Wearable technology revolution
Wearable technology is the buzzword of 2014. A market that has existed for decades, the supporting technologies and public interest are finally sufficient for it to flourish. In an environment heading towards a connected homes paradigm, the next step in our technological evolution is bringing control closer than arm’s reach.
Wearables dominated 2014’s CES, with many major OEMs moving into their second and third generation efforts. The speed at which late model smartwatches and smart bracelets are being upgraded threatens to outpace established smartphone and tablet markets. As these older device markets enter a maturity stage, wearable smart devices will be poised to fill revenue gaps for incumbent vendors.
This is greenfield for many vendors. Technology that was seen as the stuff of science-fiction a generation ago is now becoming the norm. R&D focus on voice and gesture controls, augmented reality, and e-textiles has expanded. Visiongain calculates that the global wearable technology market will attain a value of $5.26 billion in 2014.
Jawbone UP24 may take a while to get used to, in particular the shift in focus from the band itself to the app. But its stand out design, as well as how competently it handles sleep, overall health and its ability for extension through apps makes the Jawbone UP 24 one of the best activity trackers on the market. Retailing for $149 or £125 in the UK, the Jawbone UP 24 is well worth consideration (read more)
Nike Fuelband SE has seen a number of enhancements. Internally it is now fitted with lower-power Bluetooth 4.0 allowing for automatic synchronisation. The band has also been upgraded with a super seal for better water resistance making it splash and shower proof. However it is not water proof and cannot be submerged in water for extended periods. Progress is displayed via an array of LED lights (read more)
Misfit Shine is all round a very solid, impressive and innovative piece of tech, and not just in fitness. Shine makes strides in design that could be applied in many other areas. Its durability and ability to be fully submerged and track swimming is a major plus. Nothing worse that not hitting a goal because you had to take the tracker off to swim. It looks great and has the most durable build of any tracker (read more)
Fitbug Orb is a small plastic pebble of a device with a single button for operation with hidden green and orange indicator LEDs. Having launched in 2005, Fitbug has been on the market for almost a decade. The Fitbug Orb tracks steps taken, minutes of activity, calories burned, how far walked, how fast walked, as well as quality of sleep. So pretty much all the key metrics that most activity trackers record (read more)