The smart watch has been a massive hit in the past few years, but with the relentless pace of technological development people are already expecting more. Apple’s next gen iWatch has answered a lot of critics nay-saying about how useful smart watches really are, with the sleek, minimal, obviously-Apple casing hiding some serious computing power and a lovely cut down version of the iOS we know and love.
But, no matter how slimline, powerful and useful we can make miniature computers, which is essentially what they are, people are always likely to want more. Even if they don’t, companies will continue to push the boundaries in order to sell products and stay ahead of competitors. So, what’s next?
One of the areas a lot of companies, from brands like Fossil of Tommy Hilfiger watches to tech companies like Apple, are exploring, is haptics. In its simplest form this is feedback from the item to the user, so in this case from the watch to the wrist. It can come in many forms, and currently exists as buzzing notifications, but new technology in the form of tactile pixels, or ‘taxels’ aims to bring haptics to life. They can convey a range of pressures to the wrist of the user, so as well as seeing visuals on the screen of the watch they can feel them too, be it a bouncing ball or an explosion. It really does open things up to a whole new range of tactile tech experiences.
Wearable tech is set to be a huge market in the future, with everything from football shits feeding back data to the user, yoga pants that help you correct your posture, gaming gloves that give a more immersive experience and even making VoIP calls more exciting. Haptics is a hugely exciting technology that really brings products to life and engages with the user, and smartwatches are only the beginning.