The wearables market is estimated to be worth $25 billion by 2021. Despite its relatively young age, the wearable device industry has already seen a great deal of evolution and change. In this blog post, we'll take a look at the history of wearable devices and how they've changed over the years. From early fitness trackers to the latest smartwatches, there's been a lot of innovation in this space. We'll also discuss where the wearable device industry is headed in the future and what new technologies we can expect to see. So whether you're an investor, entrepreneur, or simply interested in innovation, read on to learn more about the fascinating world of wearables!
The wearable device has come a long way since its inception over 50 years ago.
In the last 50 years, investors and entrepreneurs alike have pushed forward with innovation in wearable technology. What was once limited to clunky and uninspiring iterations has now exploded into a market reflecting fashionable designs and featuring powerful embedded technology. The growth of smartwatches, fitness tracking devices, and more advanced products demonstrate how far wearable devices have come. People now benefit from revolutionary technology that can be adjusted to fit their lifestyles from anywhere in the world. Consumer demand continues to drive development of devices that are faster, smarter, and able to do more – this is just the beginning of what is possible in wearable technology.
According to Giordano da Rivalto, the earliest “smartglass” was commissioned by Roman Emperor Nero. The glasses were made of a metal frame and emerald lens, which reportedly helped in improving Nero’s eyesight during fights from 54 AD to 68 AD.
In 17th-century China, the oldest smart ring was designed with the smallest abacus you’ll ever see.
In 1884 New York, Cute Circuit’s Electric Girls showed off one of the first applications of wearables in the fashion industry. Electric lights were embedded on a group of ballerinas’ clothing.
In 1907 Germany, Julius Neubronner invented the first GoPro-looking device and the sub-niche Pigeon Photography. He fitted several pigeons with an aluminum breast harness, which holds a miniature camera with timer mechanism that captures a single aerial-view photo.
By the early 1960s, the term wearable tech has not been coined yet, but has been applied in countless inventions. Two MIT professors, Edward Thorp and Claude Shannon, designed, constructed, and tested the world’s first wearable computer that could predict the outcome of roulette. The device consisted of two main parts – a timing device concealed in a shoe, and a cigarette pack.
Thorp and Shannon were so successful that their winning bets increased to 44% and led to Nevada passing a law that prohibited similar machines in 1985.Also in the 60s, the oldest HUD (head-up display) and virtual reality wearable devices were created by one person.
The first wearable devices were created in the 1960s and were used for medical purposes.
The creation of the first wearable devices in the 1960s marked a revolutionary moment in human history, bringing investors, entrepreneurs and innovators together to create technology that could improve medical conditions. These devices, while simple by today's standards, provided a building block for future developments in wearable technology that we now use to monitor our health fitness levels and daily activity. Wearable devices are no longer limited to medical use and investors are seeing a bright future as entrepreneurs continue to create new ways to simplify our lives through innovation.
In 1960, Cinematographer Morton Heilig invented a bulky chest-worn device called stereophonic television Head-Mounted Display (HMD), which combined his love for cinema with virtual reality. Two years later, he patented the VR simulator 4DX-like gadget he called “Sensorama Simulator” that consists of a vibrating seat, stereo speakers, handlebars, special effects like air blower, and a headset that generates certain odors to match the film’s scene.
In the 1970s, the first commercialized wearable device was created - the calculator watch.
In the 1970s, investors and entrepreneurs alike were inspired to innovate with the emergence of the calculator watch. This was the first commercialized wearable device which not only made calculating easier and more accessible but also revolutionized monitoring activities such as heart rate and sleep cycles. The calculator watch bears a positive legacy of inspiring investors, entrepreneurs and consumers alike to pioneer groundbreaking ideas within their industries.
In the last quarter of 1975, Pulsar sold 100 limited edition ‘wristwatch calculators,’ which were made with 18-karat solid gold and priced $3,950 a pop.
In July 1979, Sony released the brand’s historical ‘Walkman,’ its first portable cassette-tape player.
Since then, there have been many different types of wearable devices created for various purposes, including fitness tracking, navigation, and communication.
Over the years, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators have made great strides with wearable technology. From fitness tracking to navigation to communication, we are now able to enjoy products that make our lives easier and more connected than ever before. Many of these products challenge the status quo by providing new and unique ways for people to engage in tasks that would have been unimaginable in the past. Thanks to a constantly evolving array of wearable devices, we can continue to make advances in these areas of our lives and beyond.
A high school student in the early 80s by the name of Steve Mann developed the first backpack computer with a camera viewfinder CRT equipped on the headset. Mann would go on to invent and pioneer many wearable tech related to photography, such as the first wearable wireless webcam in 1994.
The X-games have a lot to thank mountain biker Mark Schulze, who installed a videocam to his helmet that led to the 1988 instructional videotape entitled “The Great Mountain Biking Video,” ahead of many GoPro enthusiasts all over YouTube.
The future of wearable technology is looking very promising, with new developments such as augmented reality and virtual reality glasses being developed.
Investors and entrepreneurs are looking at wearable technology as an area with great potential for growth. From augmented reality glasses to intelligent health monitors, advances in the sector are creating endless possibilities for innovation. The integration of data science and AI into wearable products is also increasing, leading to platforms that can offer personalized support. It is likely that the future of wearable technology will bring us closer to a connected world, and investors and entrepreneurs should take note of its potential.
From 2000 onwards, many wearable tech has popped up, from Bluetooth headsets to the 100% digital pacemaker Vitatron C-Series. The boom in fitness wearables can be traced back to Nike and Apple’s collaboration of a fitness-tracking iPod, which is the inspiration behind FitBit’s first wearable fitness gadget. By 2012, one of the most popular Kickstarter success stories went to The Pebble customizable smartwatch after the founders made over $10 million.
When Google Glass was revealed in 2013, the rest was history. Every brand in mobile phones, fitness, IT, sports, entertainment, and other industries wanted to release a wearable device from then on, which is why 2014 was dubbed the “Year of the Wearable.”
The evolution of the wearable device started with a simple pedometer and then evolved into a complex smartwatch. With this evolution, the need for charging has become an issue. According to statistics, users spend about $23 per year on power banks and cables for their devices. As a solution, many devices are equipped with a built-in battery, which means that the user can charge it without having to carry around a power bank. Almost all wearables have this feature; however, the charging time is still an issue.
Wearable technology has come a long way since its inception over 50 years ago. The first wearable devices were created in the 1960s and were used for medical purposes. In the 1970s, the first commercialized wearable device was created - the calculator watch. Since then, there have been many different types of wearable devices created for various purposes, including fitness tracking, navigation, and communication. The future of wearable technology is looking very promising, with new developments such as augmented reality and virtual reality glasses being developed.