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Phuket Tech Talk: Wearable tech in 2014 and beyond

This will be the year that wearable technology starts to go mainstream.

By Byron Noel

Tuesday 18 February 2014, 11:32AM

Many will have heard about devices such as the Samsung Galaxy smart watch, or even Google Glass, but what many don’t realise is that this is just the beginning of what we’ll see in 2014.

No, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Iron Man suits or Robocops on the streets soon (much to my disappointment), but things are certainly going to change.

Already we have seen a few brands of smart watches come out, some of which, like the Pebble Steel, look quite promising. There have even been rumours of a Galaxy glass project from Samsung, likely to be released this year.

The estimates are that around 90 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2014 alone, showing us just how technologically advanced the future will become. The thing is, it’s not just a business. It’s the natural evolution of technology into our lives – like it or not.

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Personally, the technology that excites me the most, as a gamer, is surely rebooted Virtual Reality. The Occulus Rift has made great strides in this arena, with its head-mounted setup, and I am eagerly looking forward to a release this year (fingers crossed).

Taking this one step further, engineers have already created head-mounted gear for paraplegics, which allows them to control robotics... with their mind. Couple this with something like Sony’s exoskeleton technology, and you have potentially given movement to the previously paralysed.

Or, couple it with current drone and robotics technology and you can potentially be in two places at once! Iron Man and Robocop suddenly don’t seem all that far-fetched, especially with us looking for safer ways to explore places such as Mars in the near future.

Still, such things are a few years off and right now I still think that the Google Glass is kind of creepy. Fortunately I will have no choice but to get used to it as this kind of technology is already taking off in the sporting world. I just won’t be wearing them any time soon.

A smart watch just happens to be fantastic at keeping and displaying fitness data, and as the technology gets cheaper we are only going to find more uses. Maybe my watch will finally be able to tell me when I’ve had too much of the Phuket sun. Come in Byron, your time is up!



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