Wearable IT Devices in the Spotlight: 10 Models Pioneering the Market
Google Glass is arguably the most exciting wearable technology product out there. The glasses, which are still in development and undergoing testing, will enable users to snap photos with a simple "take a picture" command, as well as tell them the time or give them directions to a particular location. The glasses are fully voice-activated, and judging by the pictures and videos Google has offered, they're awfully cool.
Pebble Smart Watch
The Pebble smart watch got off the ground because of intense interest during its time on the Kickstarter startup funding Website. Now, the company is shipping its first run of watches, which deliver everything from the current time to voice mail playback. The smart watch can also display e-mails with help from Bluetooth.
The Nike FuelBand can be worn around the wrist and tracks all kinds of information for users. When worn, the technology figures out how long the person has walked or run, how many calories they've burned, and how well they've done at achieving an activity goal. All of that data is pumped to a smartphone to see how they're doing throughout the day. The FuelBand makes Nike one of today's leaders in wearable technology.
The Fitbit Flex is similar to the Nike FuelBand in that it analyzes a person's activity and delivers results to their smartphone. However, Fitbit adds a wrinkle to that by tracking a person over a 24-hour period. It analyzes sleep patterns, calories burned and how many steps have been taken. It can also double as an alarm by vibrating when it's time to wake up.
The Scanadu Scout isn't available yet—the company hopes to have it on store shelves later this year—but looks to be one of the most interesting items in this roundup. The Scout uses infrared technology to determine a person's blood oxygenation, pulse rate and other important vital signs to see their health in a given moment. Scanadu is also working on other products that will analyze a person's health and fitness to give them a complete workup from home on their smartphone or tablet. Think of Scanadu's device as having a doctor always with you.
Vuzix Wrap 1200AR
The Vuzix Wrap 1200AR is similar to Google's Glass, but doesn't come with the same stylish design. Vuzix describes the "augmented reality" glasses as "video eyewear" that allows users to learn more about their location and surroundings through computer-generated content. The device analyzes a person's location and delivers any relevant information about that location. It's a bit convoluted, but also a sophisticated technology some folks might like.
The Lumoback is designed to wrap around a person's waist and analyze their posture. When the back is out of alignment, the Lumoback alerts users and tells them to fix their posture through a smartphone application. The technology also alerts folks when they've been sitting for too long, so they can get up and walk around to stimulate the circulation and to keep the back and other joints from getting stiff.
The Jawbone Up is similar to the Fitbit Flex, since it's worn on a person's wrist and analyzes all kinds of information. Like the Flex, the bracelet analyzes how much time is spent walking and moving, as well as sleeping. The watch can also track food intake and moods to give a full workup of a person's health. All of that data is delivered through the Jawbone app available for smartphones and tablets.
As one might expect, the Meta Watch is worn on the wrist and delivers many of the features folks find in the Pebble smart watch. For instance, the technology includes support for displaying messages and navigation services. The Meta Watch works with both Android and iOS, but only offers a monochrome display, which might turn off some customers.
3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest
The 3rd Space FPS Gaming Vest is for the true first-person-shooter fan. The vest wraps around a person's body and delivers tactile feedback based on what's going on in a game. Gamers will feel it when they get hit from behind during a video game session. The vest works with the most popular first-person shooters, including Call of Duty.