Since the year 2000, wearable technology has been a hot topic at every venture capitalist and high tech companies case studies.
14 years later, the technology is just as hype as before. It has reached the core roots in most retail areas: Apparel, medical, fashion and GPS.
Perhaps we forget the essence of this technology and it's capability of reaching out to the ones who need it the most: Impaired patients.
Professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts have been utilizing this top of the edge technology to measure heart rate, heart rate variability ,recovery rates and EMG, that results in a superior performance. This study is absolutely important for professional leagues and teams worldwide, however, it is also important to recognize and take action in our role in society.
One invention worth mentioning is The assistive scarf, developed by industrial design students Mayo Nissen, Filippo Cuttica and Li Bian at CIID, augments vision for the visually impaired.
The scarf is a high tech alternative to the traditional cane. Using ultrasonic sensors, it detects objects in the pathway similar to a cane. Additionally, it is designed with vibrating motors positioned near the neck to communicate proximity and direction of the obstacles.
Finally, the collaboration between scientists and textile engineers result into improving patients lives!
The capability and possibilities If "clothing, is an extension of the skin…Electric circuitry, [is] an extension of the central nervous system" ala Marshal McLuhan, then naturally wearable technology can be employed as an extension of our sensory system.