Portable technology is any electronic device designed to be worn on the user’s body. Such devices can be jewellery, medical equipment or clothing. But the transition from a product appreciated by early adapters to one embraced by the masses will require serious upgrades on the video stabilization front, according to experts.
Portable tech: requires video stabilization technology
For years, consumers have embraced wearable technology for specific niche uses, such as monitoring fitness levels or receiving notifications. Soon, however, experts predict that wearables will become mainstream, as the global wearable technology market size is expected to reach $118.16 billion by 2028, registering a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 13.8% from 2021 to 2028.
The transition from a product appreciated by early adopters to one embraced by the masses doesn’t come without serious technology upgrades – especially when it comes to video performance. During the pandemic, Zoom, FaceTime and other vieeobased communication platforms have proliferated for both personal and professional use. When consumers are making purchasing decisions, advanced video features are more important than ever before.
Overcoming natural movement
There is a huge opportunity for developers of video technology when it comes to smart watches, glasses and other wearable technology. The challenge lies in how to overcome quality issues associated with the movement of the wearable device. Even the slightest twitch of the arm or nod of the head will render an unfocused video image when captured by a watch or pair of glasses.
This is where proven video enhancement techniques such as video stabilisation technology can help. Many smartphone brands already have this type of software rooted in their devices to keep video stable.
Unlike a smartphone, which can be held steady much more easily, wearable devices move as the body moves, making it much more difficult, if not impossible, to stay focused. This makes video stabilisation technology not just an attractive selling feature, but an absolutely essential development on wearable devices. Wearable technology becomes virtually useless if the quality of the video cannot be controlled.
While smartphones allow the user to adjust the settings to manipulate the video, in portable technology the video enhancements must be automatic and transparent. Users will not want to take off their watch or glasses to fine-tune a picture, nor will they want the extra features to affect the size, look or comfort of the wearable device.
How instability affects the viewing experience
When video chatting or watching live-streamed video through something as unstable as a portable device, there are more risks than just poor image quality. Motion sickness, eye strain, fatigue and disorientation can occur.
With a smartwatch, the only way to prevent shaking is to keep the device completely horizontal and still during, for example, a video conference, but this is often uncomfortable for the person wearing the device and uncomfortable for the participants who have to try to focus on the video which is both blurry and distorted.
The possibilities for portable devices
Today, video stabilisation technology is already used in portable devices in industrial environments. AR headsets provide video to and from front-line workers performing field operations, inspections, remote training, plant maintenance, safety and quality inspections and other industrial tasks.
As video stabilisation technology is incorporated into consumer wearable devices over the next five to ten years, experts predict that smart watches and glasses will be embraced by the masses and the smartphone will eventually be phased out.