Current wearable smart devices aren’t providing a comfortable enough user experience ahead of 5G’s arrival.
That’s the assertion being made by the founder of WITgrip, a start-up that has produced a new method of wearing smart devices on the inside of your wrist.
Dr Raj Partheban, founder of WITgrip, said: “Major players are investing in 5G-ready hardware, with a focus on greater speed and connectivity. However, to benefit from these new technologies people will need a new and different way to use, and interact, with their mobile devices.”
Many have predicted that 5G’s arrival will mean major advances in wearable technology.
The availability of a ubiquitous, stable, low latency mobile network will serve to untether devices such as smartwatches. They will no longer be reliant on limited local processors and storage or linked smartphones to provide a smooth experience, as all of the heavy computational lifting will be done in the cloud.
This simplification of wearable device technology promises to make smartwatches smaller, lighter, and more energy efficient, but simultaneously smarter as they feed into a centralised pool of accumulated data.
However, Dr Partheban’s point seems to be that while the technology to power wearable applications more efficiently will be there, the actual experience of using such miniaturised devices for prolonged periods hasn’t yet been optimised for anything beyond ‘glanceable’ applications.
The solution suggested by WITgrip (which stands for Wearable Interactive Technology grip) was inspired by observing flight navigators, who often wear their watches on the inside of their wrists for a more comfortable, natural viewing experience.
With 5G set to enable such applications as video conference calls, high-quality video recording, and real-time remote control of other devices all from a wrist-mounted device, long-term usability is something that smartwatch makers are going to need to address.
“5G devices will need to become wearable in a more practical, comfortable way,” says Dr Partheban. “But so far, manufacturers have overlooked the need for a suitable interface that connects users with the new opportunities that 5G offers.”