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2021 AFC General Discussion

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What Do Wearables Have In Common With The Branding World

Wearables have become increasingly popular over the past few years, but the basic idea is nothing new. For example, if you've ever worn a wristwatch, you've already used a simple kind of wearable. Today's wearables can actually connect with your existing devices, like computers and smartphones, which means they can do a lot of interesting things.

What do wearables have in common with the branding world

Safety wearables are devices that are designed to help you in situations where you feel threatened or in danger. They're sometimes disguised as jewelry so they can be used in a discreet way without letting a potential attacker know what the user is doing. Most are operated by a button that sends an alert to others, sounds a loud alarm, or both.

In addition, under support from French president Emmanuel Macron, Kering launched The Fashion Pact in 2019, a global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry (ready-to-wear, sport, lifestyle and luxury) along with suppliers and distributors, all committed to a common core of key environmental goals in three areas: stopping global warming, restoring biodiversity and protecting the oceans. To date, over 60 companies across 14 countries have signed the Pact and joined Kering in this mission.

Despite these purported advances in physiological monitoring capabilities, few published data exist to support the validity and reliability of such tracking. Due to the widespread use of these wearable-fitness tracking devices to promote health, fitness, and an overall active lifestyle, rigorous and transparent reporting of validation studies should be encouraged to improve precision, accuracy, and reliability, and to engender trust in the consumers who purchase and utilize such devices. To date, studies investigating the validity and reliability are sparse, with wide disparity in findings, likely due to a variety of reasons including differences in devices tested, study population, and experimental design. This review summarizes the available studies testing the validity and reliability of wearable-fitness devices, discusses several publicly available algorithms to estimate select physiological parameters, and presents current knowledge gaps and future directions for the wearable technology field to address. Specific metrics discussed below include \(\dot\textV\textO_2\) and \(\dot\textV\textO_\text2max\) estimation, EE estimation, step count estimation, HR and HR variability (HRV), which were all selected on the basis of being common measures used in applied physiology research and are commonly tracked by end-users of consumer-wearable devices. These metrics also have the most published research data available on their validity compared to gold standard laboratory or research methods of data collection. Additionally, more applied metrics, such as training load, stress, and sleep, are discussed as well. These variables are also measured in physiology research, although they are less common than the aforementioned metrics, and they have been selected for discussion because of their special interest to the lay population of end-users.

It should be clear that wearable activity trackers have advanced rapidly over the past decade and continue to feature new capabilities and metrics of interest to the end users. Improvements in sensors, engineering, algorithms, and incorporating some level of individual data (such as height, weight, activity/training level, etc.) have all expanded and enhanced the capabilities of these devices (Düking et al. 2018). Yet, for all the advances that have been made, significant gaps still exist in validity and reliability, particularly in real-world performance circumstances. Because of the variety in manufacturer models, algorithms, and even the advertised purpose of the wearable device, this topic is quite broad and factors, such as the relatively small number of studies and lack of transparency from the manufacturers make it difficult to draw rigorous scientific conclusions. Nevertheless, recent meta-analyses on specific metrics along with available validation studies provide some understanding of the validity and reliability of these devices. In reviewing the available data on measures, such as \(\dot\textV\textO_2\), EE, step count, and others, several themes emerge.

Wearable technologies are powerful tools for health and fitness and have become indispensable training tools for athletes of all levels. Yet, for all their merits, significant limitations exist, primarily related to the validity and reliability of the metrics these devices purport to measure. The rapid rate of development and deployment of new technologies, sensors, algorithms, and other components of these devices may lead athletes and other users to believe that these sophistications are highly accurate and valid, yet published data suggest this may be the case in limited circumstances, primarily at rest and during low-intensity activity. These limitations make it difficult to be confident in metrics the end-user is seeing from these devices and challenging for the practitioner to interpret the meaning of the data generated by these devices. Improving transparency in development and validation of these metrics, along with better tailoring to individuals should increase the validity and reliability of these devices. While it is acknowledged that no technology or device performs perfectly under all circumstances, the breakdown in performance of many wearable devices in certain real-world settings begs the question, are they more advanced technology or advanced marketing to the end user? Scientists and practitioners alike would do well to remember that good science is often not good marketing; and conversely (and perhaps more importantly), good marketing is not always good science.

In business, wearable technology helps managers easily supervise employees by knowing their locations and what they are currently doing. Employees working in a warehouse also have increased safety when working around chemicals or lifting something. Smart helmets are employee safety wearables that have vibration sensors that can alert employees of possible danger in their environment.[38]

Virtual reality headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Google Daydream View aim to create a more immersive media experience by either simulating a first-person experience or displaying the media in the user's full field of vision. Television, films, video games, and educational simulators have been developed for these devices to be used by working professionals and consumers. In a 2014 expo, Ed Tang of Avegant presented his "Smart Headphones". These headphones use Virtual Retinal Display to enhance the experience of the Oculus Rift.[93] Some augmented reality devices fall under the category of wearables. Augmented reality glasses are currently in development by several corporations.[94] Snap Inc.'s Spectacles are sunglasses that record video from the user's point of view and pair with a phone to post videos on Snapchat.[95] Microsoft has also delved into this business, releasing Augmented Reality glasses, HoloLens, in 2017. The device explores using digital holography, or holograms, to give the user a first hand experience of Augmented Reality.[96] These wearable headsets are used in many different fields including the military.

Another example of this can be seen with Atari's headphone speakers. Atari and Audiowear are developing a face cap with built in speakers. The cap will feature speakers built into the underside of the brim, and will have Bluetooth capabilities.[98] Jabra has released earbuds,[99] in 2018, that cancel the noise around the user and can toggle a setting called "hearthrough." This setting takes the sound around the user through the microphone and sends it to the user. This gives the user an augmented sound while they commute so they will be able to hear their surroundings while listening to their favorite music. Many other devices can be considered entertainment wearables and need only be devices worn by the user to experience media.

Fashionable wearables are "designed garments and accessories that combines aesthetics and style with functional technology."[106] Garments are the interface to the exterior mediated through digital technology. It allows endless possibilities for the dynamic customization of apparel. All clothes have social, psychological and physical functions. However, with the use of technology these functions can be amplified. There are some wearables that are called E-textiles. These are the combination of textiles(fabric) and electronic components to create wearable technology within clothing.[107][108] They are also known as smart textile and digital textile.

Wearables are made from a functionality perspective or from an aesthetic perspective. When made from a functionality perspective, designers and engineers create wearables to provide convenience to the user. Clothing and accessories are used as a tool to provide assistance to the user. Designers and engineers are working together to incorporate technology in the manufacturing of garments in order to provide functionalities that can simplify the lives of the user. For example, through smartwatches people have the ability to communicate on the go and track their health. Moreover, smart fabrics have a direct interaction with the user, as it allows sensing the customers' moves. This helps to address concerns such as privacy, communication and well-being. Years ago, fashionable wearables were functional but not very aesthetic. As of 2018, wearables are quickly growing to meet fashion standards through the production of garments that are stylish and comfortable. Furthermore, when wearables are made from an aesthetic perspective, designers explore with their work by using technology and collaborating with engineers. These designers explore the different techniques and methods available for incorporating electronics in their designs. They are not constrained by one set of materials or colors, as these can change in response to the embedded sensors in the apparel. They can decide how their designs adapt and responds to the user.[6] 350c69d7ab


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