by Emily Newton

Wearable technology encompasses specialized products used in certain industries that are marketed to everyday consumers. Here are some of the many reasons why these items are part of a booming market.

Wearables Are Readily Available

Ease of access is a significant reason for the persistent popularity of wearables. An interested person can go to their nearest electronics retailer or shop online to get one. They can also choose from numerous brands, colors and feature sets, making it easy to find the gadget that fits their needs.

Relatedly, trying wearables doesn’t require a major financial investment. For example, the Wyze Band retails for less than $30. It offers fitness tracking, phone notifications and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

People realize that today’s wearable products feature plenty of capabilities offered at a low price point. Many ultimately decide that trying these items is a low-risk decision and don’t balk at buying them.

Products Are More Streamlined

Today’s smart devices are increasingly sleek. That’s largely due to advancements in flexible substrates. They’re much thinner than conventional options, reducing the device weight.

The smaller, lighter designs associated with wearable technology also result in gadgets that are hardly noticeable, which appeals to many people. The Oura Ring slides onto the finger and looks like a wedding band. It tracks users’ sleep cycles, activity levels, calories burned and more.

The improved designs of modern wearables also attract people who may initially feel embarrassed about needing such devices. For example, some gadgets help older people continue living independently at home. Slimmer, lighter items reduce feelings of self-consciousness and increase a person’s desire to keep using them.

Plus, lightweight but durable products are typically the preferred choices for people who wear the gadgets most of the day. They want the benefits wearables bring without the bulkiness or discomfort of heavier or bigger designs.

Modern Wearables Offer Long Battery Life

Battery life improvements have also increased wearable technology adoption rates. Sometimes, the need to charge a device becomes a mere inconvenience. However, workers who use wearables may depend on them during assignments in places without readily accessible electric outlets. In either case, most people who consider using these gadgets like to know how long they last between charging sessions.

Battery life has gotten progressively longer for wearable technology products. It’s now arguably at the point where most people can use their products daily without frequently looking for chargers.

Users also get the choice of replacement or rechargeable batteries. For example, the Withings Move smartwatch has a replaceable 18-month battery. Alternatively, many rechargeable options have batteries that last several weeks.

There’s also progress occurring regarding wearables powered by a person’s body heat or movement. Additionally, some such devices store power for later use — a practice known as energy harvesting. It’s easy to envision how those gadgets could be especially useful for people who are active all day. A forecast anticipates the energy harvesting market will be worth $2.6 billion by 2024. That statistic indicates the sector has a bright future.

Wearables Can Support Well-Being

People are continually interested in using wearable technology to stay healthy. The potential uses include products that help a person stay safe on the job. For example, a lone worker may use a wearable device that automatically alerts a supervisor if they fall. That gadget may also have a panic button or a way for people to periodically check in to confirm they’re OK.

As more workplace decision-makers see the connection between employee productivity and health, they become curious about how wearables could help. Some products offer ergonomic insights, letting people know about risky postures or repetitive movements. Managers can then identify and address issues that could cause injuries if left unaddressed.

Wearables recently became available to support social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides reminding people to stay far enough apart, these devices facilitated contact tracing.

Some wearables even prevent fatigue. An exoskeleton designed by Vanderbilt University researchers can reduce lower back tiredness by an average of 29%-47%. The team believes it could be valuable for people in physically demanding jobs or those at risk of back problems.

Wearable Technology May Bring Motivation

Wearable technology can help people make positive changes. That’s another reason for the popularity of this product category. Many individuals reach points where they know they must try to break a bad habit or create a new one. However, they don’t always want to ask friends or loved ones to hold them accountable. Wearables could do that. They may also confirm that a problem exists.

For example, there’s a wearable that tracks a person’s alcohol intake through their sweat. Other options monitor stress levels and may even coach a wearer through techniques to calm down. In cases like those, a wearable can convince a person it’s time to get serious about making a change and possibly relying on professional help to make it happen.

Since many wearables give immediate feedback, it’s easy for people to know how they’re doing and make any necessary alterations. Posture correctors vibrate when a person starts to slump, urging them to sit straighter. Wearables also typically come with accompanying apps that track trends over time and show progress. People are encouraged when they see they’re gradually moving toward a goal.

Wearable Technology Represents a Strong Market

These are some of the numerous reasons why wearable tech enjoys such enduring popularity. As new models and capabilities emerge and prices stay reasonable, people should continue investing in these gadgets for the first time or upgrading their existing models.