Thank you to U.S. Cellular for allowing me to be a member of their Blogger Brigade. All opinions are 100% my own. Take a look at this Parent-Child Agreement if you’re looking to set some ground rules for cellular use within your family this summer.
Go, go. go…story of my life. I’m definitely away from home more than I’m there. Same goes for pretty much everyone in my family. We’re busy people and I’d venture to guess that you are too. Since we’re a mobile family, we need tech that can go with us as well. However, we want it to do double duty and be useful those rare times we are able to hang out at home as well. Let’s be honest, we work hard for our money and being connected no mater where we’re at is pretty important these days for work, family or fun.
A decade ago, wearable technology was not even on most consumers’ radar. Today, it is being integrated into daily life more and more – from the fabric of smart clothing (yes this is a thing, no I don’t actually own any, although I’d like to #allthethings ) to virtual reality headsets which are becoming quite the item on my family’s wish list. According to U.S. Cellular’s annual consumer survey, one in three consumers say they own a wearable connected device, while about 40 percent of consumers say they are likely to purchase one within the next year. In an annual Internet Trends report, Mary Meeker with Kleiner Perkins reported that there were 102 million wearables shipped in 2016, up from 82 million in 2015, and just 26 million in 2014. I used to own a FitBit, but I’ve recently upgraded to an Apple Watch, which I adore, and there are plenty of other wearables out there that have definitely peaked my interest. A variety of wearable technology used in conjunction with the latest mobile devices such as the iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S8 as well as a fast, high-quality network, can make it easier to stay healthy, connected and entertained. Sounds like the perfect marriage to me!
As wearable technology becomes more affordable (yay for affordability!), fashionable and smaller, we expect it to become even more mainstream. While health and fitness is a major focus of wearables, when connected to a high-speed network with national coverage, like U.S. Cellular’s, their applications and uses grow exponentially. Although fitness and getting those steps in is still something I use my wearables for, I definitely have expanded to a variety of different daily tasks. Technology has become an integral part of our lives, so much so that we cannot easily separate from it and that’s the truth for a lot of people. As more and more people embrace this fact, with so many choices for wearable technology and more to come, U.S. Cellular recommends the following trending wearable tech:
Health and Fitness Trackers—According to U.S. Cellular’s annual survey, nearly half of all smartphone owners use their phone to monitor their health, with keeping track of exercise and monitoring eating habits being the most popular features.
- Fitness trackers, such as the Garmin Vivosmart 3, help track steps, distance, calories, sleep, and even stress levels. Fitness trackers will continue to evolve, with biometric shirts and sensors being built into clothing and sports gear that will make the technology seem almost invisible.
The Smartwatch—Fashion-conscious consumers have a variety of smartwatch options available with stylish watch face shapes, including round and rectangular, as well as numerous strap options from premium metals to high-quality leather. In addition, new software interfaces allow users to customize their smartwatch even more.
- The Apple Watch Series 2 offers built-in GPS and Bluetooth, allowing it to work with other connected devices, making it less dependent on having an iPhone within range. The trend of untethering the smartwatch from the smartphone may help it become more popular among mobile device users, and consumers may see this advancement from Apple later this year.
Virtual Reality (VR) —Perhaps the trendiest wearable technology on the market is the virtual reality headset. In fact, shipments of virtual reality and augmented reality headsets are set to climb to just under 100 million units worldwide by 2021, according to research firm IDC.
- The Samsung Gear VR with Controller allows users to experience flying through the Alps, a concert across the globe or bringing gaming characters to life.
- The Samsung Gear 360 allows users to take their own 360-degree pictures and videos from the palm of their hand.
What’s your favorite wearable technology? What’s on your wish list? Let me know in the comments below and thanks for reading!!!
¹ Between Nov. 10-17, 2016, a total of 701 online interviews were conducted among a nationally representative sample by Consumer Insights, in partnership with Maritz CX.