It’s hard to imagine that just a few years ago we carried with us items such as the notebook, boom boxes, clunky cameras, maps, books, and heavy laptops. Technology has changed immensely and has transformed the way we function today. While we continue to evolve, it’s no secret what’s next on the radar of our ever-changing world. Smart watches, health monitors, pedometers, trackers, virtual reality headsets, Google Glass, and smart rings, such as the NFC ring. 2015 is the year of wearable technology. All these new gadgets are emerging and changing once again the way we communicate and go about our daily lives.
Wearable technology has made its debut in communications, entertainment, education, health care, and navigation. It’s predicted that the wearable technology business will boom from $20 billion in 2015 to $70 billion by 2025. While in the past fitness bands and smart watches have been present, they’ve been revived with fashion in mind—and the masses have noticed. Apple, with the release of its Apple Watch this year, has been the one to really light a fire under other competitors. We can expect competition to skyrocket—which benefits the consumer by giving us more choice and pricing options.
Companies such as Disney have even upped the ante by joining the wristband bandwagon. Disney has introduced their MagicBands, which are tech savvy wristbands which are available to every guest visiting the Magic Kingdom. Now families are able to make a purchase with a flick of their wrist because the band is linked to the user’s credit card. These MagicBands have the ability to make restaurant and meal reservations, gain access to rides, while also tracking your exact location in the park.
While Apple and Samsung have been perfecting their wearable goodies, fitness trackers and monitors are now becoming more high-tech and more readily available as prices drop. It’s a huge leap for the healthcare industry, not only in the means of preventative care for the population but also having correct and accessible data in real-time and assisting physicians. The real breakthrough is the fact that wearable technology in fashion is helping people monitor their own health to prevent greater risks. Everything from heart rate, to blood pressure can be managed by gadgets out on the market provided by Sony, LG, and Garmin devices. Applications specific to help monitor better eating habits and exercise practices are also helping out.
Wearable technology engages individuals to care about their own health, while providing data collection. Health data and analytics can be collected and used to determine and improve health altogether. By studying patterns and real-time reporting we can better predict and be made more aware of health risks and disease.
As wearable gadgets continue to gain popularity, it’s only a matter of time before they infiltrate the world of how we market directly to the consumer, as well as applications in the retail and payments industries. With the use of wearable technology, marketers will have a more complete customer profile. Retailers will be able to do a better job of directly impacting the customer experience, since more precise data patterns can be collected through constant use of their wearable device.
Payments will also become something that is performed instantaneously with wearable technology. In the near future, wearables such as smart watches and smart rings are likely to be an another avenue where we can make contactless payments like mobile wallets. Of course, wearable payments security will be a significant issue that needs to be addressed moving forward.
Alpha Card Services is always on the forefront of the latest and most innovative payments technology. We’re looking forward to becoming part of the evolution of wearable technology. Contact us if you have more questions about how our payments technology can assist business owners become more efficient.