Wearable technology is certainly “in” right now. Samsung has produced a watch that works with their ever popular Galaxy series phones, Sony continues to improve on their Android smartwatch design, and every day rumors leak about an apple “iWatch.” The buck doesn’t stop there though. Google Glass is on its way to consumers, making many techies giddy with excitement. Wearable technology is certainly all the rage, but is it really a “new thing?”
Companies have been pushing wearable technology for years, some more successfully than others. A prime example is Casio with their high tech watches. The Casio CD-40 Databank watch released in 1983, and allowed the storage of phone numbers and addresses , and also could be used as a calculator. It certainly was the first “Smartwatch.”
Companies like Plantronics have been developing wearable technology since 1961. Back in the early 1960’s, headsets for pilots and air traffic controllers were so bulky and cumbersome, they typically chose to use the handheld microphones. There was a great need for a lightweight headset that would be comfortable and effective. This is when pilots Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin developed the MS-50, a lightweight headset based on hearing aid technology. After the designed was approved, they marketed and sold the item in 1962. Plantronics has been development headsets for NASA, the Federal Aviation Agency, and other aerospace programs ever since. Remember the words, “one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind”? Those came over a Plantronics headset.
So what is new about wearable technology that makes it so exciting? Why is it that if I pick up any tech magazine I will find an article depicting some sort of wearable tech? It is because we are creatures of change. We have been stagnant too long. We don’t want to have to pull out our phones to answer a call. We don’t want to have to go to our offices to see our email. We don’t want to have to end a conference call just because we are getting in the car. Some may call this lazy, others call it innovative. I call it advancement. Our growing technology is allowing us to make our jobs, our tasks, and our lives easier. I think we will continue to see growth from the wearable tech market. It has just started to grow and will only get bigger.