Connecting Our Wearable Devices with the Internet of Things

Wearable devices are now at the center of most discussions associated with the Internet of Things (IoT), and the full variety of novel abilities universal connectivity enables. One of the main queries up for debate is, "Are wearable devices going to just be peripherals for a smartphone or is there a more important role for them as part of the Internet of Things?"

Wearable Devices

Some wearable devices are already frequently used in identification and security, for example, identification badges. Some innovative badges contain minimal biometric abilities (e.g. fingerprint activation) which enhances security. Furthermore, some have location-sensing abilities, to ensure successful evacuations during emergencies. However, a wearable bangle may offer a more dependable indication of position.

Wellbeing- and fitness-oriented wearable devices offer biometric assessments — for example, perspiration levels, heart rate, and oxygen levels. Future research could even allow alcohol or body temperature to be monitored, which in the latter case may provide early signs of a cold or the flu.

Further abilities of wearable devices may be more mundane, but may also provide useful data in regulating environmental controls. Wearable devices could tell if you have your jacket on in the car or if it's just in the back seat (perhaps by placing a few stress measurement device threads within the fabric of the jacket). This could be helpful in keeping the car temperature at a comfortable level. If your wristband can measure perspiration levels that could also be used as a data point for adjusting both temperature and humidity.

Advantages of Connecting Wearable Devices with the Internet of Things

Although these applications could utilize smartphones, it may be advantageous if the Internet of Things (IoT) devices could directly communicate with the wearable device. Possibly an improved model is that smartphones could set up the operational modes and privacy levels. Once established, all the devices could then communicate to be more effective.

For example, if your smartwatch detected possible illness on the way to a job interview. You don’t want your biometric readings to be accessible to the interviewer and therefore your smartphone could protect your results. However, you could enable access to your doctor at a check-up.

Furthermore, these devices could routinely and automatically connect to other devices in your home. For example, the device could adjust LED lights within a room to a preferred level, prevent glare on a TV or alter the backlighting on the LCD TV screen to save energy.

The potential of the IoT is founded on universal connectivity and when related with great groups of linked devices could benefit many. Is it possible for wearable devices to also profit from this notion? For example, if your device communicated with others,  you could find out if someone sitting near you on the train had a high fever. This could lead to major privacy issues.

These devices could also maximize enjoyment. For example, if a DJ could access your heart rate, they could make more educated music choices or even sync dance moves. The DJ could select both music and "dance moves," with LEDs included as visual cues.

However, an important factor is power. A potential approach to attaining low power could be through energy harvesting – potentially from dancing and moving around. Although battery operation may be an important restraint, fashion changes ensure that the batteries are not limiting factors.

High-End IoT Applications

Obviously for these categories of universal connections, very intellectual and minimal-power MCUs will be mandatory. High-end IoT uses will need noteworthy processing and interface abilities, along with progressive safety competencies. These progressive applications could utilize the latest devices, such as the Intel Quark X1000 processors.

Supporting a variety of options for connectivity permits connecting and accumulation of content from numerous sources, this lowers the power needs for the "peripherals" in the wearable device system.

Lower-end uses would just require contacts with basic sensors. Therefore, MCUs like the Silicon Labs EFM®32 Zero Gecko would be ideal, as they can function for extended periods on a low current, effortlessly utilized in wearable applications where detecting, processing, and stowage are obligatory.

Overall, more integrated elements in the IoT are required to enable a wide range of future features.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Mouser Electronics.

For more information on this source, please visit Mouser Electronics.

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