What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology refers to devices that can be worn by users, taking the form of an accessory such as jewelry, sunglasses, a backpack, or even actual items of clothing like shoes or a jacket. Often discreet, a person who comes into contact with someone wearing a device may not even realize that the article of clothing is a piece of technology. The benefit of wearable technology is that it can conveniently integrate tools, devices, power needs, and connectivity within a user’s everyday life and movements. Google's Project Glass features one of the most talked about current examples —the device resembles a pair of glasses but with a single lens. A user can literally see information about their surroundings displayed in front of them, such as the names of friends who are in close proximity, or nearby places to access data that would be relevant to a research project. Wearable technology is still very new, but one can easily imagine accessories such as gloves that enhance the user’s ability to feel or control something they are not directly touching. Wearable technology already in the market includes clothing that charges batteries via decorative solar cells, allows interactions with a user’s devices via sewn in controls or touch pads, or collects data on a person's exercise regimen from sensors embedded in the heels of their shoes.