Protecting Your IoT Wearables in the 2020s
Can you remember life without your phone? When you hailed cabs in the street, listened to music on compact discs, and called a restaurant for home delivery. Ten years ago, a mobile phone was for calling friends and sending text messages, but it’s now an alien life form that’s replaced all those tasks and more, transforming our personal lives forever.
Smartphones helped define the 2010s, and the Internet of Things, or IoT, is set to dominate the 2020s. From sleep tracking rings to smart glasses, billions of devices now communicate with each other, sharing and collecting our data online.
With our physical and digital worlds converging, the IoT influences how we eat, exercise, and sleep, and these devices need your protection.
So as we discuss why wearables matter and which devices are trending, we’ll also show you how a pre-configured VPN router can keep your Wi-Fi network safe.
What is wearable tech?
IoT devices such as Fitbit wristbands and smartwatches are “wearable tech.” They use smart sensors to monitor your biometrics, such as how many steps you take every day. You then sync it with Bluetooth and submit the data to your phone.
Wearables help you achieve your goals by tracking your physical activities and sleeping patterns. Likewise, virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) glasses are potential game-changers through the 5G entertainment opportunities they afford.
What type of wearable devices are there?
Wearables’ growing popularity has seen them become icebreakers in offices, store lines, and Zoom calls everywhere.
With wearable sales expecting to reach $63 billion in 2021, their growth coincides with lifestyle changes that see us taking better care of our bodies.
Unsurprisingly, two of the biggest selling smart devices are health and fitness related.
- Fitbit – Fitbit is a wristband step counter and was recently acquired by Google for $2.1 billion. The pedometer was one of the first wearable devices to achieve mainstream success back in 2009. The latest Fitbit iterations include a GPS tracker, which you can sync to your smartphone through their app by pairing the device with Bluetooth.
- Apple Watch – With each version of the Apple Watch becoming more fitness-friendly, their Series 6 model provides you with real-time health insights, from your step count to sleeping routine, and syncs to your phone through Bluetooth.
It’s one of the few smartwatches that have an internal electrocardiogram warning you if you have a heart complication — sending notifications to your doctor if you’re suffering from palpitations.
Wearables you’ll be talking about in 2021
Apple is not alone in targeting the wearable market, with one of the biggest tech trends of 2019 being the smart ring.
It’s popular with business leaders who prefer the notification subtlety of a ring than awkwardly glancing at their smartwatch in meetings.
You can also use a smart ring to swipe for payments by waving your finger and opening your car door.
- Oura Ring – Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey wears Oura Ring. The wedding-style ring is a titanium gold-colored device that monitors your temperature, heart and respiratory rates, and sleep patterns.
It possesses two infrared LED sensors, thermal coefficient body temperature sensors, a 3D accelerometer, and a gyroscope. Oura uses Bluetooth to sync your data with its app to send you mobile notifications.
- Apple Glass – Apple products have frequently led to new lifestyle habits, and its augmented smart glasses are coming soon. They’ll have holographic displays in their lenses, which will synchronize your iPhone data to display messages, emails, maps, and biometric data within eye range, with tiny cameras mounted outside.
Apple Glass will also have cameras that allow you to read small text and see other people standing alongside virtual objects. It’s likely to launch in 2022 and may even replace the iPhone this decade. Apple also aims to deliver an augmented-reality headset in 2022 and a “sleeker” pair of smart glasses by 2023.
As we learned in the 2010s, new tech always emerges, and our old tools become museum exhibits over time.
Protecting your devices from security risks
From smart rings to augmented reality, IoT devices rely on wireless connectivity and Bluetooth, requiring a VPN’s protection. Otherwise, your physical and mental health data risks falling into the wrong hands.
A hacker only needs to get lucky once, and with the IoT market growing exponentially, the number of devices using your Wi-Fi network can lead to security issues.
The easiest way to protect your online privacy is with a pre-configured VPN router, and here’s why.
What’s a VPN router, and how does it work?
A VPN is a virtual private network, and it creates a secret tunnel that protects your Internet activity by changing your real IP address into a virtual one.
Once you have multiple devices using the same Wi-Fi network, it makes sense to have a VPN router that protects everything, so you don’t have to make individual software installations.
That way, all your devices connect to the Internet through an encrypted VPN tunnel, keeping your network secure. So for a more consistent and safer Wi-Fi experience, a VPN router can protect your security vulnerabilities at source.
Securing the devices of the future
With smart devices monitoring your sleep, heart rate, temperature, and how many steps you take, the Internet of Things is fast becoming a galaxy of emotion readers, tracking the most intimate elements of our lives.
What started as a fitness wristband in 2009 has become a sprawling billion-dollar industry, which may transform society as smartphones did a decade ago.
By nudging us to live healthier and more efficient lives, IoT devices are perhaps a stepping stone towards an augmented reality, where our minds and bodies merge with the Internet.
As a wise sage once said, “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us,” so by protecting them, we are defending ourselves.