Wearable technology created quite a buzz last year with Samsung releasing the Galaxy Gear, Google releasing its Google Glass, Jawbone releasing the Jawbone Up, Nike releasing the FuelBand, and many other companies releasing their own versions of wearable technology. It’s no surprise that this has created a love affair between consumers and technology that is more mobile than ever. Wearable technology allows us to use technology unobtrusively by incorporating it into things we wear on a daily basis such as watches, shirts, hats, glasses, or bracelets. We, as consumers, are always looking for a way to constantly have our technology devices with us at all times and wearable technology is just a skip and a jump away from a Robocop-esque future. There are a handful of wearable technology products to look forward to this year, but here are some that are worth highlighting.
The first on the list is the Nymi wristband, the latest product from the Toronto-based biometrics startup company, Bionym. The idea behind the development of the Nymi was that each individual has a unique heartbeat or ECG wave that is impossible to replicate. Bionym used this fact to create the Nymi, which is used for authentication processes such as password management, computer access, and even a Bitcoin wallet. Those worried about forgetting their passwords never need to worry about that again with the Nymi. The president of Bionym, Andrew D’Souza has announced that they have been working on partnering up with hotels, retailers, payment providers, and airlines to integrate a seamless check-in or payment process using the Nymi. Not only that, but the wristband has an accelerometer and gyroscope meaning it could be used for fitness apps in the future. The Nymi is set to be released later this year and can currently be pre-ordered for $79
Next up are the three new wearable tech releases from Samsung this year: the Gear 2, the Gear 2 Neo, and the Gear Fit. The Gear 2 and Neo are the revamped and updated versions of the Galaxy Gear that Samsung released late last year. Hailed as the smart watch that Samsung should have released last year, the Gear 2 and Gear Neo addressed many of the problems that the Galaxy Gear was criticized for. The Gear 2 and Neo are lighter more compact with a new OS and a handful of new features such as a heart-rate sensors, water resistance, and an infrared emitter. The Gear Fit is Samsung’s version of a fitness band. Despite it being marketed as a fitness band it also has smart watch functions such as phone connections, email display, and push notifications that give it an edge over its fitness band competitors.
Another noteworthy wearable tech product is Sony’s fitness tracker, the Sony SmartBand. The SmartBand is a life logging wristband that doesn’t just track your movement or count your steps, but also logs your communications or entertainment 24/7. Its waterproof capabilities and sleek unobtrusive design allow you to wear it all day without being bothered. The SmartBand is best used with the life logging app that will allow you to set activity goals and monitor your progress using Core’s Lifelog software.
The next item on the list is actually a product released last year, the Sony Smartwatch 2. Although the Sony Smartwatch 2 was released last year, this year the Sony Smartwatch 2 has partnered with Garmin to create a new app, which transforms the Sony Smartwatch 2 into a small navigation device. The app offers offline maps, walking directions, and real-time traffic all from your wristwatch. The Garmin app is going to be officially launched sometime this month.
Last on the list is the Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses presented at the Consumers Electronics Show last year. Much like the Google Glass, the M100 Smart Glasses will act as a wearable computer that will allow the wearer to get information, see emails and messages, snap pictures, and record videos. The Smart Glasses come with a control pod, an earpiece, and a headband that secures the device. Powered by Android, the Smart Glasses include a speech recognition feature that allows you to control the device using your voice.
These, of course, are just a few of the wearable tech products to look forward to this year. With the continuing rise of such products, consumers can expect even more exciting things in the wearable technology market later this year and in the years to come.