Wearables are transforming the human-computer interface and how we as a society have enhanced our senses with data and communication. Wearables can be anything from smart glasses, VR/AR headsets, earphones, watches, rings, contact lenses and even clothing. Basically, anything that can “worn” is considered a wearable when it processes/displays information. It has the power to completely change the way we interface with our environment. Wearables is still a relatively new concept and there are still some constraints. One constraint with wearables is the human factors element of the wearable. Does the device effectively interface with the human? Another constraint is the robustness of the devices. How accurate is the data? Is the device robust in certain environments? Another constraint of wearables is that devices rely on batteries to operate. How long can a device last before requiring recharge? Will it be available when you need it the most? All of the above constraints are being researched and huge developments have already been made.
BrighterSight is doing work on investigating the human factors of wearables within the first responder domain amongst a few others. We are also looking at robustness of wearables in specific enterprise-level application use such as paramedics. In terms of sustainable batteries for wearables, many researchers across the world have been working on smart ways to power wearables.
There have been several developments in the area of stretchable supercapacitors. Specifically, researchers at the University of Delaware are working on a wire-shaped supercapacitor. Supercapacitors are different than batteries. They can recharge in seconds rather than hours like batteries. In terms of wearables, wire-shaped capacitors is an interesting concept for wearables in that not only is it fast charging but also stretchable. This is the perfect solution to the constraint of power for wearables ( especially the ones that are mini and portable like smart glasses for example).
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