Over the past few month wearable technology is getting more public awareness and sparking conversations. Wearables aren't a new concept for technology but with the recent release of Google Glass the potential of these types of devices are being considered. Some are used in conjunction with smartphones and laptops but others may have what it takes to replace them altogether. Wearable technology has the most potential to benefit in situations wear the use of cellphones and laptops are prohibited and to track information.
The adoption of technology has come with controversy, particularly with Google Glass because the camera function can impede on public privacy. It's clear wearable tech still has some bugs to work out but more and more devices are making there way onto the market. Websites such as Facebook and other social media outlets, private information is easily accessible to the public without carefully monitoring privacy settings. As a society, we value privacy but lead very public lives over social media. The question is where do we draw the line?
Wearable technology is just now making its way into the mainstream population and the market for it is still in its infancy. The next year or two will determine whether or not devices are adopted as household items. The future is looking for and more like an episode of The Jetsons.
7 GolfSense Glove: $130
A device that fits to most golf gloves and provide feedback on the users swing using motion sensor technology. It provides useable data on a golfer's swing such as how hard the ball was hit, whether or not the acceleration decreased before impact or if the ball was hit too early. The sensor is light weight and doesn't effect hand motions during the game and is strapped on with Velcro. This device will tell you why the ball isn't going where its supposed to go. The GolfSense App can be used to watch your game improve over time, and provide stats on posture and position as well as the speed and velocity of the swing.
6 Logbar Ring: $145
Ring is an innovative Kickstarter campaign that is going to be available for mass marketing in July of this year, and can be pre-ordered now for $145. It's a ring that connects with nearly every device and will even be compatible with Google Glass and smart watches. It uses motion sensing technology to send texts, pay bills, capture pictures, play music and even control the TV without a remote with a simple motion of the finger. The ring will recognize the users handwriting and motions can be customized. It's as simple as drawing a music note in the air to play music from your iPod. The campaign set out to raise $250,000 and has already exceeded $433,000 and generated a lot of interest.
5 Instabeat: $149
Instabeat is the first waterproof heart rate monitor designed for swimmers. It was developed by a professional swimmer because of the need for technology to improve workouts. The device is fitted around normal goggles but it constantly monitors the heart rate using blood flowing through the temporal artery. A light changes color to alert the user how close they are to achieving their target goal. Up until now, fitness trackers have had a hard time working for swimmers because the difficulty in making a device accurate while submerged in water. The Instabeat has won many awards for achievements in science and technology and has proven to be a useful advancement for the sport.
8. Jawbone Up24: $150
The Jawbone Up24 wearable fitness tracker is set apart on the market because it can look great on men and women, because of the simple design of a small wristband instead of a clunky watch style. It comes in black and bright orange, with the ends of the straps not connecting. This way the strap won't become unhinged and lost during the day or night. The original version only worked with iOS devices but now is compatible for Android users as well. The data is stored with the Jawbone app, which can be used to track snacks and meals throughout the day.
4 LG Lifeband Touch: $179
The LG Lifeband touch is a new fitness wristband from LG. It's a lightweight device that connects with special headphones equipped with special sensor technology that can read the heart rate as blood flows through the inner ear. The device can also be used as a pedometer, and displays a wide range of fitness tracking information. The Lifeband Touch works with Bluetooth and transmits text messages, calls and other notifications from your smartphone. It's a practical device with more than fitness capabilities, and the headphones can be used to play music when they aren't being used as a heart rate monitor.
3 Basis Band: $200
The basis band by Basis Science is a very technologically advanced fitness tracker with a watch style. The watch itself looks like a basic digital watch but turn it over and there are six sensors that monitor biometric stats through the skin. The band is splash resistant, making it safe to wear out in the rain or the shower. It offers motivational fitness advice along with providing stats on everything from heart rate, steps taken and even measures how well and how long the user sleeps each night. The lithium powered battery can hold a charge for up to four days.
4. Pebble Steel: $229
The Pebble Steel is the newer version of the well-known Pebble Smartwatch. Its a flashier look with a colourful LED screen, that's easy to read in the sunlight. It comes in black matte or stainless steel and choice of a leather watch band or metal one. The watch is waterproof and lasts up from 5-7 days on a single charge. The new version is compatible with all the previous Pebble apps, and can send and receive texts, calls and notifications from many social media platforms. It makes it possible to check a message without pulling out your phone during a meeting. The Pebble is made with all premium materials, which includes Gorilla glass, so it's nearly impossible to break the screen, which is a common problem among smartphones.
2 Skully Helmet: $1,000
The Skully augmented reality motorcycle helmet is expected to be on the market later this year with an estimated price of $1,000. The helmet provides a rear and side view camera, so motorists can check their six without looking behind them. The helmet also includes a GPS navigation system and can pair to a smartphone and play music and take calls, all while being hands free. There will no longer be a need to pull over to check a map during those long rides. This helmet will make riding safer, with an easy way of checking for traffic, while still keeping eye on the road ahead.
2. Zegna Sport Icon Jacket: $1,300
The this fashionable jacket designed by Zegna comes in black, blue or red. There are audio and call controls mounted on the wrist with a Bluetooth connection to link them with a smartphone or music player. There is set of headphones inside the jacket and an in-line microphone. The jacket is well designed and brings a luxury side to wearable tech. It works with a joystick-like function on the sleeve and can control any Bluetooth enabled device by toggling the joystick up, down, left or right.
1 Google Glass: $1,500
Google Glass is currently the most well-known and talked about piece of wearable tech. The device is a very futuristic looking pair of glasses, with a camera and screen covering one eye. Google Glass has only been made available with limited edition, and can be acquired for $1,500 with their Google Glass Explorer program. Each Explorer is allowed to give out three invitations for others to obtain the technology, and its not yet available in Canada. Google Glass has a camera that can capture point-of-view pictures and videos. There are apps for Google Glass that include facial recognition technology that have brought even more controversy about privacy issues. The apps weren't developed by Google and users have the opportunity to opt out.