Thanks to the popularity of smartwatches, wearable technology has taken off in the last couple of years. This trend is set to continue, according to Gartner, a world-leading research company, who predict that the market for wearables will continue to grow after a stellar 2017.
The future of wearable technology is likely to develop not only through smart watches, but some incredible innovations will appear in less than 10 years. What are we likely to see during this time period, from navigation drones to garments grown by bacteria?
With Google Glass already on the market, the concept of intelligent glasses is fairly well-established, and by 2023, it is predicted that 10% of eyewear will be connected to the internet.
The concept will allow users direct access to the internet through their eyewear, effectively turning our vision into a digital interface. Intelligent glasses can provide us with instant information, allowing improved capacity to perform tasks.
This wearable technology has the potential to dramatically change how we learn and receive instructions in the future, thanks to instant visual information.
If browsing the internet through a pair of specs is a fairly well established concept, growing clothes through bacteria is perhaps a little more out there. By 2025, however, the concept of ‘bio-couture’ could be a very real possibility.
This amazing process uses a harmless bacteria to produce, spin, and shape pure cellulose fibres into a material. The concept of ‘growing’ clothes in this way would be a greener solution to clothes manufacturing, using far less natural resources.
Amazingly, this bio-clothing would also be-self cleaning and would not require washing at all!
In addition to bio-couture, 2025 could also see wearable clothing that is equipped with innovative solar cells, allowing your clothes to harvest energy to charge mobile devices.
The solar cells are currently being developed in Japan by a team of researchers from the University of Tokyo, alongside the research institute RIKEN. Unlike previous solar panels, which are too large and sturdy for clothing, these cells are so thin that they could eventually be stitched into clothing.
At just three millionth of a metre thick, the solar cells are very small and extremely flexible, designed to both absorb light and withstand water and air. While this concept will require more development before it becomes commercially available, solar cells are an exciting notion.
Across a variety of industries, drone technology is pushing forward innovation. In terms of wearables, drones are also being explored by Frogdesign, a tech company who envision a future in which our mobile devices are far more mobile.
One of their concepts is for a product called Flare – a wearable drone you can wear on your wrist, which would guide you through the streets by flying several meters in front of you.
Another potential product from Frogdesign is Breathe, a drone that launches from your shoulder when it detects air pollution, hovering in front of your mouth to provide clean air.