Wearable technology enters business mainstream

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By Louise Taylor

The inexorable rise of mobile computing and connectivity over the past decade has delivered us increasingly powerful smart devices and, for many, portable laptops, smartphones and tablets have now become indispensable.

Recently, the move towards ‘ubiquitous computing’ has led to the development of a new technology category: wearable technology — i.e. devices worn on or even inside the body. Most of these devices are ‘smart’, too, combining computing power and connectivity with cloud computing for data storage and handling, and often operate in partnership with a smartphone, which acts as the internet hub for the device.

Google Glass is arguably the most well-known example of wearable technology to date. This prototype ‘smartglass’ device can take videos or photos and project information from the internet into the right eye of the wearer via a tiny display. As well as smartglasses, the rapidly increasing number of wearable devices on the market or in development includes fitness and health monitoring devices — such as Fitbug and Nike Fuelband — wearable cameras, smartwatches and smartclothing. And along with these consumer devices, there are industrial, medical and military wearables…

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