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OPLIN 4Cast #729: Has 2020 become the year of the wearable?

Posted in 4cast, and wearables

Early this year, I made the decision to give a fitness wearable another try. I’d had an original Fitbit for some time, but found that the band was hardly sturdy and it tracked very little. I thought 2020 might be the time to try something more akin to a smartwatch, so I bought a Fitbit Versa 2, which also allowed me to receive text notifications from my phone; a feature I’ve since come to rely on. Of course, not long after I purchased it, Fitbit announced the advent of the Versa 3 and the train of progress moved on.

Wearables have been around for a while, and their capabilities continue to expand. In 2020 alone, wearable device sales have jumped more than 30%–I wasn’t the only one wanting on the wearable bandwagon. A lot has been happening in this tech space lately.

  • Dating Is Bad Enough Without Adding Wearables to the Mix [Gizmodo] “Look, technology and gadgets already play an outsized role in making dating miserable. Waiting for texts, getting ghosted, unsolicited dick pics, agonizing over whether it’s appropriate to send a peach or eggplant emoji, feeling weird when that crappy date finds you on Instagram and stalks your Stories—it’s already a nightmare. “
  • Another paper suggests wearable devices can predict COVID-19 before symptoms [Marketplace] “Predicting disease would be an unintended feature of the Oura device. And smartwatches and fitness trackers have also been found to provide early COVID warning signs, with strong data correlations, even for patients with no symptoms who can nevertheless spread the disease.”
  • Way more than watches: Where wearables are going [Digital Trends] “Sure, the Apple Watch Series 6 is fabulous. But there’s reason to look beyond Apple if you’re investigating wearable tech. There’s an array of intriguing devices that go way beyond watches, helping us train our bodies, stay healthy, and sleep deeper, as well as gadgets that can even enhance our innate skills or give us amazing new powers. “
  • Mastercard (MA) Expands in Contactless Wearable Payments Space [Yahoo] “This chip can be used in a range of battery-less wearables and accessories, such as watchstraps or keyrings. These devices can then be used for making contactless payments.”

From the Ohio Web Library: