It wasn’t long ago that personal computers were the height of technology. While significantly smaller than the industrial-sized mainframes of the past, modern desktop PCs are still bulky objects that take up a lot of space. Laptops and notebooks are considerably more portable, but even these are becoming a hassle for the on-the-go minimalist.
If you’re in that crowd, you might want to take a look at some of the latest in wearable technology.
Most popular wearable: Smartwatches
Smartwatches are quickly becoming the preferred option for those who want to enjoy the latest in IT without having to lug around a laptop computer. Industry analysts are predicting 18 percent growth in the smartwatch market by 2021. This amount of growth, according to the experts, is a result of increasing smartwatch functionality as well as lower prices across the board.
App developers are even starting to turn away from traditional smartphones in favor of smartwatches. Researchers with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT recently engineered a Samsung smartwatch with next-gen AI, effectively giving it the ability to provide social coaching to those who suffer from severe anxiety or Asperger syndrome.
Although the utility is currently limited to a very specific model of watch, the MIT team hopes to make the app available on other popular market options.
Kiwi, a new tech startup that specializes in AI, recently developed an app known as Cue. Designed to help users quit smoking, the tool provides a program that works over the course of time. By sensing exactly when and where you engage in the habit, Cue makes it possible to set your own goals and keep track of your progress toward quitting smoking for good.
Although the number of cigarette smokers in the U.S. is at an all-time low, the marriage of wearable tech and highly useful apps can help reduce these figures even further.
And smartwatch apps aren’t just for consumers. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport launched a trial to explore the usefulness of smartwatches within their day-to-day operations. They’ve outfitted their entire janitorial team with wearable tech that gives them instant alerts when an area needs cleaning or servicing.
The app being used, called TaskWatch, is coupled with Bluetooth sensors in the restrooms that count the overall number of guests. An automated alert is sent to the janitorial team after 150 customers have passed through. Janitors who respond to the alert will earn points that can supplement their income. The airport hopes for an official rollout of the technology in 2018.
Wearable tech and cloud computing
Enterprises across the globe are forecasted to spend over $140 billion on cloud services by 2019. Representing a massive increase from the $70 billion spent in 2015, the top cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are set to see substantial profits in the next few years.
As smartwatches and many other tech devices support cloud connectivity, we’re even seeing companies that are interested in moving entire data centers to the cloud. Not only would this make it easier for consumers to integrate wearable tech data into infrastructure like the cloud and the Internet of Things, but cloud-based data centers would also make it easier to automatically collect, track, and collate enterprise data. The collected data could be used to ensure the performance of individual staff members or entire teams, forecast timelines for future projects, and reward achievements to top-performing employees.
But there are some considerations to make before investing in the cloud, either as a business or an individual. With three different cloud platforms to choose from, including private, public, and shared options, it’s not always easy to find the one that best meets your needs.
Private cloud frameworks are often best suited for large-scale corporations and global enterprises. As the name implies, the files stored within the cloud are viewable only by you. The public cloud lives up to its label by making all of your files available to anybody on the cloud. Shared cloud servers let you control who has access to your data.
You’ll also need to pick a cloud service provider. As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud are among the most popular options for enterprises and corporations. Services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Mega are included among the most popular providers for personal cloud storage.
The future of wearable tech
Nobody can deny the progress that mobile technology has made, and it’s done so in a remarkably short amount of time. With smartwatches among the most popular options in wearable tech, other devices, including smart eyeglasses, are just on the horizon. Exactly what we’ll see next in the form of wearable IT is anybody’s guess, but the innovation is certainly here to stay.
Kayla Matthews is a technology and energy IT writer whose work has appeared on Motherboard, MakeUseOf and Triple Pundit.