Wearable technology is all over the news, as companies like Google come closer and closer to making this sci-fi fantasy a reality. And while we haven’t yet seen Captain Picard’s communicator, it’s certainly possible. Some predictions:

For your health

Since wearable devices are so close to the body, applications involving health seem like an obvious idea. In fact, there have already been several applications that pair with devices to track your exercise regimen. Other potential uses are more medical in nature, including remote heart and air quality monitoring. These and other innovations will help patients live more independently and not depend on doctors as much.

Fashionably modern

There could even be a time when innovators go so far as to place a sewing machine next to their soldering iron. “E-textiles,” clothing with electronic components built in, could touch off a new wave of creativity — including some LED awesomeness. And you thought the tees on Threadless were wild enough already.

Man and machine

With integrating circuits becoming smaller and cheaper, companies can do even better things with them. Add to that the potential for nanotechnology and it’s easily imaginable that technology will become more of a part of us, turning us into real-life cyborgs. To a degree, Google Glass already has. So can RoboCop be far away?

A thing of the past

Ultimately, the term “wearable technology” could become dated, as human beings and their tech become indistinguishable. As we’ve seen before, the most successful technology becomes invisible. You might think of your smartphone less as a “smartphone” or even a “mobile phone,” but just simply as a “phone,” especially if you’ve ditched your land line entirely. To the extent that wearable technology becomes ubiquitous, most ordinary people will probably think of it the same way, especially if it’s something they use every day.

Read more: