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Wearable tech trends (time to play catch-up)

If you haven’t taken note of what’s been going on, it may be time to play a little catch-up

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Image: Carnegie Mellon University

Wearing things that benefit you in more ways than simply adding to your street cred is all the rage. In fact, it’s been one of the main considerations of fashion brands looking to extend their lines for many years now. If you haven’t taken note of what’s been going on, it may be time to play a little catch-up.  

Bifocal lenses (it’s technology – sort of)

Bifocal lenses have no moving parts and you don’t need to recharge them overnight. They’re solid old-school tech that anyone who wears glasses would be smart to keep stowed away in their pocket at all times (see this website for inspiration).

The history books will generally have it that bifocal lenses were invented by American founding father and polymath, Benjamin Franklin. Old Ben clearly spotted a gap in the market for a lens that brought more to the table than just the ability to see the table. He wanted a lens that could allow him to see his newspaper as clearly as the mountains on the horizon. But how?

If you look very closely at bifocal lenses, you will see a horizontal line somewhere near the middle of the lens where two different strength lenses have been butted together. With today’s high standards in manufacturing, the line is hard to spot. The lower lens is used for close focus, and the upper lens is used for distance. Simple and convenient. That’s what old-school wearable tech was all about, and that basic principle hasn’t changed much…

High-tech facemasks 

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. Since the Coronavirus pandemic of 2019, the world has learned that we must find new ways of living comfortably. High-tech face masks are one of the inventions that have come our way since everybody on Earth has found that they need access to a mask. 

What’s included in a high-tech facemask? Glad you asked. How about noise-canceling headphones, LEDs to help you be seen at night, and built-in fans to keep you cool. And if you think facemasks are going away any time soon, just ask the population of Japan, which has been somewhat masked up (out of choice) ever since the SARS epidemic of 2003.

Smartwatches (now even smarter)

Anybody who has dabbled in smartwatches over the years has likely come to two conclusions. The first is that, although convenient, it’s another device to remember to charge up overnight. Secondly, the screen can be hard to see in direct sunlight. This led to many people ditching their smartwatches on the grounds that the battery was flat and they couldn’t see the screen in summer. 

However, smartwatches are now available that solve these issues (albeit at quite eye-watering prices). You want your digital watch to charge itself mechanically through kinetic movement? You got it. You want a nanotube screen that absorbs almost 100% of sunlight, meaning you can see the screen no matter how bright the ambient light? Sure thing. But you might need a second mortgage (prices will eventually come down, no doubt).

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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