1. Oyster card on our watches
Putting an end to the misery of a misplaced Oyster card, a dedicated wearable or app (or perhaps a choice between the two) would make the daily commute that little bit easier.
Zapping a wrist on the reader, would not only save you from being the person holding everyone up when they can’t locate their Oyster card in the murky depths of their bag, it could also offer you extra information, like how long until the next train -- giving you the data you need to make the all-important ‘stand or walk’ decision on the escalator.
Integrating useful information such as real-time updates on train times and delays would cheer up disgruntled commuters, especially if it offered them alternatives routes when a route is unexpectedly shut down.
2. Wearable dating watches
If you’re struggling to think of a worse use of wearables than keeping track of your sex life, that’s because there isn’t one. While the thought of any sort of connected sex toy is preposterously creepy, wearables are crying out to be used in the 21st Century dating game.
Forget swiping left or right on your laughably old-fashioned Tinder smartphone app. Imagine if you could just walk into a bar and bring up pictures of every other Tinder user in there on your smartphone screen. Simply double tap your smartwatch screen to give them the thumbs up.
They’ll be over to buy you a drink before you can say “romance is dead and my smartwatch just killed it”.
3. Table reservations made by wearables
The weekly listings magazine is nice, but it feels a little old-fashioned to carry a copy under your arm on a night out. We want an app that calls up the nearest pubs (with the shortest wait at the bar) with a couple of taps on the wrist.
Rounds of more than four drinks could be ordered in advance, tables could be reserved and there would be a built-in calculator tailored to bill-splitting and tip-related calculations for restaurants. The possibilities are endless, though of course you’d need the venues to get on board to really make it work.
Imagine if instead of plonking your coins down on the edge of the pool table, you could simply swipe your wearable to add yourself to an electronic list, then wait for the haptic feedback on your smartwatch to page you when it’s your turn to take to the baize? Actually, this sounds like the most annoying pub ever. Forget it. As you were.
4. Smartwatch to pay for your food shop
Online grocery shopping is one of the best things ever invented, and yet, sometimes we still need to go into the physical shop either because we’ve forgotten something or we’re stocking up on ‘perishables’. We’d like these visits to be as quick and painless as possible, which is a where some form of wearable tech would come in.
An app showing which products can be found where in the shop would be handy and it would also be good to make use of some of the same technology that’s used on the shop’s online shopping portal, such as alerts to tell you when your favourite items are on offer. Rather than queuing up at the conventional tills, we’d just bag our stuff up as we went and tap our smartwatch on a reader at the exit to pay.
We need this now, if only because we may completely lose it next time one of the self-service tills has the gall to tell us that there’s “an unexpected item in the bagging area”, when the item in question is very clearly a bag.
5. Lego smartwatch
One of the most common complaints made about wearables is that they’re ugly, but what if you could design your own? And even construct it yourself? That’s where Lego comes in.
We’re imagining a smaller and more attractive version of Lego Technics, where mix and match sets would let you construct a wearable of your choosing, powered by a tiny chip like the Intel Curie.
Whether it’s a smartwatch, a piece of quirky jewelry or a wearable camera, you could make anything out of Lego and it would look awesome.
6. Oculus styled Netflix
Despite it’s dogged insistence on annoyingly autoplaying the following instalment once you’ve watched an episode of one of its original programs, Netflix is a fantastic streaming service. You can watch on mobile devices, but a tiny screen is far from ideal, so we reckon that Netflix should launch its own Oculus-style headset.
This would mean uninterrupted viewing of your chosen programme and also introduce the concept of VR TV to the movie-streaming platform.
Yes, you may look like a fool wearing it, but while everyone around you is jostling for enough space to read their newspaper on the tube, you’re happily enjoying Orange is the New Black with absolutely no danger of accidentally making eye contact with a fellow passenger. Who’s the fool now? Eh?
7. Medical records stashed on your wrist
On to serious matters now - the National Health Service. If the cost of such a program could somehow avoid crippling the already struggling health service, a wearable that holds your medical records - including blood type, organ donor status and any existing conditions - would be nice.
Think of it as an electronic form of the medical bracelet worn by people with potential life-threatening conditions such as diabetes. Of course if it was going to be used for this, we’d need to make damn sure that it works and that it’s secure.
A wearable could also be used to remind people to give blood and to make it easier for them to do so - answering the set questions online and then swiping a wearable on your way into the donor centre to confirm your answers would be a lot easier than the archaic pre-donation Q&A used now.
8. Quick coffee
Starbucks already has a smartphone app that enables you to pay for your drinks, but wearable tech would take this to the next logical step.
A smartphone app that automatically places your regular order as the walk through the door, enables you to pay with a quick tap and automatically displays your name on a screen in front of the barista to avoid any hilarious new derivations of your name being written on your cup, would be marvellous.
It could also alert you to the ‘secret menu’ items that Starbucks sells but keeps inexplicably quiet about.
9. Hot dogs and beer instantly please
Our national stadium is currently powered by phone network EE which has already introduced nifty mobile payment via smartphone app, but we want to see wearables joining the party - EE has already made a start by introducing its own action cam.
A wearable (or more likely an app) that gets you through the ticket barrier, pays for your merch, guides you to your seat and tells you where the nearest toilets are and when they’re not too busy would be superb.
NFL team the San Francisco 49ers has got the right idea. It has one of the most technically advanced stadiums in the world and an app that enables fans to order beer and hot dogs without even leaving their seat. We’re pretty sure this is what the boffins had in mind when they went to the trouble of inventing all this stuff.
10. Apple talking dog collar
Yes, we know that Apple is already doing a little business in the wearables arena, but so far it has neglected non-humans and it’s about time it paid some attention to man’s best friend.
There is really no need to go beyond the words ‘TALKING DOG COLLAR’ when trying to justify this one, but we will anyway. Imagine if you could have a real live talking pooch just like Doug the dog in Disney’s tearjerker Up? While it may sound like something out of an unconvincing science fiction screenplay, similar ‘mind-reading’ tech that can harness a dog’s thoughts is already in development in the form of the No More Woof headset.
We’re already seen big tech firms getting into the pet wearable arena, courtesy of the Motorola Scout 5000 smart collar and GoPro Fetch action cam mount - so we know it can be done. Your move Apple.