Technology in its simplest form is a tool that helps people perform specific tasks. Today’s technology has taken that premise to the extreme. While inventing a new tool is fine, improving an already good one is even better. For instance, writing on a piece of paper with a pencil was adequate, but now you can write on a tablet with the new S Pen so that you can reap all of the benefits of a pencil and a tablet.
Here are just a few more examples of old technology that has been greatly improved:
Previously, the sole function of a wrist watch was to tell time. It was portable and fashionable and performed its one job—until now.
Enter the smart watch. Like the wrist watch, it has a small face, comes in both digital and analog formats, attaches to your wrist and tells you the time—but that’s where the similarities end.
A smart watch is like a small computer that can be paired via Bluetooth with your phone. Depending on the model, you can browse the Internet, read texts, send emails, update social media and check the weather. It sends notifications and shows calendar reminders right on the color display screen. Plus, some smart watches have customizable wallpapers and faces. Furthermore, you can take pictures, shoot video and listen to music. You also can find locations via voice command and GPS. The list can go on and on because you can download over 400 apps right to your watch.
Oh, and if you need to know what time it is, it will do that, too.
A pedometer is the old technology used to count your steps throughout the day. Depending on the model and time period that you purchased your pedometer, it might have been able to tell you how many calories you burned and the distance you walked in addition to tracking the number of steps you took.
Now, the smart fitness wristband is a strip of material that is worn around your wrist to monitor your general fitness. Depending upon the model, the smart fitness wristband will monitor your sleep habits, heart rate, posture (standing or sitting) and how much energy you use during any given activity. Some smart fitness wristbands track all of your activities for a certain amount of time and, based on the data, provide you with a fitness program. Furthermore, some come with a pre-installed GPS and dust and water-proof screen.
After watching people wear the smart watch and smart wrist band and carry their smart phone, innovators decided it was too inconvenient to carry all of these devices around. Why put features in three different gadgets when you can put them all in one?
So began the world of smart clothing, or e-textiles. Depending on the article of smart clothing, certain aspects of your health can be monitored simply by putting on your clothes. For example, in 2010, the University of California developed underwear to detect the vital signs of soldiers. Some other projects include clothing that prevents cardiovascular disease and socks that help with diabetes.
In 1972, Ralph Lauren came up with his designer line of Polo shirts, and now, in 2014, he introduced his new line of Polo smart shirts that can do everything a smart watch and smart fitness wrist band can do. He also plans to release dress shirts this fall.
Some other pieces of smart clothing that are being worn right now include heated ski jackets, warming underwear and a jacket that can be tracked via GPS.