Wearables: Connected, from head to toe

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Deutsche Telekom is pinning high hopes on wearable tech. Business with wearable tech devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers, smart glasses, headsets and earphones is booming, and experts are expecting high growth rates for the devices through 2018.

Fotoshow For the company, wearables are also a useful medium for the further development of its existing services and platforms, such as home automation (Smart Home), eHealth, messaging and mobile payments. "Wearables give us a great idea of the sorts of things that are soon going to be possible", explains Thomas Kiessling, Chief Product and Innovation Officer at Deutsche Telekom. "With these new classes of devices, you can get onto the Internet without even having to take a device out of your pocket. And it's obvious that soon we won't be needing our fingers anymore to make calls or listen to music."

What's possible already At a "Wearables Innovation Network" forum it held on December 1 in Bonn, Deutsche Telekom showcased the range of applications and situations that wearables already cover and gave an impression of what's coming soon. At the same event, a number of the company's partners, including adidas, Bayer, Garmin, Samsung, Sony, runtastic and BMW, presented their latest products in the areas of fitness, health, home and living and automotive. In addition, over ten international start-ups showed their own innovative wearable developments. The full spectrum of currently available products was represented, from headbands for mental fitness to pet health/fitness wearables such as dog collars.

Everyday helpers with great potential Wearable tech has the potential to be enormously beneficial, as many convincing examples in areas such as medical technology, diagnostics and therapy prove. From the medical realm, the devices quickly migrated into the areas of fitness and wellness – and there they really took off. Now, they're showing their potential as smart helpers for home (Smart Home) and automotive applications. This is only the beginning, however – wearables keep making our everyday lives easier in more and more areas.

It's also about quality of life Wearables can make things much easier for patients. Diabetics, for example, will soon benefit from implanted insulin pumps that precisely calculate insulin requirements and deliver insulin accordingly. In the health-care sector, doctors can use smartglasses to access and check clinical data right at patients' beds. They can even use them to receive remote coaching, via augmented reality, for live operations – surgeons can wear smartglasses with apps that allow remote surgical coaches to connect and provide visual pointers, such as where and how to make incisions.