One of the biggest areas of innovation this year is wearable technology. From eyewear to wristwear and beyond, wearable tech is slowly becoming more popular and more practical. This week, we take a look at some of the innovative products which may further change the ways we communicate and consume content.
The most talked about of the wearable tech devices is likely Google Glass, a project from Google which places a small lens on a glasses frame and displays content and notifications to the wearer. Criticisms of early prototypes have include limited app availability, privacy concerns, style faux pas, and difficulties with connections and commands. Google is set to address these concerns in 2014 and provide a version of Glass for sale to the public.
Improving in technology while declining in style, the Meta Pro takes the idea of Google Glass to the extreme. The oversized pair of glasses features a Windows pocket computer, offers augmented reality capabilities, and is controlled by hand gestures. You can enter the future with a Meta Pro this summer for a whopping $3,000.
Like smartphones and smart TVs, watches are the next on the list to get a major upgrade.
Last year, two smartwatches rose to the top of the pack. Born from Kickstarter, Pebble offers a sleek design and a wide variety of apps for notifications, fitness, music, and more. Their latest offering, Pebble Steel, features all of the functionality of the popular original with a sleek new design. Samsung's Galaxy Gear smartwatch hit the market last year, featuring improved phone connectivity but no email or social network support.
You may be familiar with popular fitness tracking wearables Polar Loop or Fitbit, but the latest devices offer functionality beyond fitness tracking.
The Jaybird Reign not only tracks your heart rate and steps, but can recommend when it is best for you to exercise and can accurately measure and differentiate various activities, like running and walking. The device can also report on your sleep history and provide recommendations for more a more restful slumber. Even beyond the Reign is the Sony SmartBand. Launching later this year, the SmartBand relays all of the user's activity to an accompanying LifeLog app. The app offers a wide variety of details on the user's day, such as how many photos they took, how much they interacted with a friend, and how much they exercised. It can even alert you to weather changes, capture special moments, and log your sleep- all from a colorful, customizable wristband.
At CES this year, other wearable tech devices including socks, rings, and necklaces were also introduced. While many of these devices are still in development and none yet offer advertising, they are likely to become a part of our lives and impact our behavior sooner rather than later.