Watch out for wearable technology

Last week, it was revealed that Samsung is the latest company to jump on the wearable technology bandwagon.

A series of patent and trademark filings have revealed that the company has registered the names Samsung Gear in South Korea and Samsung Galaxy Gear in the US. Drawings of a device with a flexible screen that wraps round the wrist have also been found.

Other companies preparing to launch wearable technology devices include Apple and Google.

Apple’s iWatch, according to Bloomberg, is "a wristwatch-like device that may perform some of the tasks now handled by the iPhone and iPad."

While Apple are staying tight-lipped on the development of its latest product, several different mock-ups of what the iWatch may look like have been circulating the web for a few months now. Apple CEO Tim Cook also hinted at the iWatch at an investor’s meeting in February 2013 when he said that "obviously we’re looking at new categories."

Apple has also recently hired Paul Denever, ex-CEO of Yves Saint Laurent, to work on "special projects". As watches are generally classed as a fashion accessory, it is not too outrageous to imagine that Denever could be working on the iWatch.

Tech consultancy Canalys has predicted that sales of smartwatches will reach highs of more than five million in 2014.

"Smartwatches will be the most important new product category in consumer electronics since the iPad defined the market for tablets," analyst Chris Jones told the BBC.

"Software platforms tied to smartwatches will also be a tremendous opportunity for developers to write apps in categories such as health and wellness or sports and fitness."

As well as technology to wear on your wrist, technology to wear on your face is also in development. Lady Gaga has designed her own range of photo glasses with Polaroid: a pair of sunglasses that take photos at the touch of a button.

And then there is Google Glass, a camera, display, touchpad, battery and microphone, all mounted on glasses frames. With the hype surround the device, it feels like it’s been around for ages, but Google Glass is still in the process of being tested. It is expected to be available to consumers by the end of 2013.

But the developer’s Google Glass is already being put to good use in various ways. Rock band Bon Jovi used the wearable technology to film a gig so fans could share the live experience, models have paraded them down the catwalks at New York Fashion Week and journalist Tim Pool is using it to cover the protests in Istanbul.

Who knows what we’ll be seeing and doing when the next wave of wearable gadgets is released.

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