Spy movies and television shows love to give their main characters wearable, multi purpose gadgets. From Maxwell Smart’s incredibly inconvenient “shoe-phone,” to James Bond’s TV wrist watch, to Ethan Hunt’s video camera glasses, it seems as though the idea of melding fashion with high-tech function is one that’s been around for quite some time. However, where once these wearable wonders were only possible in the world of fiction, recent advances in mobile smart technology has helped make the concept of smart wireless accessories a reality. Things like Google Glass and the iWatch will allow users to remain connected in ways that even the now-ubiquitous smartphone is unable to match, but what does that mean for homeowners?
Well, let’s take a moment and consider the possibilities.
Home automation and automated home security have also seen major advances in recent years. Working in conjunction with mobile smart devices, modern “smart homes” are able to allow homeowners to operate automated door locks, alter climate control settings, check security cameras, and even start preparation on a meal, all from anywhere in the world. Wearable smart devices should be able to accomplish everything that a smartphone or tablet can do but will also have their own unique home automation features that may make controlling your property from a distance all the more enjoyable.
For example, have you ever had to fumble with your keys while holding 100 lbs of groceries? It’s not a situation that generally ends well. Those with properly automated homes are at a similar disadvantage. Unless they remember to use their smart devices to disengage their locks before they make their way to the front door, they’re going to find themselves in the same predicament, except that it will be a phone that they’re trying to get to instead of a set of keys. Either way, the result is usually a front porch covered in spilled groceries, and a homeowner is having a very bad day.
Wearable smart devices could potentially solve this and other problems through the use of technology that is continually monitoring and broadcasting data. See, the wearable smart device would have constant contact with your skin, allowing it to monitor vital signs and read personal data. Intel Corp recently unveiled a miniature chip for use in wearable devices that would make this kind of connectivity a possibility. Thus, devices would be able to verify the
wearer’s identity, and then automatically disengage the home’s door locks at his or her approach.
This kind of technology wouldn’t be limited to opening locked doors either. Wearable tech that can keep track of physical changes in the human body could also be used to automatically change thermostat settings based upon the temperature of the wearer. If you begin to get too warm, it would simply tell the home to drop the heat a few degrees. It could also automatically relay signals to nearby lights to dim or turn off when it detects the slowing pulse and breathing rate of someone who has fallen asleep without being able to make it to the light switch. It could even someday monitor blood sugar level or make note of which nutrients the body currently needs and use that to develop a dietary plan formulated to fit the unique and changing needs of the wearer.
Of course, with the technology being as new as it is, it may take a little time before we can enjoy homes that instantly respond to our every unspoken command. However, given how quickly new technology advances, we probably won’t have to wait very long. Until that time, we can at least enjoy the convenience of modern home automation and look forward to a future in which remote controlling and monitoring our homes has become even easier.