Recent advances in wearable technology could make recycling more challenging, according to Call2Recycle, Inc. CEO and President Carl Smith. Almost all wearable technologies are battery powered and while batteries can be recycled, the design of these wearables makes it difficult to remove the batteries and successfully reclaim the metals.
Smith stresses that if product manufacturers don’t consider the complete lifecycle of the products, we could repeat the pre-1980 era, when there was a large increase in landfill waste.
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Recent advances in wearable technology are challenging our definition of clothing and technology as they converge to improve our quality of life. Inventors are developing more sophisticated and essential products that are quickly being integrated into the fabric of our lives. These smart electronic devices can be worn on the body as an accessory during everyday life.
Fitness trackers, smart sunglasses, sports trackers and even smart socks, shorts and sleepwear are a far cry from the first wearable technologies — children’s athletic shoes featuring heels that light up when they struck the ground. These new devices use Internet of Things technology to exchange data with a manufacturer, operator or other connected devices, with no human involvement.