What is Wearable Technology?

Wearable technology refers to devices that can be worn by users, taking the form of an accessory such as jewelry, sunglasses, a backpack, or even actual items of clothing such as shoes or a jacket. The benefit of wearable technology is that it can conveniently integrate tools that track sleep, movement, location, social media, and even new classes of devices that are seamlessly integrated with a user’s everyday life and movements. Google's “Project Glass” is one of the most talked about current examples — the device resembles a pair of glasses, but with a single lens. A user can see information about their surroundings displayed in front of them, such as the names of friends who are in close proximity, or nearby places to access data that would be relevant to a research project. Another is the Jawbone Up bracelet that tracks how you eat, sleep, and move. Other wearable technology already in the market includes clothing that can keep a mobile device charged via solar cells, allow interactions with a user’s devices via sewn-in controls or touch pads, collect data on a person's movements, and much more.

INSTRUCTIONS: Enter your responses to the questions below. This is most easily done by moving your cursor to the end of the last item and pressing RETURN to create a new bullet point. Please include URLs whenever you can (full URLs will automatically be turned into hyperlinks; please type them out rather than using the linking tools in the toolbar).

Please "sign" your contributions by marking with the code of 4 tildes (~) in a row so that we can follow up with you if we need additional information or leads to examples- this produces a signature when the page is updated, like this: - Larry Larry Feb 8, 2012

(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • Fitness trackers are abundant and are becoming part of the student's backpack list. Perhaps, this will be a way to reduce obesity in students and assist parents with this issue. Numbers help us see/understand better than words/lecture. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 3, 2014 - roger.blamire roger.blamire
  • Interesting, I am wondering what the impact might be on our special populations?
http://www.popsci.com/article/technology/robotic-reading-suit-best-worst-idea- jmorrison jmorrison Jan 31, 2014
  • This area is really taking off - I know that Adam Bellow and Kathy Shrock are doing a lot to point to classroom relevance for wearable technology. I would also say that the potential for making experiential learning a reality is enormous - from google glass to the watching coming out - this will take off soon and rapidly. - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 6, 2014
  • I'm a foreign language teacher in the K-12 classroom. Imagine a student with gogle glass being able to practice French with a French speaker while walking on the Champs Elysee all from the seat in their school classroom. lisagustinelli- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Feb 9, 2014
  • More reinforcement that wearable technology is gaining momentum- http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/apple-hires-sleep-expert-to-work-on-rumoured-iwatch-20140206-3235y.html
    For physical edcuation, science and general biometrics these technologies will assist the process. Gone are the days of writing a sign. Pin it to your bedroom ceiling to remind yourself to take you heart rate BEFORE getting up in the morning (Basal heart rate for those interested as opposed to Resting HR- sorry I digress...))
  • Combined with other technologies discussed and flexible classroom space, wearable technology could make huge impacts upon learning. If as with Glass, we see technologies that can quickly and easily provide students with data, information and collaboration, while quickly capturing video of what is occurring there are great possibilities. The ease and fluidity of capturing of video through these devices is impressive to consider. - digitalroberto digitalroberto Feb 10, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Google Glass. I believe this is a category of its own. - michael.lambert michael.lambert Feb 3, 2014
  • Google Glass. Samsung's Watch. the iWatch is slated to come out soon. - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 6, 2014
  • Authentic learning, Augmented reality. lisagustinelli- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Feb 9, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?

  • http://www.schrockguide.net/google-glass-in-class.html - kstubbs kstubbs Feb 6, 2014
  • It will break down the barriers of the classroom walls. As long as it can become affordable, it will be a great equalizer in education as students from lower income schools will have the chance to be exposed to experitial learning (google glass) that was previously beyond their reach.lisagustinelli- lisagustinelli lisagustinelli Feb 9, 2014

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

Please share information about related projects in our Horizon Project Sharing Form.