From barcodes to bracelets: The promise of wearable technology



January 30, 2020

Technology is no longer something we just interact with – increasingly it’s also becoming part of what we wear. From “smart purses” that prevent you from overspending to fake nails that could be used as subway cards, the possibilities for wearable technology are endless.

The smart watch that communications with your cell phone is just one example of how functionality and fashion are colliding in the technology world, taking personalization beyond the color of your phone case.

Continued technological advancements have made the tiniest RFID chips and beacons possible, opening the doors to things like an acrylic nail equipped with an RFID chip to enable its use as a subway token. At Socket Mobile, we are constantly thinking about new ways we can use our technologies and the data our devices capture. What if in the future, our data capture products – equipped with near field technologies – could actually scan that nail for a customer? Imagine paying a bill, literally using the tip of your finger.

Wearable technology has its roots in fashion – think LED adorned clothing – but the concept itself brings a number of functional and efficient possibilities that go beyond looking fly. How many times have you or someone you know lost or nearly lost their debit or credit cards? Having it embedded into wearable technology could vastly reduce the risk of loss or theft (not to mention save you the hassle of having to carry a bag or wallet.)

Beacons, GPS technology and scanners underpin all of these possibilities, collecting information that’s then used to provide the wonderful experiences that wearable technology offers. Though people may not see or notice the discreetly hidden beacons in stores, those are what communicate with objects like a smart purse, notifying the purse when it’s within range, which then alert the bag’s owner with lights and vibrations.

Who knew that one day fashionistas would be working alongside the tech industry, or that computer science grads would be creating gadgets worn on the runway? The seemingly cold, metallic world of tech has merged into the fashion industry. Somehow, the mix has been made. Somehow, two worlds have collided and are creating new standards for both.