Innovation: Education

The Adoption of Wearable Tech

How realistic is it really?

The adoption of wearable tech: how realistic is it really?

Ten years ago, I carried an iPod to listen to music, a flip phone to make a phone call, and a laptop to access the Internet.  If I were traveling, you could add a paper map to that mix. Now I do all of those things, and more, with my phone.  

When I went for a run yesterday, I strapped on an armband that carries my phone, my sport watch to track my heart rate, and on an 85-degree day run through the woods I couldn’t overlook my handheld water bottle.  Was it ten years ago?  Why was I carrying multiple pieces of technology?  Why even bring technology on a run – this is my one opportunity during the day to unplug – was I missing the point?  

Wearable technology certainly dominates the “next big thing” in tech conversation (although I’m still a little confused why – I’m pretty sure my Casio Databank CA53W-1 was wearable technology).  

The adoption of wearable tech: how realistic is it really?

According to this Infographic, I am part of a trend, and I fall into the “most people” category. At 34 years old I own a mobile device and wear a watch for recording some health benefit stats. And at first glance of the reported survey results, it appears as though this trend is only going to increase. I love Infographics; they can tell the story you want to tell.  But the skeptical side of me always says look deeper.  

From the original articles, I read here that “more than half of adults in a recent survey said they don’t know what wearable technology is”; and here, “the sample includes 2,313 respondents interested in connected-wearable technology.”  So when the Infographic shows 48% of people surveyed said they would purchase wearable technology, I think it is important to remember that the other half doesn’t know what wearable technology is. And when looking at what is most popular, or what people wish wearables were, it is important to recognize that those people are already interested in wearable technology. Again, I like infographics, I like this one – but I’m part of the trend that is being reported, and for that half of adults that don’t know what a wearable is, I think it is important to consider their opinions, especially if wearable technology is the “next big thing.”  

Back to my run.

I want a small wristband that can track my heart rate, map my run, and take a phone call from my daughter’s daycare (which is why I even carry my phone in the first place). Bonus points if my wristband doubles as a water bottle.  I don’t see why that isn’t possible; even my Casio Databank was water resistant.

Meredith Swallow

Meredith Swallow is in her fourth year as a doctoral student at UVM, and is working with the Tarrant Institute as a Research Associate and Professional Development Coordinator. As a former middle- and high-school math teacher, Meredith facilitated environments of engaged, active learning, by supporting the connection of knowledge through interaction, understanding, and meaning. Her research focuses on the intersection of educational technology, content knowledge, and pedagogy, and how that supports twenty-first century educational goals and outcomes. She strives to model effective technology integration across multiple disciplines by recognizing diverse learning needs and specific school and teacher contexts. When not studying or engaging in research, Meredith enjoys her time in the outdoors hiking with her trusted sidekick Jack the Dog.

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