The Wearable Revolution : Hashtag of the week

by Alexis Serneels

Last week, Google announced its #AndroidWear project, creating an earthquake in the mobile world. Some companies are showing more and more interest towards smartwatches and so does the consumers.

With this new project, it seems that smartwatches are going to be quicker on our wrists than we expected. And it's probably not going to be the only device we're going to wear this year. Let's make a round of everything we heard about wearables these days.

Breaking news: Google Unveils #AndroidWear Smartwatch OS— PCMag (@PCMag) March 18, 2014

The year of wearable 2014 is likely to become the year of wearables. Constructors are more and more interested in building apps and devices designed to be wore. The goal is to make technology more intimate and to put it at the disposal of our well-being and health. Or as Genevieve Bell put it:

"Personal computing is being re-defined. As the technology around us became a part of who we are. This is the wearable revolution. We put technology on our bodies to make ourselves better. To find a way to kind of move through the world and extend ourselves." Source

The first device that comes to mind and that you probably already all know is Google Glass. But there are a lot more objects of our daily-life that are going to get smarter to take care of us:  smartwatches, refrigerators, cars, fitness bands, smart clothes and virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and Sony's recently unveiled Morpheus.

Smartwatches are coming

A couple of years ago, smartwatches were still a young idea, only dreamed by tech lovers. Then in May 2012 a little company called Pebble came across and launched a Kickstarter campaign that received more than $10 millions from 68,929 donators. It was more a gadget than an useful device you could replace your smartphone with. But this enthusiast caught big companies' attention and today smartwatches are definitely the new road to success and the market that tech and mobile companies must get on.

3 significant #smartwatch platforms: #Pebble, #Tizen, #AndroidWear #wearables #digitalhealth — Paul Sonnier (@Paul_Sonnier) March 24, 2014

With big players like Google, Motorola, LG and Samsung in the game, it's going to be hard for underdogs like Pebble to stay competitive as John Biggs explained it on TechCrunch:

Wearables was a niche that needed disruption but, in the end, will be further disrupted by the biggest players in the market. The company that won the battle will lose the war.

Pebble still has a little advance on his competitors thanks to its app store, but for how long? With Android Wear, the developers now have access to something they've already played with and constructors don't have to develop their own OS in order to put a product on the market anymore. No doubt it's going to increase the speed of wearable tech development and that we'll have to keep an eye on this.

Oculus Rift vs Morpheus

The other futuristic dream that will soon become reality is the ability to dive into video games thanks to virtual reality headsets. The first on the market was Oculus Rift, also funded on Kickstarter two years ago. Today they're already releasing their second development kit.

VIDEO: I watched @GameOfThrones' Arya & Brienne yell in cages using Oculus Rift #GoT #MashSXSW — Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) March 8, 2014

But Oculus is not the only company that promise better immersion to gamers, Sony recently revealed their own VR headset project called Morpheus.

#Morpheus: good rez, comfortable, low latency, wide range position tracking , hand tracking 2b improved, some blur— Sebastien 'Cb' Kuntz (@Cb_VRGeek) March 19, 2014

 VR headsets are not only gamer gadgets, they've also been used for some strange experiences that showed how our brains can easily adapt (or be fooled?) to unusual situation.It's hard to make a brief summary of all these wearable technologies. Firstly, because they're so young. Secondly, because wearable is trying to conquer all the aspects of our lives. The consequence is that there is a whole bunch of gadgets with all kind of purpose and it's difficult to predict which ones are going to succeed or won't.Needless to say that we believe that VR technology and smartwatches are on the right way and will most certainly be part of our everyday lives in a few years.

That's it for this episode of our Hashtag of the week.

Comment below if you have something to share with us about wearable, if you know some cool project I didn't mention here of simply if you want to get in touch with us! You can also follow us on Twitter!