Start-Up Sector Spotlight: Wearable Tech

11 February, 2016

Start-Up Sector Spotlight: Wearable Tech

11 February, 2016
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As part of Start-Up Week, we've been shedding some light on the hottest small company trends for 2016. This time, we're talking all things wearable technology and the ‘Internet of Things’.

In 2015 we saw the emergence of wearable technologies in the consumer market, with an increasing demand for health & fitness related gadgets, like FitBit and Jawbone. 2016 will see this technology get even more popular, incorporating things like smart textiles with electronics embedded right there in the fabric.

Whilst they are undeniably helpful to track your morning run, the function of wearable technology is now spreading into business and can really benefits disciplines such as retail, healthcare, and marketing.

The rise of wearable tech is also spearheading the internet’s next evolutionary phase, the ‘Internet of Things’. Essentially, this means connecting what were once just every day, household objects to the internet – Think kettles and fridges.

So what exactly is the ‘Internet of Things’?

The Internet of Things (or IoT for short), is a term encompassing the ever-growing network of connected devices, physical objects, buildings, vehicles, etc. Connected devices are able to pass information to other devices via embedded electronics, software, sensors and network connectivity.

As technology has developed, more and more devices have evolved to become “smart” –smartphones, smart watches and even smart thermostats! All of these devices are capable of communicating and transferring data between each other, often able to send and perform tasks. Pretty cool, huh?

We can already control the temperature of our thermostats using an app on our smartphone and set our favourite TV shows to record when we’re not even in the house – Perhaps you could be part of the team to launch the latest new technology?

High Profile Companies:

1. FitBit:

Fitbit Inc. is an American company headquartered in San Francisco, California. The company specialises in activity trackers, which are wireless-enabled wearable technology devices used to measure data such as the number of steps walked, quality of sleep etc.

A FitBit (or similar device from other companies such as Nike and Jawbone) are now seen as a must-have accessory for the health-conscious amongst us. There’s no greater motivation to get up and go for a run than seeing your daily step count languishing at 2,000. Trust us, we’ve been there…

2. Nest Labs:

Nest Labs produces programmable, self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostats, smoke detectors, and other security systems. The company was co-founded by former Apple engineers Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers in 2010.

Nest Labs experienced rapid growth and was acquired by Google for US$3.2 billion in January 2014.

One to watch:

There are so many exciting companies making the most of this new technology to provide us with innovative, life-changing products. One such company is Jiff. Jiff is on a mission to help companies lower healthcare costs and make their employees happier!

They deliver personalized incentives and real-time data analytics to help individual employees stay happy and healthy. A real win-win for both employer and employee. Cool technology, health benefits and happiness at work – That’s definitely something we can get behind!

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