Wearable gadgets have been one of the biggest tech talking points of the past few years, with both established companies and start-ups all throwing their ideas into the ring. From fitness trackers to the Apple Watch, it seems that wearable technology is finally an accessible and (mostly) affordable consumer area. Plus, with the release date much anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset finally being announced, it looks like wearables won’t be going away any time soon.

However, if you’re thinking that wearables are a modern phenomenon, you’d be wrong. As this infographic from Stay Sourced shows, the idea of wearable technology has been around for hundreds of years. As it is, it looks like mankind has always tried to find new ways to cut corners and improve life quality by strapping gadgets and trinkets to our bodies.

Let’s start at the beginning of the infographic at perhaps one of the most ground-breaking and overlooked (pardon the pun) pieces of tech of all time; eyeglasses. Whilst not exactly most people’s idea of a cutting edge piece of equipment, at the time eyeglasses would have been the peak of high-tech achievements. Previous to their invention, the short sighted either had to manually hold pieces of convex glass to their eyes if they wanted to see, or just struggle through life in semi-blindness. As the infographic reports, before the invention of convex glass people had to use more ingenious ways to see, with Emperor Nero using a large emerald in order to see while spectating at the Coliseum.

Another highly influential piece of antiquarian technology comes in the form of the Nuremburg egg, one of the first portable mechanical watches. However, far from being the sleek and discrete items we’re more acquainted with today, the Nuremburg egg was a cumbersome and weight piece of timekeeping kit, being worn around the neck rather than strapped to the wrist. It was also rather inaccurate, having no hands to measure minutes or seconds, only one hour hand. This didn’t seem to bother it’s wearers though, as rather than being a simple utilitarian piece of wearable technology the Nuremburg egg was equally as much a show of wealth and influence; the gold Rolex of its time.

Further down the years, we see the Victorians attempting to combat the warm weather by way of an air conditioned top hat. Only a patent exists for this item, and it’s unsure how the air conditioning mechanism would have been powered; perhaps by way of removing the hat from the head. Other pieces of clothing technology include a shoe used for cheating at roulette, and Levis’ now obsolete mp3 player/mobile phone combo jacket, and Tommy Hilfiger’s solar powered jacket, allowing wearers to charge their phone on the go.

Take a look at the infographic to see the full range of items, and click here to head to the Stay Sourced site and see more tech.

The History of Wearable Technology and Gadgets (Infographic)

The History of Wearable Technology and Gadgets (Infographic) -
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