Wearable Technology: 26 Wearable Devices From Ancient Eyeglasses to Modern Day VR Headsets

    The history of wearable technology!


    The term wearable technology has become mainstream only now, but it isn't something that's pretty recent. Wearable technology has become popular only now, but the same has a pretty long history of more than 750 years.

    26 Wearable Devices From Ancient Eyeglasses to Modern Day VR Headsets


    Right now, when technology is ruling the world, we are trying to connect and control almost everything using smartphones, but the next outcome of the ongoing technological revolution is highly anticipated by people. In the current era, the mobile device makers are projecting wearable gadgets such as smartwatches, smart shoes, smart clothing, etc. as the upcoming ones in the field of wearable technology.

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    Leaving the future aside, today, we at GizBot, have compiled some revolutions that had taken place in the past in wearable technology. Can you believe that wearable devices were in existence since 1286? Well, take a look at the facts and statistics that we have listed below to educate yourselves about wearable technology.

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    Eyeglasses, 1286

    The very first wearable device is the eyeglasses of 1286. Prior to the production of convex lens, those with short sight had to use ingenious ways in order to see without any issue. The Emperor Nero of the Roman Empire used polished emeralds in order to see the gladiator flights. In the Viking Age, people carved lenses out of rock crystals for better vision.

    Nuremberg Egg, 1510

    The Nuremberg Egg is recorded to be the first ever portable mechanical timekeeping devices in the history of wearable technology. This inaccurate device was worn around the neck. In the 16th century, Europeans starting wearing this watches as a key status symbol. Notably, the process of timekeeping was pretty cumbersome.

    Abacus Ring, 1600's

    Abacus Ring, 1600's

    The Abacus Ring that came into existence in the 1600's is the oldest smart ring. It proves that tech you can wear around your finger is not a recent invention. The Abacus Ring was made in the Qing Dynasty and is a functional abacus that you can wear on your finger. The same is hinted by its name too.

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    Bonafide Ventilating Hat, 1800's

    It won't be an exaggeration to say that the Victorians were the pioneers of early wearable tech. In 1849, John Fuller invented the Bonafide Ventilating Hat to prevent overheating of the gentlemen's head while wearing top hats as it was a big problem back then.

    Electric Girl Lighting Company, late 1800's

    In late 1800's, the concept of illuminated ballet girls came into existence as it added attraction to the grand stage. Girls were dressed in clothing fitted with electric lights. The Electric Girl Lighting Company was also in the headlines back then as it let private houses to be lighted by girls wearing dresses fitted with bulbs and batteries, instead of stationary lights.

    Pigeon Camera, 1907

    The Pigeon Camera was very useful during the World War I. Pigeon photography was invented by Julius Neubronner, a German apothecary in 1907. The pigeon was fitted with a lightweight time-delayed miniature camera with the help of an aluminum breast harness. This helped the German army capture aerial photographs beyond the boundaries.

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    Stereophonic Television Head-Mounted Display, 1960's

    While VR Headsets are slowly becoming mainstream now, the first ever virtual reality headset kind of a device was invented in 1960. A cinematographer by name Morton Heilig created a new way of enjoying movies and named it immersive arcade experience. The invention is called Stereophonic Television Head-Mounted Display. He invented another invention called Sensorama Simulator, an upgraded virtual reality simulator with a binocular display, handlebars, stereophonic speakers,a dn cold air blower in 1962.

    Roulette Shoes, 1960's

    Edward O. Thorp and Claude Shannon built a small computer that could fit in a shoe. The invention of the mathematicians involved two parts - one in a show and another one in a cigarette pack. The data-taker will indicate the roulette wheel's speed and the computer will send the data to the hearing aid. This efficient system let the mathematicians predict the roulette games outcome helping them win the games.

    TV Glasses, 1963

    Hugo Gernsback invented the traditional television glasses that is a small portable television screen, which can be strapped to the users' face. He is also referred to as the pioneer of modern science fiction.

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    Pulsar Calculator Watch, 1975

    The Pulsar Calculator Watch is a notable wearable tech as it is the first ever smartwatch that came into existence. It is a wristwatch calculator invented by Pulsae before Xmas 1975. It came in a limited edition variant of 100 units made in 18 carat gold. The affordable stainless steel variant was launched later for common people.

    Sony Walkman, 1979

    The very first Sony Walkman was launched in 1979 and w3as a low-cost portable stereo that changed the way people listen to music. Till date, the Walkman series comprises of notable devices that have created a revolution in the music industry.

    SEIKO's UC 2000 Wrist PC, 1981

    The portable PC from SEIKO called UC 2000 let users do simple calculations and tell the time. This calculator has a mini keyboard strapped to it. However, this device wasn't a smash hit in the field of technology.

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    Private Eye, 1989

    This is a hand held input device with a head mounted screen. There is a 85mb hard drive and motorbike battery in the device. It can be said as an early attempt at the portable Google Glass.

    Sneaker Phone, 1990's

    Sports Illustrated introduced the sneaker phone as a free promo in the 1990's. It is a shoe that can double as a corded phone.

    Levis ICD+ Jacket, 2000

    This is a conductible fabric harness integrated with a mp3 player, mobile phone, and headphones. There is an inbuilt button that lets wearers switch between the integrated devices.

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    Bluetooth Headset, 2002

    Nokia introduced the traditional Bluetooth headset in 2002 letting users handle calls hands-free. This became a smash hit and exists even now. Nevertheless, there have been many changes to the Bluetooth headsets over the years. Later, many companies came up with their own Bluetooth headsets.

    Nike+, 2006

    Nike and Apple collaborated in 2006 to launch the Nike+ fitness tracking kit. It is a shoe embedded tracker that lets users view the distance, time, pace and calories burned during the workout via an iPod Nano screen.

    Fitbit Classic, 2008

    Fitbit came up with a wristband in 2008. It is one of the pioneers in the wristband industry letting users track the distance, calories burned, steps taken, sleep patterns, activity intensity and more via the wristband.

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    Google Glass, 2013

    The Google Glass is a head-mounted glasses display that didn't go as planned. The unit wasn't pretty successful as people complained of headache and addiction of use and potential privacy concerns too.

    Solar Powered Jackets, 2014

    Tommy Hilfiger released the solar powered jacket, which is embedded with solar panels letting users to charge their phone while they are on-the-go.

    Ringly, 2015

    Ringly is a smart ring that alerts wearers whenever they receive notifications via a series of vibrations and light displays. This way, users can check their smartphone only when there is something very important.

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    Apple Watch, 2015

    The Apple Watch was a major announcement to be made in 2015. IT lets texting, TV control, fitness tracking, etc. comfortable and easy. It can be said that it created a revolution in the smartwatch industry.

    QUELL, 2015

    Quell can recognize the signs of oncoming chronic pain and act accordingly to stimulate the nerves and block the pain signs to the brain. It works when it is stapped to the body.

    bPAY, 2015

    Barclay's bPay helps users in making contactless payments using the personalized wristband. It removes the hassle of remembering the PIN or carrying the card all the time.

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    Oculus RIFT, 2015

    This is a virtual reality headset that uses motion sensing technology to let users enjoy games and other content in a better and more vivid way.

    Samsung Gear VR, 2015

    This device lets users watch videos and play games more comfortably. It is lightweight too. It is a VR headset that can work with the entire Samsung Galaxy flagship lineup of smartphones.


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