Wearable Electronics Dressed to the By Chris Mason, VP of sales – EMEA at Rajant Corporation I

nines in tech: preparing for the future of wearable technology

n today’s digitally-focused world, the considerable increase in demand in the Internet of Things (IoT) market is unsurprising. The wearable technology market, in particular, has seen a signifi cant rise in popularity, as industries and consumers realize the benefi ts it can provide. In fact, according to Statista, the number of connected wearable devices worldwide is expected to grow to over 1.1 billion in 2022.

The potential of the wearable technology market is immense as it can be applied to several industries, including but not limited to military and defense, fi tness, medical and healthcare, retail, public safety, and education. As countries across the globe continue to prioritize connectivity and 5G technology becomes more readily available, wearable technology promises to become even more valuable.

A global trend

With wireless headphones and smartwatches becoming familiar sights, there is no denying that wearable technology is rivaling the likes of the smartphone as the top consumer product. With long battery life and a seamless, secure way to wear the technology, it offers simplicity where your wallet can remain at home, and everything from a compass to a thermometer is readily available. Businesses can also take advantage of the mobility and fl exibility that the portable, wearable technology has to offer. They can use this evolving technology to remain competitive and improve their operational effi ciency. For example, in extended environments and industries which host hundreds of employees, having technology that can monitor staff movements will be hugely benefi cial for safety and the ability to monitor effi ciency.

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Equally, retail companies can take advantage of technology to create innovative products. For instance, the restaurant chain Pizza Hut produced shoes that can order pizza, and the clothing brand Tommy Hilfi ger has created clothes that monitor when you wear them and reward you for it. With so many benefi ts, wearable technology will likely be commonplace for businesses across a host of sectors for years to come.

This year alone, spending on wearable smart devices is on track to hit $41 billion (£31.7 billion) worldwide, thanks to the rising popularity of lower-cost devices, and the industry’s innovation will only continue. For now, the only thing holding these products back is having the connectivity to use them. Whilst the benefi ts IoT devices are innumerable, so are the challenges they face. Many will need full coverage connectivity to work effectively. For industries that operate over large areas, maintaining this level of connectivity can be demanding. For example, the military and defense sector has embraced wearable technology such as smart clothing, sensors, smartwatches, and cameras to track, monitor, and communicate effectively. However, they have had to introduce innovative methods to manage the level of connectivity they need.

On the other end of the spectrum, the hospitality industry is looking to deploy wearables and harnessing this technology to meet its needs. Cruises and hotels are embracing devices, like a wearable smart bracelet that enables lodgers to unlock their doors, pay for hotel services such as spa treatments, and even shop at onsite retailers. Disney was among the fi rst to add MagicBand wearables to their

Components in Electronics

services, but with such considerable miles to cover at the resorts, providing continuous connectivity is no easy feat.

Virtual Reality (VR) technology has also seen an increase in popularity in recent years, particularly in the corporate training industry; for example, Walmart has deployed the technology for skills based assessments. These VR devices require ultra-low latency and high capacity to work effectively. Maintaining this level of connectivity at large-scale training events will be extremely diffi cult.

Connectivity that fi ts like a glove To address the issue of inconsistent connectivity between man-to-man or man-to-machine, Rajant has introduced BreadCrumb products, like the DX2 and the ES1. These are expansions of Rajant’s product line and are fully compatible with all other BreadCrumbs.

The DX2, which weighs 123g, makes it ideal for lightweight autonomous vehicles, drones, small robots, and the like. The technology is lighter than a cell phone, more adaptable than most nodes, and small enough to fi t in the palm of your hand, making it perfect for any situation. It is already in high demand by Rajant’s military and commercial customers.

The DX2 has an integrated ability to serve as a Wi-Fi Access Point for compatibility with millions of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) client devices, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, IP cameras, sensors, and other IP devices. Despite its size, it still offers the same connectivity in hard-to-network environments as Rajant’s other more substantial and ruggedized wireless nodes. From interference-prone above-ground settings to underground tunnels, these BreadCrumbs extend and expand the connectivity range of

autonomous systems, allowing them to roam large geographic areas with ease.

For industries or applications requiring greater ruggedization, Rajant has designed a more robust node than the DX2 that doesn’t compromise on a more compact, lightweight design. The ES1 BreadCrumb is ideal for outdoor deployment as it can withstand extreme temperatures, vibration, and shock. It provides reliable Ethernet and Wi-Fi access point interfaces to enable data, voice, and video applications without the need for squid cables and with multiple mounting options for any situation. It offers the same robust reliability and security of all Rajant’s BreadCrumbs to support users no matter where they are. For events, cruises, and other situations where mobility is required, Rajant’s BreadCrumb® Wireless Network Nodes enable fully mobile coverage without the need for extensive infrastructure. Utilizing BreadCrumbs eliminates any risk of a single point of failure to provide the reliability wearable technology devices need.

Technology at a drop of a hat The most signifi cant advantage of wearable technology is it can give you easy access to the data you need when and where you need it. With markets continuing to grow at an exponential rate, it is clear a host of different verticals are keen to adopt and harness the technology to access the competitive edge it offers. To support this growth, businesses need to provide suitable network connectivity. With Rajant’s BreadCrumb technology, this can be achieved without the need to invest in extensive infrastructure, as well as offering the full coverage connectivity that is rapidly changing from a nice-to-have to an absolute necessity.

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