We all remember those days sitting in class, lost in fantasies of what the future would hold. Hover cars…holographs…teleportation – these were the mainstays of our childhood fantasies in the 80s, 90s, even 2000s. Many of these technological fantasies were spurred on by the exciting worlds of sci-fi, and the possibility of such technology seemed unimaginable. Well, 2015 is an exciting time where such technologies are becoming very real indeed. Check out these five wearable devices that would leave your childhood self gobsmacked:
Virtual reality (VR) has been trending hard in the tech world recently. Devices like the Oculus Rift have the equivalent ‘wow-factor’ that 3D films did back in the early 2000s. While the technology is impressive, it doesn’t quite have the utility to stick. That’s where Microsoft’s upcoming Hololens comes in. Instead of creating a virtual reality, the Hololens augments the users’ existing world. Microsoft impressed us with their 3D-map of Mars, which users could explore with the device. The possibilities for scientists to explore and plan experiments for future rover missions are endless. This means holographs, people!
Through the game Minecraft, users can even build and destroy blocks in their own environments, without being transported to a virtual world. While these features might excite the science and gaming nerds amongst us, the true cherry upon the cake is the Hololens’ benefit to communication. Skype’s videoconferencing software allows remote users to both see your environment through your eyes and appear as a hologram in your environment. Through the Hololens, remote communication reaches Star Wars levels of awesome.
As a kid, socks resided in the mundane world from which we tried to escape from. When you think about futuristic, awe-inspiring technology, they may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, in the case of Sensoria’s fitness socks, they should be.
Sensoria’s socks offer something different entirely from the recent wave of fitness wearables. Not only do they track your running speed, calories burned, and the usual fitness stats, but each sock has individual sensors that detect pressure on different regions of the foot. This data can be input into an app on your smartphone, allowing you to track your technique as you run. Athletes can then improve their performance and avoid previously inevitable running injuries.
“MC10 extends human capabilities through virtually invisible and conformal electronics.”
If that doesn’t sound like a cyborg fantasy, I don’t know what does. However, the MC10 Biostamp fulfils the dreams of those more straight-edge, ambitious, visionary kids. You know, the ones who didn’t spend all of their spare time playing Pokémon and, instead, did their homework like good little students.
The device itself is one rather large step towards improved levels of health awareness, as well as more efficient healthcare systems in general. The MC10 is the size and thickness of a plaster, but tracks the wearer’s temperature, heart rate, brain activity, UV exposure, and more. Heralded as ‘the new frontier of medical diagnostics,’ this device might not have the ‘fun factor’ of other devices, but its potentially revolutionary impact to healthcare is certainly ‘wow worthy,’ allowing doctors, friends and family to keep track of vital statistics remotely, and quite possibly predict any serious health problems.
Wireless headphones. That, alone, would be worthy of my childhood fantasies. However, Bragi don’t stop there with their ambitious Dash headphones. They’re touch activated. They have 4GB of on-board storage, and a self-contained media player. They have an ‘ambient’ mode, where surrounding sounds can be heard through the earphone’s noise cancellation. They also offer fitnessphiles the ability to track your speed, heartrate, and even oxygen saturation. Users can even use gestures, or ‘macros’ – for example, tilting your head – to activate the different functions of the Bragi.
This glut of features herald a new era for tech wearables. No longer will devices have one, simple function. Tech will continue to offer a range of intuitive, useful features, whilst remaining discrete and hassle-free. Innovative, truly visionary technology like the Hololens, Sensoria’s socks, MC10 Biostamp and Bragi Dash will augment and revolutionize our reality to the point where our childhood fantasies become reality.