Fitness TrackerFollowing on from my blog post outlining an A-Z of Digital, here is “W is for Wearables”.

Whether a Smart Watch or Fitness Tracker type our wrists now contain one of the most popular wearbles and the one that can easily be associated with the term “Wearable”.

The field of wearables is expanding with more ways to attach sensors and record data about our daily lives. This typically covers anything that you can wear or attach to your body and in the main interfaces with a mobile to be the central data point, although many devices operate separately and can transmit data themselves.

Here are some of the types of wearables available and what they can contain:


From baseball caps to hard hats, wearables are being incorporated into hats to display or capture information about the wearer or local environment.

  • Display Screens to display messages or logos
  • Sensors to monitor heat loss
  • Sensors to monitor the local environment
  • Beacons to show location of the wearer in working zones
  • Knock sensors to detect when a hard hat is knocked against an item


Headsets and Glasses provide visionables that can be worn across the eyes to display information to the user of the device. These typically display information and data in one for of reality from a small computing device within the wearable, mobile device or large fixed computer.

  • Virtual Reality
  • Augmented Reality
  • Mixed Reality
  • OLED/LCD Screens


Typically we have always put things over or just inside our ears to hear things such as headphones and headsets. Bone conducting headphones change this by placing a conductor along side the ear and send the sounds to the inner ear through the bones around the ear. This still allows you to hear the environment around you whilst still listening to a music or a phone call.


As mentioned above wrists are the most popular place to use a wearble. Taking the form of a smart watch or fitness tracker

  • GPS to provide location
  • Sensors to monitor fitness, activity and movement
  • Sensors to monitor body stats – heartbeat, temperature, sleep patterns
  • Connection to other devices such as mobile phones


Electro conductive threads are being woven in to clothing to provide an ability to power small sensors and devices also sewn or attached to the garment.

  • Ability to power devices through clothes
  • Display Screens to display messages or logos
  • Sensors to monitor heat loss
  • Sensors to monitor the local environment
  • GPS to provide location
  • Sensors to monitor fitness and movement
  • Energy harvesting to power devices


Smart Shoes can provide power to devices though energy harvesting devices and use sensors providing tracking of movement.

  • Energy harvesting to power devices
  • Sensors to monitor fitness and movement

The growth in the wearable market and personal data is vast and will bring changes in the way we use and think about wearables. With wearables collecting data about our activities, industries and businesses are looking at how they can use these. For example:

  • Healthcare – monitoring patients through wearables and help gather data for diagnosis
  • Fitness – to help maintain our level of fitness and tell us when we are doing well against set goals
  • Insurance – using wearbles as a method to bring down insurance premiums of health and life insurance depending on how active you are

Further Reading