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January 29, 2021

Wearable tech trends: IoT leads Twitter mentions in Q4 2020

By GlobalData Technology

Verdict lists the top five terms tweeted on IoT in Q4 2020, based on data from GlobalData’s Influencer Platform. The top tweeted terms are the trending industry discussions happening on Twitter by key individuals (influencers) as tracked by the platform.

1. IoT – 306 mentions

The biggest internet of things (IoT) trends governments and businesses must get ready for in 2021, and smart necklace devices to protect women, were some of the popularly discussed topics in Q4 2020. According to an article shared by Glen Gilmore, a digital marketing strategist, one of the biggest IoT trends to watch out for in this year is increased healthcare spending in IoT.

Experts believe that IoT will drive innovations in the healthcare sector, including telemedicine to automated help in the form of sensors, connected devices, and wearables. The technology is also expected to be enforced at care homes and hospitals, where the risk of virus spread is the highest.

In other discussions, Sean Gardner, a board member of Free NP Technology, a non-profit, describes how a smart necklace device called the Safer Pro can record and send audio alerts to protect women against dangers. Devised by Leaf Wearables, the device sends alerts within 90 seconds and costs less than $40, the article detailed.

2. Artificial Intelligence – 299 mentions

The role of artificial intelligence (AI) and wearables in healthcare, and privacy concerns over the use of AI and wearables, were popularly discussed in the fourth quarter. According to an article shared by John Nosta, a technology theorist, innovative technologies such as AI and wearables have helped in transforming the healthcare sector.

For instance, wearables, in the form of sensors helps in monitoring patients and patient data. Likewise, AI helps in automating and predicting processes by analysing the data throughout a healthcare system.

In other discussions, Andreas Staub, head business development and digital transformation at Raiffeisen Bank, shared an article on privacy concerns around technologies such as AI and wearables. The only way one could limit privacy invasion is to shut off one’s phone, pass on wearable technology, removing oneself from social media, and getting rid of AI gadgets, the article noted. It also detailed how rapid advances in AI are leaving workers to either wait passively to be replaced or to take maximum advantage of the technology.

3. Virtual Reality – 151 mentions

Future investments in the technology, and tech innovations, were popularly discussed during the quarter. According to a PWC article shared by Harold Sinnott, a social media and digital marketing consultant, technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the capacity to boost gross domestic product (GDP) globally by 2030 by up to $1.5tr. Experts believe that these technologies will particularly benefit industries such as healthcare, energy, retail, manufacturing, and development.

For instance, smart glasses using AR and VR in the logistics sector can show the picking and packing information for the worker. The gaming and retail industries have also employed AR and VR technologies to create new customer experiences.

Virtual reality was also discussed with reference to innovations such as cyber shoes that allow users to run and walk in virtual worlds, according to a video shared by Glen Gilmore. A completely immersive VR experience, the cyber shoes can be strapped onto regular shoes to let users run and walk in VR games that allow free movement. The shoes work with HTC Vive and Oculus.

4. Augmented Reality – 138 mentions

AR’s capability of editing reality, and application of the technology across sectors such as defence, were popularly discussed in Q4. According to an article shared by Tom Emrich, a tech evangelist and thought leader in the AR, VR and wearable tech space, AR can now edit reality, that is, scan, delete or make everything disappear, especially in the context of a wearable future.

For instance, Ikea, the Swedish-based furniture giant is looking to provide an AR app that can both place and remove a couch from the users living room. Likewise, the technology will soon allow users to edit faces, clothing, or people as one walks by.

In other discussions, Glen Gilmore discussed the US army using AR goggles for bomb sniffing dogs. The device allows handlers to be absent while at the same time giving commands to the canines. Command Sight developers of the device claim that the technology works differently for dogs than for humans. For instance, unlike humans, the dogs do not interact with the device, but allows humans to understand how to interact with military working dogs, the article noted.

5. Machine Learning – 97 mentions

SAS analytics enabling the analysis of health sensor data through wearable technologies, electronic medical records, and others, and robotic worms making human stronger, were popularly discussed in Q4 2020. According to an article shared by Kirk D Borne, a principal data scientist at Booze Allen, SAS health analytics helps bringing machine learning analytics and AI in understanding healthcare data that can be derived from wearables, sensors, electronic records, clinical trials, research data, and others in order to improve patient outcomes at minimum costs.

In other discussions, Bob E Hayes, a scientist and blogger, discussed how wearable tech employs machine learning and signal processing to provide data-driven mental health therapy. The Sentio Feel programme provides a wristband and an app that tracks users’ emotional states, thereby offering regular assistance and exercises, and also connecting users to therapists once a week.

The system thereby allows machine learning algorithms and research on psychology to communicate to both wearers and counsellors, about the suitable, accurate, and customised treatment required by an individual, the article noted.