Wearable technologies are increasingly becoming a part of our lives. Usually worn on or near the body or occasionally inserted in it, many wearables aim to improve one’s health. Today these devices include digitally connected jewellery such as smart bracelets and watches, contact lenses, eyeglasses that connect to the internet, and hearing aids, fabrics, and tattoos that can conduct electricity or redefine your skin. Most rely on IEC international standards to operate reliably and safely.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a bracelet was launched that warns consumers when they need to cover up, add sun cream, or wear sunglasses. Also unveiled was a babygrow that has a sensor attached and enables parents to monitor their baby’s breathing, temperature, position, and sleep pattern on their mobile phones through a smartphone app.
IEC standards ensure reliability and connectivity
The fitness and wellness sector is one of the biggest adopters of wearables. Some lightweight devices using electronic sensors have been developed to track blows to the head in certain sports and to alert if a potentially dangerous impact to the head occurs.
Although personal, most of these devices enable users to connect to a website or smart phone app, communicate with communities, or access information sharing functions. Data can be viewed and managed on users’ mobile phones or computers. For many specialists, a key feature of such wearables is the adoption of Bluetooth 4.0 as a wireless connectivity standard because it uses less power than other methods and pairs with devices easily.
In a rapidly evolving personal mobile wearables market that demands high reliability, small sensors, microelectromechanical devices, and highly integrated semiconductor devices, more international standards will be needed that continue to incorporate environmentally sound practices.
Summarised from IEC's e-tech.