The Wearable Expo 2020 is taking place right now in Tokyo, Japan. During three days, all of what the world has to offer in wearables will gather in Tokyo and showcase their latest innovation. This fair is the world’s leading exhibition for wearable devices, IoT, AR/VR technology. Hashi Consulting attended this event, and we give you our first feedbacks about what the future and trends in wearable will be.
The rise of Assistive Robotics wearables
When thinking about wearables, we immediately visualize some smartwatches. It goes far beyond that, though. We were amazed to see that “assisted suits” were everywhere. The famous Cyberdyne company who once led the way with the HAL lumbar support robot, has now lots of competitors who all want a piece of the Assistive Robotics market. Expected to reach $11.2 billion by 2025, this field is supported by a planned CAGR of 22.4% from 2019 to 2025. We compted no less than six companies offering Assistive Robotics wearable solutions to help lift heavy loads. These exoskeletons can be used in healthcare or industrial environments and will ultimately contribute to easing repetitive lifting tasks.
The world is becoming fit and smart, and cats and dogs also benefit from new technologies. Petble, a company based in Hong-Kong, has developed a Smart Tag that captures your pet’s daily activities. For just $70, there is no more excuse not to go for a walk. On top of the pet activity tracker, they also offer a SmartBowl that control in real-time the food intake of your pet.
Smart textiles and flexible batteries
Smart textiles were everywhere at the Wearable Expo. Most of the fitness brands are now offering connected tee-shirts or shoes that track activities, heart rate, and so much more…The real revolution may be linked to flexible batteries. Jenax, a South-Korean, company is leading the way and offers Flexible Lithium Polymer Batteries that can be directly embedded in Smart Apparels. Their flagship product, J.FLEX, delivers 3.8V and can be recharged quickly. Applications of such technology span diverse industries such as ITWearables, Fashion, Health, and Military. When combined with Organic Piezoelectric materials such as the ones developed by the Osaka Organic Chemical Industry company, this opens the doors to a whole new world of haptic self-powered wearable devices and technologies.
With so many kinds of wearable devices, it is hard to predict what the future of wearable will be. We somehow have been slightly disappointed by the progress or lack of progress made with Smart Glasses. We still consider that Augmented Reality glasses have a long way to go to be used comfortably and reach their full potential. The fields of view are just too tiny. MagicLeap and Hololens offer a much more comfortable experience even if their price tags can not be compared to the $500 Epson smartglasses.
Wearables in a super-aging world
In Super-aging Japan, it is always interesting to analyze how seniors can benefit from such technologies. We regretted not to see companies like the French Hip’safe by Helite exhibiting their hip airbag for seniors. Snow showcased such an innovative belt. Fitted with a GPS tracker, the belt weights 1.3 kg and automatically detect falls. An airbag will then inflate to prevent hip fractures. An alarm signal can even be sent to carers including the precise location of the elderly. Considering the potential of graphene in healthcare wearables we were surprised not to find exhibitors focusing on this huge potential field.
The Wearable Expo 2020 is a window open to what the future of wearable will be. Considering the 700+ exhibitors, we can reasonably think that smart textiles and innovative wearables will soon be just an ordinary outfit.