What is Wearable Technology?


Wearable technology technology refers to computer-based devices that can be worn by users, taking the form of an accessory such as jewelry, eyewear, or even actual items of clothing such as shoes or a jacket. The benefit of wearable technology is that it can conveniently integrate tools that track sleep, movement, location, and social media interactions, or, in the case of Oculus Rift and similar gear, it can enable virtual reality. There are even new classes of devices that are seamlessly integrated with a user’s everyday life and movements. Over the couple years, Google Glass has been one of the most heavily discussed wearables, enabling users to see information about their surroundings displayed in front of them. Smartwatches from Apple, Samsung, Sony, and Pebble are already allowing users to check emails and perform other productive tasks through a tiny interface. Thanks to the quantified self movement, today’s wearables not only track where a person goes, what they do, and how much time they spend doing it, but now what their aspirations are and when those can be accomplished.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Wearables create an even more mainstreamed line of communication to individuals and, in the case of the virtual reality gear, I think these devices can provide a key teaching tool to youth about farming, safety hazards and many other opportunities. - amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • I think wearable technology could be very useful within the Health and Nutrition areas of focus. The challenge of course is that not everyone has wearable technology and may not be able to afford it. However, it would be interesting to do some research in this area in terms of if those that tracked their fitness using wearable technology changed their behaviors to a greater degree that those without wearable technology.- heyboerg heyboerg Jun 3, 2016
  • Implications ranging from 4-H camp policies and healthy lifestyle initiatives to the fight for/against control over the data it produces. - andersonb andersonb Jun 4, 2016
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(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • I think it is key to note these technologies are continually being advanced to create diagnostic capabilities and within the next 5-10 years I believe they will be able to make impacts on individual health.- amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • I believe the most relevant parts of this (and many other types of) technology will be found in its impact on personal individual connections and communication with others. Wearable technology has the potential for enormous impact in these areas. - andersonb andersonb Jun 4, 2016
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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on higher education?

  • The data collected by these devices is going to create a whole new plethora of information that will be analyzed and available for interpretations and discussions by higher ed. - amy.dronberger amy.dronberger Jun 1, 2016
  • Wearable technology could be used with "staying healthy" initiatives for faculty and students. - heyboerg heyboerg Jun 3, 2016
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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