Wearable technology has steadily been going mainstream, especially over these past two years. In fact, if you go by market figures, wearable technology may be the next big thing- just like smartphones were in 2008.To put it into perspective, the market value of wearable tech was a measly 6.3 million in 2010. In 2014, this valuegrew by leaps and bounds to reach a staggering (estimated) $ 5.1 billion.
A lot of money is going into research and development of wearable tech as well. Several companies have come up with a slew of outstanding wearable gadgets this year. Here’s a preview of 10 upcoming wearable technology gadgets that you can expect in 2014:
Google Glass is, perhaps, the most looked-forward to gadget of 2014. Google Glass is still in open beta until the end of the year, but you can purchase it if you have a US shipping address and are over 18 years of age. The glasses are made of feather-light titanium. Google Glass can do a lot of amazing things, like record videos and click photos and reply to emails and texts with just voice commands. It also lets you listen to music, helps keep you fit through apps and help you find your way with Google Now.
Avegant Glyph is a revolutionary portable personal theater system that is built into a pair of wearable headphones. The band of the headphones flips to cover your eyes and videos are beamed directly onto your retina using Virtual Retinal Display technology. This makes for the sharpest, clearest and most colorful images you can hope to see digitally. The mobile theater system also includes premium 3D audio for an immersive experience.
Polar V800 Wristband
The Polar V800 Wristband debuted early this year at the CES show. Polar V800 Wristband is a sports watch designed for professional athletes or people serious about their fitness. The watch can track your speed, distance covered and routetaken. It can help you plan and design a fitness regimen as well.
Get the Polar V800 Wristband here.
The Intel Edison is a tiny development board/ computer that is half as small as the palm of your hand. The development board contains a dual-core 400 MHz Quark processor that is as powerful as the early Pentium range of processors. It has integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support. The board can theoretically be fit into anything – t-shirts, trousers and shoes. At the moment, however, you can only buy it with the Mimo Baby Monitor.
Learn more about the Mimo Baby Monitor and buy it here.
Freescale introduced a Wearable Reference Platform (WaRP) board this year. Like the Intel Edison, the WaRP features some revolutionary technology. It runs on the world’s smallest ARM processor and supports high-level operating systems like Linux and Android. It has several potential uses in the future, like gaming headsets, wellness monitors, smart watches and wireless insulin pumps. It also has a built-in Linear Accelerometer and Magnetometer.
Currently, you can see it in action if you buy the Garmin Forerunner 10 running watch.
The Pebble Steel (Pebble 2) was another promising debutant at the CES 2014 show. The Pebble Steel is a wearable watch that comes in attractive Brushed Stainless Steel and Black Matte finishes. The watch is as useful as it looks good. Pebble Steel syncs with your smartphone to let you read messages. It supports apps and has a LED indicator. The watch can go up to 7 days between charges. Pebble Steel is available in limited supply, so expect to get it a few months after you order.
You can order Pebble Steel here.
Samsung Gear 2
The Samsung Gear 2 is a wearable, water-resistant watch that debuted in the middle of 2014. The watch is a significant improvement over its predecessor, the Samsung Gear. The Samsung Gear 2 can sync with Samsung smartphones. It offers features like a heart-rate monitor, notifications for messages and calls and a range of fitness and health apps. It also doubles as a remote for your TV and set-top boxes. The watch is easy to use because of its touch-screen interface and is available in a range of eye-catching colors.
You can buy Samsung Gear 2 here.
The Intelligent Headset is a wearable headset that offers true 3D sounds. It claims to produce sounds as you would hear them in real life – from above, from behind and everywhere at once. It comes with several sensors- like an accelerometer, GPS, compass and gyro- that can tell you where you are and which direction you’re facing. It also has Bluetooth support.
While not available commercially yet, you can preorder the Intelligent Headset here.
LG G Watch
The LG G Watch is one of the first watches fitted with the revolutionary Android Wear technology (controllable with the app). The LG G watch is available in a range of colors and has changeable straps. It is dust and water resistant. The watch can be used to access the Google search engine with just voice commands. It constantly displays useful information when worn, like the weather or the route you should take to work.
Get the LG G Watch here.
Misfit Shine is a sleeping and fitness monitor that can be worn anywhere on your body – like your wrists, on your shoes, on your neck, hanging off your pocket and even inside it. The monitor works with all major smartphone brands and lasts for up to 6 months on a charge. The monitor has an attractive LED display. It helps you track your calorie intake, sleep patterns and distance traveled while running. Misfit Shine debuted earlier this year as well.
You can buy Misfit Shine here.
As good as 2014 is if you are a wearable technology fan, 2015 promises to be even better. Expect to see smart toothbrushes, wearable digital mood indicators and even vacuum shoes to hit the shelves next year.