Does today’s technology ever make you feel like you’re living in the future?
It’s true that the Internet has revolutionized the way we do a lot of things. From the comfort of your own home, you can buy groceries, manage your money without ever setting foot inside a bank, and talk to family and friends around the world instantly.
But shopping for groceries and banking aren’t all that exciting or revolutionary. What ever happened to everything else we were promised: the flying cars, personal jet packs, bionic limbs, and moon colonies?
Well, those things are still a bit farther off on the horizon than we thought, but the wearable technology that’s in the works might give you a bit of that living-in-the-future feeling.
Imagine logging in to your bank account with your heart rhythm, wearing smart socks that act as your personal digital running coach, or being alerted of new texts and emails by your jewelry?
It may not be as futuristic as a flying car or jetpack, but it still feels like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.
And this kind of wearable technology could once again revolutionize the way we live our lives.
Instead of just passively consuming information online, websites will be able to use the data from your wearable technology to create interactive websites tailored to you. We’ll be able to do things online that those vintage futurologists never could have predicted. In just 10 years, some experts predict we’ll all be using wearable technology to closely monitor our health, pay at the checkout with our jewelry, and maybe even telepathically share videos with our friends.
And who needs a flying car, anyway, if you have an Android smart car?
What does all this mean for the future of the web, and how can websites start adapting now to the inevitable trend? Check out the tips below.
How Wearable Technology Will Change the Internet
Wearable technology is the future – allowing for technology and data sharing to weave itself seamlessly into our everyday lives.
Here’s how wearable tech will revolutionize the internet.
What Is Wearable Technology?
Wearable technology refers to clothing or accessories that incorporate computer and electronic technologies.
- This baseball cap has a camera fixed to the peak to record data, meetings, and places.
- Google’s glasses have interactive lenses, voice command control, smartphone screen display, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
LG HRM Earphone
- These earphones provide real-time heart monitoring, and track metabolic rate and oxygen consumption.
- This smart watch is a fully-fledged wrist communicator, with web, email, fitness tracking, messaging, and video calls.
Myo Gesture Control Armband
- With this armband you can remotely control computer, video, games and other digital objects. It responds to electricity generated in forearm and finger muscles.
- This ring alerts you to incoming and outgoing calls, SMS and emails. It can also locate your phone.
- Nymi replaces passwords on smart devices by using your unique cardiac rhythm to unlock your phone and access Wi-Fi.
Sensoria Fitness Socks
- This socks and anklet combo tracks steps, speed, calories and altitude, and may also help prevent sporting injuries by providing information on foot-landing technique, weight distribution and track cadence.
A New Frontier of User Data
Wearable tech will open new possibilities for the internet and web design, by dramatically increasing the amount of user data that is readily available for them to work with:
- Pre Wearable
- Readily Available Data on the Internet
- Post Wearable
- Physical Data
- Live Video
Why Should Web Designers Care?
83% of industry experts believe wearable technology will see huge growth take off in the next 10 years, according to a recent report by Pew Research Center Internet Project
By 2025, wearable tech will be the norm –people will wear devices connected to the internet, transmitting data on their physical activities and allowing them to monitor others.
Users will expect websites to be accessible from a range of platforms.
But what will need to change?
- Resolution and Readability Will Be Vital Concerns
- Wearable devices will be much smaller than desktops and smart devices, so fonts must be large enough for users to read.
- Users are also more likely to be reading on the move and will want to be able to read at a glance, particularly for tech like Rufus Cuff.
- Designs Will Need to be Optimized
- Designs need to fit the device – research by Restive Labs found only 3% of Fortune 1000 websites are responsive and fast when accessed from mobile devices.
- For Google Glass users, they need to be quickly accessible, and fit the 640×360 resolution.
- Instant Information
- The user needs to access the relevant information from the website quickly and easily.
- Smart watches like Rufus Cuff need to be able to access information with minimal effort or complication.
- Android Reigns Supreme
- Google is getting ahead of the trend by providing developers with software development kits for Android.
- This means that Android might become the standard OS for wearable tech, which web designers to cater for.
- Intuitive design
- Designers need to understand why users are on the site and make sure they can access what they came on the site for.
- Users are likely to be on the move and less patient than other users, so designers need to anticipate what users are looking for.
- Designers Need to Incorporate Interactive Elements
- Users of wearable technology want to engage with the website in a new, ‘virtual’ way, using as many senses as possible, i.e. interactive sensory tech like Myo and Sensoria
- Stop Incorporating Pop-Ups
- It is simply too difficult for users to get rid of them for them to work on a wearable tech device, particularly with Google Glass.
Who Knows What the Future Holds?
With the new information and user data that wearable tech places in the hands of web designers, there is no way of predicting how the internet and web design will evolve.
It will further the spread of internet algorithms into our daily lives, with smarter activity recognition logging our hobbies and interests, and providing a complete picture of the user and their lifestyle.
Wearable technology is set to go mainstream in the next decade, moving us towards achieving an empirical ‘Internet of things’. For web designers, this can only mean one thing: adapt or perish.
- How Wearable Technology Will Impact Web Design – webdesignledger.com
- Pew Research Internet Project – pewinternet.org
- Five Ways Wearable Tech Can Change Web Design – infospace.ischool.syr.edu
- Wearable technology 2014: a head-to-toe guide – thestar.com
- Getting To The Heart Of Fitness – lg.com
- Glass – google.com
- Put your heart into it – getnymi.com
- Rufus Cuff: Features – rufuslabs.com
- Myo – thalmic.com
- Sensoria® Fitness Socks – store.sensoriafitness.com
- Why Smartwatches, Glasses and Other Wearable Tech are No Gimmick – cio.com
- Google’s Sundar Pichai on Wearable Tech: ‘We’re Just Scratching the Surface’ – theguardian.com