Wim Vanheertum explains that when it comes to disruptive wearable technology and the IoT, connectivity drives the transition to the Internet of Beings
The Internet of Things (IoT) is morphing into the Internet of Beings (IoB), transforming how we live, work and communicate. Today, smart watches and vests track location and activity. Exoskeletons boost workers’ strength and help the injured walk again. Biometric devices monitor athletes’ performance. In a recent industry survey conducted by Deloitte and MHI, 42% of respondents indicated that IoT has the potential to create a significant competitive advantage.
These smart wearables – electronic devices and accessories worn in or on the body that can sense the wearer and/or their environment – exchange valuable data through the internet without human intervention. They communicate directly through embedded wireless connectivity, or through other devices such as smartphones, hubs or modules. The user’s data is captured and processed in a unit located locally or on an internal server.Expanding applications
How Is The Wearables Market Growing?
The overall wearables market is expected to grow from 113.2 million shipments in 2017 to 222.3 million in 2021, according to the International Data Corporation. Although wearables are widespread in consumer markets, their value will be highest in rapidly expanding industrial and professional applications. Thanks to embedded intelligence and connectivity, wearables offer unique opportunities for condition/activity monitoring, feedback and actuation/delivery services (drug delivery or stimulation), localisation, identification, personal contextual notifications, information display and virtual assistance. Some sectors – particularly healthcare, industrial, defence and sports – will be transformed by wearable technology and new IoB opportunities.
As electronics systems shrink, connectivity and sensor technology improve, and computing power increases. Devices become lighter, less obtrusive and more suitable for wearables. Since reliable end-to-end integration into existing processes and systems is critical, companies need to plan ahe ad and understand the connectivity challenges presented by wearable technology.
The Importance Of Seamless Connectivity
Connectivity is the key to making seamlessly integrated, safe and easy-to-use wearables. High-performance connectors ensure devices function reliably and signal, power and data are transmitted accurately in any environment. The demand for modularity and maintaining connectivity to numerous devices is driving companies to look beyond single-application wearables.
A Smart, Expanding Solution
In connected wearables with a common power and data bus, connectivity is a key innovation driver, making devices smaller, lighter and smarter, while maintaining or enhancing their performance. The Fischer Freedom series is an example of a connectivity solution that has grown into a technology platform, able to interact with varied accessories such as sensors, cameras and communication devices. The design challenge was to meet the needs of both design engineers and users, increasing functionality and power while reducing the overall size and weight of equipment. This was achieved by partnering with key players who are leading the way in wearable applications.
Wim Vanheertum is with Fischer Connectors