Wearable devices are taking the market by storm as their role in different areas - healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, banking and education among others – are said to be critical. Besides, these devices are slowly becoming part of our regular lifestyle. Many companies including startups across the globe are leaving no stone unturned to create innovative wearables. Particularly the market has witnessed a significant rise in the launch of wearables after Google and Apple jumped into the fray a few years back. This trend is fast gaining pace in India. Given the figures of a report, the wearable fitness market will top $1.15 bn this year, up 35 percent from last year. Amazingly, 75 percent of US adults already have a health and fitness device. These devices include pedometers, fitness video games, portable blood-pressure and heart-rate monitors, fitness apps, digital sports watches and scales. India is fast catching up with the globe in the consumption of wearable devices.
Here is a list of interesting smart and unique wearables which have created buzz globally.
1. Smart Watches
Smart watches are the most commonly seen wearables. These watches can run apps and play back all sorts of digital media. Many of these watches have touchscreen facilities which enables users to access functions like calculator, thermometer etc. There are many popular smartwatches in the market such as Apple watch, Samsung Gear S2, Tag Heuer Connected, Sony SmartWatch 3, Asus ZenWatch 2, Moto 360. Whether you are a gadget geek or a fashionista, you would like to own one of these watches.
2. Fitness Band
Fitness band has recently gained popularity as it keeps the track of activity throughout the day. The aim of the band is to keep you fit without you ever setting the foot in a gym. It keeps track of every activity such as floors climbed, calories burned, distance travelled etc. Some of the fitness trackers also show the smart phone notifications and monitors heart rate. Some of the famous fitness bands are Fitbit, Xiaomi Mi Band, Jawbone fitness band etc.
3. Smart Shoes
Smart shoes may not be as popular as smart watches and fitness bands, but are surely the future lifestyle materials. Smart shoes are not ordinary shoes. They track the daily activities of the person. There are some smart shoes which have sensors and microelectronics integrated into the sole that measure the biomechanical data of the athlete and also evaluate the runner's form with the help of measurements in real time. The shoes can be recharged by a charger.
4. Google Glass
Google Glass has been trending in the market. It is not like a normal pair of glasses as it cannot be folded and requires a special case for transportation. Though it is very comfortable to wear, the interchangeable frames are light, but one side has the weight of the battery, screen, camera, small speaker and guts of the smart glasses.
Google Glass is a headset that displays information in a smart phone like hands free format and lets the wearer give voice commands to the device. Head and eye movement gesture can wake or turn off glass. It is one of the best wearable technologies, as people can access camera anytime and it shows display that is interchangeable. This glass would be a little uncomfortable for people who wear glasses and would need prescription lenses to make the screen clear to read. It is expensive and can be uncomfortable with prolonged wearing. It is also socially unacceptable.
5. VR Headsets
The era of visual reality is here. There has been a buzz around VR from the past few years, as people are interested in knowing what VR headset is capable of doing in the modern world. VR headsets help the user to immerse himself/herself in his/her favorite videos, pictures and other visual reality content. Once you put this headset, you will completely forget where you are and would enjoy the content thoroughly.
Although VR headset is a new concept, it is quickly becoming very popular. One can expect a lot from it in the near future. The most popular VR Headsets are Oculus Rift, Google Cardboard, HTC VIVE, PlayStation VR, OnePlus Loop VR, LG 360 VR and Samsung VR headset.
6. Smart Clothing
Smart clothing is the newest trend in this arena. The idea has floated around for a few years, but not much of it has come out of it until now. Companies like Google, Samsung, OM Signal, Under Armour and Hexo Skin have begun thinking of making your clothes as smart as your smart phones. Smart clothes as fitness bands focus on the fitness of the person.
Smart clothing looks as normal as your normal wear. There are t-shirts that measure biometrics, detects heart rate, breathing rate, muscle activity by EMG sensors. They also give feedback on your training via your phone or tablet. Some of the smart clothing available are: Athos, Victoria’s Secret heart rate bra, Ralph Lauren PoloTech T-shirt, Hexoskin smart t-shirt etc.
