as popular wearable tech devices in the new millennium.
Today, wearable tech has diversified across multiple categories. Smart clothing adapts to a user’s needs or monitors bodily performance. Virtual and augmented reality headsets have found their way into gaming and other applications. Smart jewelry, such as smart watches, allows users to perform various tasks. Sensors and cameras capture and analyze data from the wearer’s body.
While new wearable tech products continue to emerge, older examples like glasses and digital watches are still relevant. Looking to the future, there are highly anticipated products such as Apple’s augmented reality glasses and smart contact lenses. These products could potentially provide augmented reality experiences and seamless integration with smartphones.
As technology advances and society becomes more accustomed to wearable tech, the possibilities for its applications continue to expand. Whether it’s in the fashion, healthcare, gaming, or communication industries, wearable tech is poised to shape the future of technology and human interaction.
– [source 1]
– [source 2]