Here at ARM we are passionate about wearable technology and are excited to be working right across the industry with the network of ARM partners to enable the next generation of wearable devices. A lot has happened in the wearable devices space during last few years with incredibly exciting landmark ARM-based devices forging the direction of this important new technology space.
Although the ARM partnership has achieved a lot, we also recognize that there is a lot more to follow. When we think of wearables today, we mostly think of the wrist. From wrist-based fitness bands to the most advanced smartwatches and health bands we have seen ‘the wrist’ establishing itself as the new frontier in wearable consumer devices. Already today we can wear devices that display notifications, count our steps, monitor our sleep, track our heart rate, analyze our perspiration and even monitor our UV exposure levels.
With wearables it is not only about what you are monitoring but also how you make use of that information. We pretty much all carry a smartphone around with us today that can do most things so why the need for a wearable device? Wearables by definition are worn on the body, and anything you wear becomes personal and connected with you. Things we wear generally perform two purposes i) they fulfill a function and ii) they are an extension of our personal identity. So when we look at the emerging wearable space we need to think in two ways i.e. ‘wearables as the service’ and ‘wearables as the statement’. Think about something you wear today in this context … let’s say your shoes. Your shoes provide a service i.e. they protect your feet, keep them warm and dry etc. If we only cared about the service then we would only have one pair of shoes… but most of us have many pairs of shoes and this is a critical point about wearables, they are also a personal statement because we wear them on our bodies and they reflect aspects of our character.
Unlike any other consumer product category, wearable technology crosses many boundaries and will not conform to a single form factor. When we think wearables we can imagine watches, fitness bands, shoes, hats, shirts, jackets, glasses, earbuds, gloves, sportswear, fashion wear – the list is endless. How technology integrates into our clothing as an extension of our personal identity is a fascinating prospect. How that technology then drives ‘wearables as the service’ is even more profound. From health monitoring, messaging, fitness, entertainment, social media, location services, mobile payments and beyond the potential for connected wearable devices is without limits.
So why join the conversation in the ARM Wearables Group? No one entity is going to solve all of the wearable device challenges. As a market, in order for wearables to succeed it will require collaboration that brings together multi-discipline thought leaders in areas such as connectivity, sensors, location based systems, security, cloud connectivity, mechanical design, textiles, materials technology, fashion design, digital content services etc etc. The uniqueness of the ARM Connected Community is the ability to connect industry thought leaders and share collective experiences. We are very excited to be launching the Wearable community and are looking forward to building great online collaboration.