The wearables provide us functions such as view the time and do calculations or improve our capabilities. They are nothing new

Already in 1654, the Qing dynasty miniaturized an abacus on a ring. Today it is considered as the first wearable of the history. At the same time they began to use instruments amplifiers sense of sight and hearing, lends and trumpets. More than a century later appear mechanisms like a marine chronometer by Harrison. In the twentieth century, watches or cameras in vests and helmets are manufactured. Anecdotally, in 1961 Edward O. Thorp and Claude Shannon introduced a computer inside a shoe to cheat playing roulette. But, until 1972 we cannot speak about technologic wearables when the first digital clock was invented by Hamilton. destacadoingles

Concerning these last, today the technological hurdle is connect and measure the broadcast signal by the human body with sensors which can be integrate inside devices easy to wear: for instance bracelets, rings, watches, glasses and clothes.

In terms of functionality, it is focus principality to specialize and group the physiological measures and the vital signs in order to control, detect, and caution physical diseases (cardiological, diabetes, epilepsy) and psychic diseases (stwearables kids retocadaress, anxiety, disorientation)

Although in other areas this devices could be interesting, in the health area could began uncomfortable, even stigmatizing. In times where medical records are so high degree of confidentiality and privacy, who yield to wear a watch that brand, shape or signals emitted, it is telling those around me that I am diabetic? Or in the case of several pathologies, do I have to wear a collection of colorful bracelets to measure related vital signs?

This factor may be one of the biggest problems when entering the wearable in everyday life, so to minimize the visual impact and ease of use are two fundamental reasons why the technology trends are towards devices deriving “merge” with the body (second skins, tattoos) and going a little further, that are integrated into the body. If you can wear the wearables inside the body is not strange if we think that the first external pacemaker, was built in 1957 and only a year after the first internal pacemaker was implanted. Today materials susceptible of being rejected by the human body are numerous and research in the medical, biological and technological fields come together every day new sensors and devices.

Another major inconvenience to the final launch of the wearable comes on the heels of the culture of data privacy and the feeling of control. The challenge is to demonstrate the paradox that the more we control the device, more independence have a device capable of detecting a possible attack, a stressful situation or a seizure (all of them are already), give us greater mobility , increase our ability to travel alone activities without fear of a sudden.

first wearable retocadaBesides offering the possibility of making calls to emergency services, provide enough medication alarms and storing useful information the next checkup time. Therefore, in the coming years it will be crucial to change the concept of “being controlled” by “security” to receive information in time so as to emphasize the visual discretion devices. This will make the wearables are normal in our lives because we already have the knowledge and technology to develop.

Susana San José Alonso

Computer Engineer and Master in Assistive Technology, Accessibility and Design. Her current area of activity is related to Computational Intelligence applied to improve the quality of life and human behavior modeling.
Susana San José Alonso

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About Susana San José Alonso

Computer Engineer and Master in Assistive Technology, Accessibility and Design. Her current area of activity is related to Computational Intelligence applied to improve the quality of life and human behavior modeling.

5 thoughts on “Wearables: watchers or assistants?

  1. Yo personalmente, no tengo nada en contra de las dichosas pulseritas pero tampoco me aporta nada que me digan si consumo calorías al correr o si mi ritmo cardiaco es bueno. Estoy más con la opinión de que son vigilantes y de que, con los datos que aportan, las multinacionales seguirán controlando lo que consumimos y forzándonos a consumir más.

    1. Puede que para muchos, los wearables sean solo artilugios de fitness y poco más. Pero tienen muchísimas más utilidades en otros campos, como la salud, que igual no nos debería de dar tan igual. Pero, como siempre, para gustos… Y por lo del control de datos, tampoco te preocupes tanto, no todo son conspiraciones… 😉

      1. Buenos días Óscar. Gracias por tu comentario.
        Como bien dices, el uso de los vestibles, abarca muchos y muy diferentes campos, algunos en un estado de madurez más conseguido y otros aún por definir. Nunca está de más ser prudentes y conocer el uso que hacemos tanto de los dispositivos como de la información que se maneja a través de ellos.

    2. Buenos días Lucía. Gracias por tu aportación.

      Respecto a la información que aportan los vestibles, ya sean pulseras o de otro tipo, cierto es que no siempre tiene que ser algo de gran utilidad, como puede ser el caso de personas con alguna enfermedad o deportistas profesionales. Para algunas personas, puede ser simplemente un mero entretenimiento.

      Respecto a la aportación de datos a terceros, somos nosotros mismos los que aceptamos ese uso, a veces sin nisiquiera darnos cuenta, cuando hacemos usos de las diferentes aplicaciones que nos proporcionan detalles relacionados con la información recogida. Es el mismo caso que cuando adquirimos tarjetas de descuento en el supermercado, puntos en las gasolineras, o rellenamos formularios de envío de muestras gratuitas.

      En resumen, aún conociendo el valor de los datos personales, a veces ponemos los nuestros a precio de saldo.

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