Wearing Your Tech on Your Sleeve
Sartorial decisions and technology are often considered two separate, distinct items. However, the surge of wearable “smart” devices has blurred the line between the two. Nowadays, it is common to see people accessorized in pieces of equipment that complement their day-to-day activities.
Some might assume that wearable smart devices are complicated futuristic gadgets. However, they might be surprised to find that a lot of people now own one or two of these devices; smartwatches and fitness trackers are prime examples these..
Wearable devices can be classified under three categories, depending on how they deal with data.
- “IN” devices – These capture user data via sensors. Fitness trackers are a good example. These capture the number of steps a user has undertaken, distance walked, calorie intake, heartbeat, GPS coordinates, etc. These devices usually store the information locally in the device and synchronize with mobile devices or computers.
- “OUT” devices – These display data from other gadgets, often from mobile devices. Smartwatches are an example, with their capacity to display texts and other application data.
- “IN and OUT” devices – These capture data and use filters to display information in different manners. Display devices, such as Google Glass, are not only capable of capturing data, but they also feed the data to the user by means of retina projection. Simpler devices can also become “IN and OUT” devices by gathering user data (steps, distance, etc.) and by streaming it from their companion mobile phone.
According to a study, 82% of wearable tech users believe that their quality of living significantly improved with the use of smart devices. And yet, wearable devices can also be a bane. Past examples show that the “smarter” a device has become, the greater the opportunities cybercriminals have on their hands.
For example, if bad guys manage to compromise the hardware or network protocol of a wearable device, they would gain access to the data stored there and have control of the content being displayed by “OUT” devices. Attackers can also access the user accounts associated with the devices and can abuse the data gathered there.
Wearables also bring in the issue of privacy and permission. For example, you might not think too much of your smart glasses recording your everyday commute, but the people you run into might find that feature too intrusive. (This scenario might be one of the reasons Google published a Glass etiquette guide that includes the rule, “Ask for permission.”)
Just like any form of technology, wearables can bring about improvement and enjoyment. However, having wearables doesn’t just mean knowing how to use them; it also means knowing how to secure them. Users should know the ins and outs of their devices, considering most wearable devices are some form of “IN and OUT” devices. Learn more about wearable smart devices in our infographic, The Ins and Outs of Wearable Devices.