Wearables and IoT: applications and potential risks

wearables technology and IoT

Wearables have evolved thanks to IoT, they are easy to use, to set up for collecting information, and to connect with different devices. Let’s see in this article some of its applications, examples of devices in the market, and privacy and security aspects to consider.

Table of contents

What are wearables?
Why do wearables collect the human body’s vitals?
Wearable applications and examples
Smartwatches
Smartbands
Smartclothes
Smartglasses
Wearables privacy and security

 

What are wearables?


They are any device that you can attach to your clothes or wear as an accessory. They are a result of product development, sometimes done by companies with their own engineering team, or because they get outsourced product development services.

The following list may sound weird, but the first watches with calculators, walkman, bluetooth headsets, or Ipods were wearables; they were really popular in their time. However, they evolved thanks to IoT. This technology gives them a new name, smart wearables, since now they collect information such as: heart rate, burned calories, blood pressure, time spent exercising, steps walked, among others.

Why do wearables collect the human body’s vitals?


Wearables technology that use IoT looks forward to giving personal information to the user. The more data the person collects in his smartphone, the better he feels about its health; it is a way to keep control of physical state (and maybe avoid going to the doctor).

We are immersed in an era where information is valuable. People love wearables because they provide useful data, and the companies know that too. That’s why they keep producing more devices with new IoT features.

Wearable applications and examples


Wearables and IoT combined produce outstanding results. They include sensors, chips, and all types of technology. Wearables work along with apps, which process the information they collect. Users can use wearables for fitness, keep control of health, and manage daily activities.

We want to give you some wearables examples that are already on the market or in their first steps:

Smartwatches

 

wearables tech that include IoT - smartwatch
Apple watch -series 7

These devices are among the best selling wearables. They allow you to send messages, manage your emails and even make phone calls. You can find brands in the market such as: Samsung, Apple, Huawei.

If you wear a smartwatch, you avoid taking the phone out of your pocket whenever you need to check a message or your schedule. People love this because the smartwatch saves time; only check your wrist and you can continue working.

Smartbands

 

smartband wearables
Samsung – Galaxy fit


These devices monitor your physical activity, pulse, blood pressure, breathing patterns. Smartbands are considered fitness wearables. There are other models that allow you to measure the sugar levels in the blood, and your body temperature.

There could be different applications for this device in the fitness area. Imagine for example having a headband that you can put on your head and broadcast live your exercise routine to your followers on social media. Headbands and smartbands could also work for prevention of accidents at the office, where there are high risks for the employees.

Smartclothes

 

example of smartclothes - wearables
Enflux Smart Clothing


Wearable clothing focus mainly on monitoring your physical activity. For example, muscle performance of the user. This data can be gathered daily, weekly, and monthly.

The product shown above is from a company called Enflux, it brings motion sensors, bluetooth features, it is anti odor, it can measure O2 levels in the body of the person wearing the smart clothing, and it also brings a heart rate monitor.

Smartglasses

 

smartglasses are wearables with IoT features
Xiaomi smartglasses


These products are really new in the wearables market. Among the uses you can find for this device, imagine having information shown in your lens on burned calories, heart rate, navigation in real time (maps orientation), and how long you have been exercising.

Some developers have added camera lenses to the smartglasses, to give the person the chance to take pictures or record videos. Wearable glasses also may include augmented reality functions, this enhances the experience of the user with the products he interacts with during the day.

What devices could show up in the future? The wearables market continues growing, and with that, the amount of possibilities to launch new and innovative products that can measure more useful information for people. According to Business wire, the smart IoT wearables are expected to reach $30.88 billion in 2025.

Wearables privacy and security


Smart wearables provide interesting data to each user, however, it is important to consider these devices are a third-party vendor, which opens the door to possible data breach.

IoT wearables are great, but you also need to consider how sensitive is the information they collect from you. Consider the following aspects around wearables privacy and security:

1. Capturing photos, videos, and audio


Wearables are small, easy to hide and to use. Any person could enter a company, take pictures, record videos or audios of secret meetings with a smartwatch or smartglasses. Then, that person could sell that information to the competition or use it to blackmail.

That’s one of the reasons Google decided to change the target of their Google glass from any consumer to only companies. Many stores were concerned about their privacy and that of customers.

Google continues developing this wearable, but they only sell it to companies for internal use.

2. Lack of encryption


Wearables need to connect quickly and with ease to different devices, making them neglect basic security standards. Besides, the information they collect is stored on the provider’s cloud servers. Do you think this information is properly encrypted?

Other people could see that information and use it for their own benefits.

3. Easy access to personal information


Companies that produce wearables need to consider the aspects mentioned above, since the wearables market could be affected in the near future if there are security breaches of personal information.

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