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Published on July 25th, 2017 | by Guest

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The Pursuit of Technical Perfection: Tracing Wearable Tech back to the 17th Century

You would probably think that wearable tech is a new industry but you could conceivably argue that the roots of this futuristic technology can be traced as far back as the 17th century.

Our enduring fascination with gadgets is fueled by a pursuit for technical perfection so here is a look at some key moments in wearable tech history plus an insight into some of the current inventions and their uses in the modern world.

The first wearable tech?

If you could travel back in time to the 17th century you would be able to find someone wearing what could be considered the start of our interest in strapping things to our body in pursuit of technical excellence.

An abacus ring made of silver and dating from the Qing Dynasty in China was a form of wearable tech that was pinned to clothing and the accompanying pen could be used to move the tiny beads if you wanted to make a quick calculation on the go.

The first fitness tracker?

Long before we all started wearing trainers, it is understood that Leonardo da Vinci dreamt of the idea of a mechanical device for counting steps, but we had to wait until 1780 for a Swiss man called Abraham-Louis Perrelet to adapt a self-winding watch mechanism and create the first pedometer.

Bluetooth – a real game-changer

In more recent history, there have been some inventions that have helped propel the wearable tech industry to the next level and the introduction Bluetooth technology at the start of the new millennium proved to be another pivotal moment.

The ability to connect devices using Bluetooth turned out to be a real game-changer and helped transformed communications as well as wearable tech.

Smaller and more integrated

Wearable tech like fire resistant clothing has also proved to be transformational in making workplaces safer and in addition to apparel that can communicate, protect and offer a number of other benefits, our ability to make devices smaller and more integrated have also made a substantial difference.

An example of how different features and technologies are now being combined would the latest sport wireless heart rate headphones available.

This means you can wear a set of Bluetooth headphones to listen to your favorite music while the integrated heart-rate sensors monitor your performance and relay the data for analysis.

Devices like the Fitbit are also evolving and the latest versions offer a lot more features besides measuring your athletic performance. Their Alta HR product also focuses on ways to improve your sleep quality by providing you with insights that are being billed as a new advance in sleep tracking tech.

The forerunner to wearable tech like fitness trackers can be traced back to many centuries ago and one thing seems certain, our obsession with gadgets like this and the pace of innovation means that we are all in for an exciting hi-tech future.

What would the likes of Leonardo da Vinci make of today’s wearable tech offerings?

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