7. Smart Jewellery
This is for all the ladies out there. If you are fashion conscious, then you would love to have this jewellery. Some of the big companies such as Swarovski and Fossil and startup like Ringly and Vinaya have realized the potential of smart jewellery in the market and have started making some beautiful designer jewellery. This jewellery does more than just to look good. This jewellery has fitness tracking and notifications and in near future generation of earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are said to be connected. The jewellery notifies the person about the texts, calls and an email.
If you love your sleep, then NeuroOn is the best technology for you. It allows you to modify your sleep patterns with patented light therapy. This sleep mask connects to a mobile app, which monitors the wearer’s sleep pattern and brain waves. It helps to improve sleep quality by analyzing how long the user took to fall asleep, sleep duration and patterns. It promises to banish jetlag. It also lets user plan ideal nap times based on their previous sleeping pattern. The mask is controlled through your mobile via an app which will plan ideal nap times based on their previous sleeping pattern, body temperature and pulse.
The mask can also be used for naps as it will tell you the best time of the day to take a break and wake you up by stimulating natural light. It also helps to change the way you sleep and help switch your body clock. The mask is washable and is made up of material hypoallergenic. The only downside of NeuroOn is getting used to wearing it in bed. It is a blackout mask which makes everything appear very dark and is quite expensive.
9. NuMetrex Fabric Chest Strap
NuMetrex fabric chest strap is a heart rate monitoring chest strap with heart sensing fabric technology and second skin-fit. It consists of soft band with heart rate sensor knitted into the fabric. The fabric moves as one breathes and is very comfortable to wear as no hard plastic is used in the material and the adjustable fastener at the back allows the person to customize the fit. It also has quick drying fibers which dry the moisture away from the skin. A small transmitter snaps into the pocket in front of the strap. This strap can be used with smart phones, cardio equipment and heart rate monitoring sports watch.
10. Hush Smart Earplugs
Hush Smart earplugs are the “world’s first smart earplugs” as described by the creator. It consists of two wireless plugs that fit snugly into your ears and plays soothing sounds that let people to fall asleep easily. The earplugs are small enough to lie flat in your ears that let you sleep easily. It lets you choose from a variety of sounds the roar of a waterfall, the whiz of space, the hum of an airline cabin or the pattern of rain. The earplugs are activated by downloading an app on your smart phone which also lets you load various sounds onto the earplug through an app on smart phone and the sounds are stored on earplugs once it is loaded. The plugs are charged easily in a sleek little case which is also used as an external battery for your phone. The earplugs are very comfortable to wear.
It takes a long time to upload sounds on earplugs which is quite time consuming. But all in all these earplugs are well made and indeed give one a peaceful sleep. They are easy to use and very comfortable to wear.
11. Spotnsave Wristband
Spotnsave Wristband is a smart wristband which lets you send SOS to dear ones when you are in trouble. The wristband lets you activate Spotnsave emergency alert system without touching your phone. One just needs to install the Spotnsave app on one’s Android phone and pair it with the wristband via Bluetooth. The app lets you assign 5 emergency contacts and alerts them via SMS once you click the power button twice. The wristband also sends your current location coordinates every two minutes to your guardians, telling them that you need help.
There are some issues with the wristband. It houses a pen-drive like Bluetooth that has a button to activate alerts. The module pops out if you twist the wristband and it is also possible to lose it. There is no way to know whether the alert has been sent or not. Though sending alerts is easy by pressing your phone's power button twice. The battery life of the wristband is quite good as it lasts for 16-18 hrs on a single charge.
12. Fin Ring
Fin Ring is a remote control Bluetooth ring that controls other devices. It is a tiny hardware product that you can wear on your thumb as a ring. It converts your whole palm into a gesture interface. The gestures are simple to learn and easy to use. One can easily control any smart device just by moving the thumb over other fingers. Switching between devices is quite easy which requires a tap on the finger. This can also be used for playing games, capture images, sharing files and making business presentations. It also comes in handy while driving as one can control the AC without taking one’s hand off the steering wheel.
Though this ring performs all the functions, it is limited to only one thumb. So to get dual hand control one needs to buy two rings instead of one.