What are Wearables?

Wearable devices fit on the outside of the body and can be worn like clothing. Commercial examples like smart watches have already made an impact on the market and coming products have the potential to dramatically change our understanding of health and wellbeing. Imagine a set of stretchable devices that conform to the body and provide health data that are easily viewable and understandable to the wearer. This information can be used to guide behaviour, track athletic progress, and warn of potential health problems.

Enabling technologies such as 5G wireless and artificial intelligence can unleash the power of health data to put individuals in charge. By rapidly collecting data through soft sensors on the body and interpreting the data with advanced software, valuable insights can be provided to users in real-time. In addition to sensing applications, new actuation and energy-harvesting strategies open the door to wearables that support movement, balance and active involvement. This is important for those who want to avoid injury, reduce the burden of extreme exercise (e.g., hiking a mountain) or rehabilitate after injury.