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The Originals of Wearable Tech

From fitness bands and smartwatches to Google Glass, we’ve been talking a lot about wearable tech lately. We’ve produced a Google Glass course (free on YouTube!), this month’s NuggetCast is all about wearable tech, and we’ve even got a Twitter chat (#NuggetChat) coming up about it!

All this talk about wearable tech got us thinking about the origins of it all. If you really think about it, “wearable tech” has been around for longer than we think. So, just for fun, we’ve put together a list of some of the original wearable tech:

heart-mood-ringThe Mood Ring – Originally popular in the 1970s, tween girls still love this wearable tech even today. The mood ring’s concept is simple: You wear it on your finger, and depending on your mood, the ring changes color. The rings are made using liquid crystals, which nowadays is what LCD screens are made from.walkman

The Walkman
 – The original Walkman was introduced to the market in 1979 as Sony’s portable audio cassette player. It shook up the music industry and paved the way for portable music players.


The Calculator Watch – Bursting on the scene in the mid-1980s, the calculator watch may the be first “mass-produced” wearable tech out there. Companies quickly began a “feature-war” due to demand for the high-tech market. While they had some mainstream popularity, the novelty eventually wore off and to this day are automatically associated as an accessory for the iconic “nerd.”Np88_support

The Pager – The very first pagers were used in the 1950’s for doctors. Once it was commercialized in the 1990s, the pager quickly moved from being a professional tool to a social device and one of the first ways to be always connected.

Tamagotchi_0124_ubtThe Tamagotchi – Developed in Japan, the Tamagotchi was introduced to the United States in the mid-1990s and quickly became popular among teenagers and adults alike. While its housing is technically designed as a key chain, many users ended up wearing the device on their body to make sure they were never far from their digital pet should it need something. Since its original launch, the digital pet has be redesigned and is still popular among youth today.

ankle-bracelet-150x95The Ankle Monitor
 – Electronic monitoring was originally developed in the 1960s, but the actual device started being used to monitor individuals on house arrest or parole in the early 1980s. While the house arrest ankle bracelet may not be “mainstream” wearable tech, we still think it’s worth noting on our list.

What would you add to our list of originals?



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