2015 has seen wearable technology explode. We’re talking smart watches, smart glasses, health trackers and any other connected device you can think of. They are the biggest innovation since the smartphone and their possibilities are literally endless. There’s a plethora of applications in communication, health, leisure and many more are emerging every day. Let’s take a look at some of the most innovative concepts around; from SubPac, the device that lets you feel sound, to Peekiboo, the wearable that allows you to see through your baby’s eyes, and even tweeting bras. There’s no doubt wearables will evolve our lives to the next level and lead us into the future of tech. The question is, are you ready for it?
No naming and shaming with the Steppa fitness tracker
The Steppa insole is a fitness tracker that identifies our every move. We all know that sitting for long periods of time increases our risk of heart disease obesity and other health problems, still we sit more than ever before. The Steppa insole monitors your activities throughout the day and shows you the benefits of frequently changing your posture. With the Steppa, which is connected to a desktop device, you can see how activity monitoring can be fun, engaging and social. What’s more, the insole doesn’t shame you when you don’t reach your stepping, running or other exercising goals. Your Steppa desktop device functions as a constant visual and even interactive reminder of your level of activity and offers positive feedback and recognition of your improvements
Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet
Take a motorcycle helmet, kit it out with all the functionality and features you’d expect to find in a high-end car electronics system and you have the Skully AR-1 smart motorcycle helmet. The Bluetooth connected helmet features a display with navigation routes as well as wide angle rear-view camera footage. With its integrated audio and hands-free calling options, the Skully AR-1 technology eliminates distractions, removes blind spots, provides you with direction and helps you focus your attention where it belongs: on the road.
The Nod Gesture Control Ring: touch-free control with a wave of your hand
The Nod is a little like a Wii remote that shrank down to ring size - a bit chunkier than a normal ring but not overwhelmingly so. It has built-in Bluetooth LE and sensors, enabling it to use your hand as a remote control for phones, TVs, tablets and more. You can use the Nod to type commands, play games, page through digital photo albums, click through slides during a presentation, adjust smart thermostats and other connected home features and, and, and! All of this without ever having to touch another device.
ONIXX allows your knees to generate energy
ONIXX, the ergonomic textile that generates energy through natural body movement, uses the versatile and lightweight properties of dielectric elastomers. Frances Yan, the designer of the ONIXX, says we are all moving power plants. She developed this wearable textile -designed to be worn around the knee - to generate human energy and encourage sustainable energy consumption habits. The polymers are knitted with bio-degradable viscose elastane; giving the ONIXX its cooling and elastic qualities. The wearable is designed for nature enthusiasts, hikers and travellers who are community-oriented and have sustainable lifestyle habits. The connected ONIXX app shows you how much human energy you generate while wearing the device which can be used to power smartphones and other gadgets.
Rufus Cuff lets your wrist do the communicating
The Rufus Cuff - a smartwatch with a very big screen - connects to your smartphone so you can make calls and send messages. Its software integrates with Android and iOS voice commands and because of its big display, the touch keyboard of the Rufus Cuff is large enough to compose messages. The gadget has sensors for fitness tracking, it notifies you if you forget or lose your smartphone and its front-facing camera allows you to place video calls.
Euphoros – mom’s new companion
One in seven women suffers from postnatal depression and the Euphoros wearable device aims at preventing this. It does so by monitoring the new moms’ mental state and by encouraging them to engage in social interaction and conversations. Through Bluetooth and the companion app, it relays information to the moms’ partners or even their physicians. The wearable clips onto underwear or clothing.
With Aurora Dream, controlling your dreams could become reality
According to Wikipedia, lucid dreams are dreams in which we are aware that we are dreaming. While you sleep, the Aurora dream-inducing headband monitors body movements and brain activity to detect when you dream. It plays subtle visual and audio cues to help you recognise when you’re dreaming so that you can try control the dream, should you so desire. The headband connects to a smartphone app to track related metrics. The Aurora also has an alarm clock feature that awakens you as soon as you've had enough sleep and are most refreshed
Video credits: iWinks
SubPac, the wearable that feels like a subwoofer on your back
There’s a difference between hearing music and actually feeling it as if you’re standing close to an eardrum-decimating sound system at a club or a concert. Now you can experience that same sensation with the SubPac backpack that transforms low sound frequencies into physical vibrations. This enables the user to experience music through multiple senses. The technology was developed by music engineers and has a host of applications. It allows live music performers to hear the sound of their instruments even when playing for large audiences and it eliminates being hampered by speaker delay. It can also enhance your computer gaming experience by letting you feel the revving of your engine as you race around the track.
Peekiboo lets you see the world through your baby’s eyes
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see the world through your baby’s eyes? The Peekiboo baby cap will allow you to do just that. It has a hidden camera and EEG sensors which keep tabs on your little one’s brain activity. And here’s where it gets interesting: when your baby gets really excited, the sensors automatically prompt the camera to capture images or even a series of them and sends them to your smartphone. The Peekiboo notifies you of any new images so that you can immediately share in your babe’s excitement, even if you’re not physically there.
The weird and wonderful Tweeting Bra
If you’ve ever wished you could tweet from your bra, your wish is about to come true. OgilvyOne has designed the Tweeting Bra, a high-tech undergarment that is part of the Nestlé Fitness breast cancer awareness campaign, aimed at encouraging women to perform self-examinations for early detection. Every time your Tweeting Bra is unclasped, it sends out a message to your phone, which notifies a server, which generates the tweet as a life-saving reminder to all the ladies following @tweetingbra.
From the wonderful to the weird to the downright wacky, wearables are becoming an increasingly important part of our everyday lives with applications only limited by our imagination. There’s no doubt that we are merging with our technology and innovations that advance the concept are well underway. Wearables are poised to write the story of the 21st century.