Wearable technology refers to any devices you can wear on your body. Although not new, some novel trends are bringing these technologies to the forefront. Their increasing popularity is making these devices ubiquitous, enabling many integrations with other technologies, including VoIP.
This article looks at wearable technology trends and how these devices will increasingly become integrated with advanced voice services.
Where is wearable tech today, and where is it going?
There’s a good chance you already use at least one type of wearable technology. For example, you might wear a smartwatch that keeps track of your vitals and daily steps and informs you of incoming messages or calls. Some more advanced smartwatches may also let you communicate with a caller using the watch instead of your phone.
The smartwatch is typically what we first consider when discussing wearable tech, but there is so much more potential for this emerging trend than just the smartwatch. Additional items that can be made into intelligent devices include glasses, various types of jewelry, shoes, earphones, and belts, to name just a few.
With the emergence of smart textile technologies, fabrics can also become intelligent data collectors and functional devices, making your clothing into tech that goes beyond simply keeping you warm or looking stylish.
These technologies and wearable items are coming together to deliver an unprecedented, connected experience to their wearers. They collectively enable the possibility of interacting on many levels, including sight, sound, movement, tactile sensing and feedback.
The driving force behind wearable technology
Wearable technologies are a subset of the Internet of Things (IoT), a movement that has been picking up speed for over a decade. IoT seeks to wirelessly interconnect “things,” which are any objects with integrated electronics, to enable the collection and exchange of data to empower innovative services. The driving force behind both IoT and wearables is wireless connectivity.
Wireless communications used to require bulky electronics and large batteries, making it challenging to integrate comfortably into wearable items. Recent technological advances in the miniaturization of communications electronics and increasing battery efficiency have allowed these components to become small and light enough to incorporate them more readily into articles of clothing and accessories.
Electronic chip designers have recently miniaturized 5G chipsets enough to allow items as small as watches or rings to become 5G clients, bypassing the need for mobile smartphones. This trend will continue enhancing the connectivity options for wearables, making them even more versatile.
The future of VoIP communications with wearable technology
VoIP has proven to be one of the most critical advances in communications technology within the past two decades. Because it is based on IP communications, you can easily integrate it with many other network services. This characteristic makes it one of the most valuable technologies for deep integration with wearables.
VoIP has bee integrated into many different applications, enhancing its role in business. These include video, collaboration systems, webinar platforms and specialized hardware that can work together to transform a conference room into a high-tech teleconference or huddle room or an auditorium into a videoconference and online presentation hub.
As wireless connectivity technologies such as 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and others become increasingly available, adaptable, and capable, so will the wearable technologies that leverage them. Some of the things we may soon be able to do with this technology when merged with VoIP include the following:
- Do away with earphones and visible microphones. With embedded electronics in earrings, our clothing, or even adhesive patches that can be placed behind the ear, we will be able to hear and be heard online without additional hardware.
- Communicate with others holographically via our smartwatches or mobile devices. Holographic technologies that use high-speed connectivity and miniaturized holographic projectors will allow us to see a more lifelike image of the remote person we are communicating with.
- Employ smart fabrics and clothing. These devices will be able to detect our movement, stance, and body language and will be able to create an avatar-like image that can be seen by those with whom we are connected. This information will augment our video feeds with additional AI capabilities, giving a richer communications experience.
- Enhance our sight. With the use of augmented and virtual reality headsets or even connected contact lenses, we can access additional information that is dynamically displayed as an overlay on our field of vision. In addition, such technology will let us communicate with the other person completely privately, without anyone else peeking over our shoulder at our screen.
- Improve and extend interaction. Multiple parties can "gather" in a virtual space, see each other, talk and even interact on many levels, enabling multi-channel communications beyond just voice.
The integration of VoIP technology with wearable tech has already opened up new possibilities for communications, and this trend is expected to continue. As wearable tech devices become more advanced and sophisticated and connectivity options and capabilities increase, we will see even more seamless integration of VoIP technology.
This will enable users to make and receive calls, send messages and perform other communication tasks innovatively.
With the potential for augmented and virtual reality, as well as intelligent accessories, jewelry, and clothing, the combination of VoIP and wearable tech holds a lot of promise for vastly improving our communications experiences.
You may also like: