Modern wearable technology can track your health, augment reality, and connect you to the world. And it feels like these devices appeared on wrists, heads, and Amazon wish lists overnight. In one sense, they have. In 2012, wearable devices were only used by early adopters. But in the last three months of 2015 over 27 million wearable devices were sold. This explosion in the popularity of devices is only beginning. At least one analyst predicts that 148 million wearables will be sold in 2019.
But the journey of wearables from tech toys to mainstream accessories was surprisingly rocky. And much longer than you might think. It all started in the 1970s, when the Hamilton Watch Company released a digital watch that was loved by the President. For the next few decades tech companies tried (and usually failed) to build wearable devices for the general public. Success was rare, but these rough ideas laid the foundation for the modern era. Check out this infographic to see how we went from simple digital watches to high tech wearables.