The transition from a product enjoyed by early adopters to one embraced by the masses requires upgrade in video stabilization technology.

For years, consumers have embraced wearables for specific niche use cases such as monitoring fitness levels and receiving email and text notifications. Soon, however, experts predict that wearables will become mainstream, with the global wearable technology market size expected to reach $118.16 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028.

The transition from a product enjoyed by early adopters to one embraced by the masses won’t come without some serious technology upgrades – especially when it comes to video performance. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom, FaceTime and other videotelephony platforms proliferated for both personal and professional use. When making purchasing decisions, consumers now look to video capabilities more than ever before.

Imint Wearables, Industry Today
When making purchasing decisions, consumers now look to video capabilities more than ever before.

Overcoming Natural Movement of Wearables

There’s a huge opportunity for developers of video technology when it comes to smart wristwatches, glasses, and other wearables. Where the challenge lies is facing how to overcome quality issues associated with movement of the wearable. Even the slightest twitch of an arm or nod of a head will render an unfocused video image when captured by a watch or pair of glasses.

This is where proven video enhancement technology like video stabilization technology can help. Many smartphone brands already have this kind of software firmly rooted into their devices to keep video steady.

Without video enhancement software, wearables will likely never achieve the same video production level as smartphones. Unlike a smartphone that can be held stable much more easily, wearables move as the body moves, making it much more difficult, if not impossible, to stay in focus. This makes video stabilization technology not just an attractive selling feature, but absolutely imperative to the progression of wearables. The wearable essentially becomes unusable if the quality of the video can’t be controlled.

While smartphones allow the end-user to adjust settings to manipulate the video, with wearables, the video enhancements need to happen automatically and transparently. Users won’t want to take off their watch or glasses to finetune an image, nor do they want those extra features to impact the size, cosmetics, or comfort of the wearable.

How Unstable Video Affects the Viewer Experience

When conducting video chats and live streamed video through something as inherently unstable as a wearable, there’s more at risk than just poor image quality. Motion sickness, eye strain, fatigue, and disorientation can occur.

With a smart watch, the only way to preclude shakiness is to hold the device perfectly horizontal and still during a video conference – but that is often uncomfortable to the person wearing the device and to participants who struggle to focus on video that comes through blurry and warped.

A similar situation unfolds when smart glasses are used to capture and stream live video, be it for personal enjoyment, business presentations, or remote, virtual assistance. Imagine touring a model home remotely via smart glasses worn by a realtor or watching vacation scenes sent to you in real-time from a friend’s smart sunglasses. The slightest bob of the head or shift in stance would ruin video image, resulting in an unpleasurable viewing experience.

The Opportunities for Wearables

Today, video stabilization technology is already being utilized by wearables in industrial settings. AR headsets provide video to and from frontline workers performing field operations, inspections, remote training and collaboration, facility maintenance, safety and quality inspections, and other industrial tasks. This use case has been extremely successful in even the most demanding situations.

As video stabilization technologies weave their way into consumer wearable devices over the next five to ten years, experts predict that smart watches and glasses will move mainstream. There’s no doubt that the video standard has been set by today’s top smartphones; that said, wearables that can match it with effortless and automatic imaging enhancements through innovative video stabilization technologies are destined to be adopted by the masses quickly.

Johan Svensson Imint, Industry Today
Johan Svensson

About the Author:
Johan Svensson is Chief Technology Officer of Imint Image Intelligence AB, inventors of Vidhance video enhancement software. Johan holds a MSc in Engineering Physics from Umeå University and has experience from GE Healthcare’s organisation, where he had a number of senior roles in project management and product development. He has also held senior engineer roles in optics and sensor technology during his time at GE. Outside office hours, Johan is a skilled and enthusiastic photographer. 


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