How wearable technology could take users to new worlds

Wearable technology is already a part of everyday life, and so many of us use fitness trackers and smartwatches for everyday use. Analytical firm GlobalData forecasts the wearable tech market to grow at 24.6% each year and to be worth more than $156 billion by 2024 as health stats to monitor and steps to count.

The Teslasuit looks like a wetsuit, but it’s actually a full-body haptic feedback system that uses electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) to simulate a range of real-world feelings and sensations based on visual simulations on a screen or a headset.

Similarly, the Teslasuit glove worn over the hand consists of an “exoskeleton” that creates resistance and gently tugs on the fingers during gripping motions to give the appearance of holding a solid object, effectively allowing the wearer to see things in a virtual Touch and feel space. Wearable technology of this standard can help bring the metaverse to life.

“You have to engage all of your senses to make it a true metaverse experience,” said Paul Nickas, vice president of global partnerships, Teslasuit. “You have to be able to really push that experience beyond what just VR would be [Virtual Reality] essentially. Right now, in the metaverse, people see it as a sort of audio and visual experience. With the ability to feel, with what we have, both the glove and the suit, that’s the Metaverse experience.”

Wearable technology for the feet is also under development. EKTO ONE’s motorized shoes are made of lightweight but strong carbon fiber and allow movement in all directions in the virtual world.

“The ability to move around the metaverse will be key when we talk about a virtual world that you can explore just like the real world,” said Brad Factor, Founder and CEO of EKTO VR. “With our robotic boots, you put them on over your shoes, put on the VR headset, and then you just walk and feel like you’re actually walking through the environment [on the screen].”

Right now, wearable technology is prohibitively expensive. The Teslasuit alone costs 13,000 euros. At these prices, market adoption will be slow and limited, but the industry is focused on developing wearable technologies that are more cost-effective.

“That’s the most important thing for the industry: how do we make this more accessible to consumers?” says Ihsan Anabtawi, CMO of Microsoft UAE, adding, “Hopefully we can do it.”

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