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Unveiling Trends in Non-Traditional Wearables

Exploring the Future of Tech Wear, Smart Rings, and More 

This is the third article of the series: Wearable Health and Wellness Tech – Trends, Opportunities, and Considerations for Engineers 

When speaking of trends in the wearable health and wellness tech industry, there is one that is worth dedicating a whole section of the panel to. Non-traditional wearables. It may come as a strange categorization considering wearables as a where only a novelty gadget a couple years ago. However, in a fast-moving industry such as tech, these feature-rich smart watches or bracelets we’ve grown used to seeing are now a staple.  

Whenever the word wearable gets thrown around, minds quickly go to the wrist, however, the world of wearables is much wider than that… and as we saw in our discussion, it’s growing wider by the minute.  

Unravel the trends and implications in the realm of non-traditional wearables, from tech wear to earrings and rings in this article.  

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Isaac Dost’s Vision on Wearable Fabrics and Piezoelectric Power 

Revolutionizing Wearables with Power-Generating Fabrics 

How do you power up, for example, a t-shirt? When we think of the attribute of a fabric, we think maybe of its comfort, stretchiness, looks, or maybe how easy or hard it is to clean. However, what if we started thinking about their capacity to generate and operate on their own power.  

The vision of fabrics powered by piezoelectricity shared during this panel opened the door to an exciting realm in the world of wearables. As low power technology and miniaturization improves, the high tech devices we wear on our wrists may evolve to all types of clothing. By harnessing the energy generated by the fabric’s own movement your tech-wear could charge its own batteries or capacitors, presenting a creative solution to power devices throughout a whole day.  

The clothes of the future may be much more than aesthetic choices, but also a technological tool that seamlessly enhances our activities and tracks our needs through the day.  

  • Innovation Frontier: Powering the fabrics that make our clothes. 
  • Future Potential: Fabric-integrated power solutions for continuous device operation. 

Bruce Muff’s Perspective on Smart Clothing and Sensing Capabilities 

Clothing as a Medium for Biomedical Tracking 

Sensors in wearables, as we’ve seen, can provide an excellent non-invasive solution for people aiming to track and enhance their fitness and biomedical needs. Through miniaturization and clever design, embedded trackers could soon introduce a new concept of specialized garments for different activities. 

Let’s imagine, for example, a pair of yoga pants with embedded sensors that could track your form and offer real-time feedback on your posture during the activity. Through specialized smart clothing and, perhaps, a mobile app, what you wear to your daily workout could become an active participant in your daily workout. Think… a gym partner you can always rely on! 

  • Evolution in Wearables: Clothing transforming into a platform for fitness and health tracking. 
  • User Preference Consideration: A solution for users seeking non-wrist, non-invasive wearable options. 
  • Innovative Applications: Leveraging the nature of the new wearable options, new real-time insights become available that were not trackable from the wrist. 

Bill Munger on Miniaturized Wireless Tech in Accessories 

Miniature Marvels – Health Monitoring in Rings and Other Accessories 

The continuous pursuit towards miniaturization is allowing to integrate feature rich technologies into smaller and smaller devices. We are now seeing impressive capabilities in accessories as small as rings, for example. The challenges once posed by size constraints are soon to become a thing of the past, and pushing the boundaries of our imagination.  

Very soon, the question will not be ‘what can we do with this space?” but rather, “what else can we do with so much space?” With sub-four-and-a-half-millimeter packages and shrinking SOCs, these tiny wearables manage to provide a host of interfaces for various sensors, from motion to UV monitoring. 

When you can fit cutting-edge technology into virtually any accessory, you can start to wonder what else can these earrings/necklace/bracelet/etc. do? 

  • Miniaturization Goals: To forget about size constraints when it comes to wireless health monitoring. 
  • Critical Components: Ensuring SOC and antenna capabilities match stringent size requirements. 

To start thinking about the future of wearables, we must expand our minds beyond the wrist. The next era integrates technology seamlessly into our clothing and accessories as well, so the opportunities to connect smart with style are everywhere. 

Before we move on to our fourth article in the series: Key Components Shaping Wearable Technology, do you have any wearable health and wellness technology projects you’d like to take to the next level?    

Send us an email and get in contact with our experts at Future Electronics to get personalized engineering support for all of your applications.  


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