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Wearable smart devices are the new in-things, in the domain of mobile technology. As techies all over wait for the final verdict on Google Glass and the arrival of iWatch, we do a roundup of the wearable gadgets that have already been commercially launched in the market.
There is considerable buzz at present over the probable success (or otherwise!) of the Google Glass. As far as Apple is concerned, it is being said that the fortunes of CEO Tim Cook hinges on whether the soon-to-release iWatch becomes a hit worldwide. iWatch and Google are, however, far from being the only two wearable smart devices of note. There are many other types of such sophisticated, web-enabled tools and gadgets. In this piece, we take a look at some of them:
Dedicated to monitor personal fitness and activity levels on a real-time basis, Garmin Vivofit comes with enhanced GPS support features. On the device, you can set your ‘goal countdown’ for burning calories, and keep track of the distance covered by you at any time of the day. Alarms can be set, to remind you that it’s time to get up and do your exercises. If you stay curled up on the couch for over an hour, a red bar (which grows with time) appears on the curved display screen of Vivofit. The pocket pinch for this smart fitness accessory is a reasonable $130.
Basis Health & Heart Rate Monitor
Disturbed sleep leads to lingering feelings of tiredness, and, in the long-run, an overall deterioration of health conditions. You can now get an early pointer about the duration and quality of sleep you are catching up on every day, with Basis. The device has multi-feature sensors, to monitor heartbeats and calorie figures – when you are taking a nap. In short, it’s a tool to ease you into a healthier, better lifestyle.
Space FPS Gaming Vest
Contemporary mobile application developers and gaming software experts regularly churn out exciting video games – and this gaming vest is perfect for enjoying these games to the fullest. The vest has as many as eight active zones, which lets users actually ‘feel’ the impact of first-person shooting and explosion games. It is priced at $139, and is just ideal if you are looking for that additional adrenalin rush while gaming!
The appearance of Nabu has some resemblance with Samsung Gear Fit – but the similarities end here. Razer has come up with this smart device to help people keep track of their phone calls and messages on the move. There are two separate screens on the device, meant for getting message notifications and for reading them. If you do not want to receive an incoming call, shaking your wrist is all that you need to do. Oh, and you can even exchange phone data with fellow-users – via a simple handshake! Cool, ain’t it?
Misfit Shine Activity Tracker
The brand name might be ‘Misfit’, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more sleek-looking mobile health device. Irrespective of whether you are walking, jogging, swimming, or even cycling – Misfit Shine will keep offering updated stats on your activity/workout levels. All the reports can be seamlessly synced with your smartphone too. The full-metal body of the tracker adds to its longevity.
Novero Bluetooth Pendant Necklace
When a call arrives, it allows you to engage in hands-free conversation – and at all other times, it serves as a lovely fashion accessory! This one-of-a-kind pendant necklace has won rave reviews from device analysts and app development companies worldwide. Apart from the Bluetooth 2.1 support, the device offers a whopping 4 hours of continuous talk time – and comes with a Micro USB charger too. The price ($348) ain’t the lowest – but the convenience factor offered by this Novero device definitely makes it a good buy.
While the Android-powered Qualcomm Toq smartwatch is not lacking in innovativeness, its overall sales figures remain lukewarm till date (the makers even had to announce a discount offer during CES 2014). There are chances that the device will pick up though – since touchscreen features of the Mirasol color display screen are excellent, and it boasts of a wide range of interesting, useful features. If the prices are permanently slashed by a bit, Toq can become more popular than wearables with OLED screens.
Nike Fuelband SE
Most iPhone app development experts have singled out SE (the second iteration of the Nike Fuelband series) to be the most user-friendly wearable pedometer at present. The SE is available in multiple colors, and can be automatically synced with iOS devices (without any manual actions). The connection is established via the built-in Bluetooth 4.0 of the device. Nike has improved the waterproof features of the Fuelband SE as well. At $149, it’s competitively priced too.
Don’t quite trust yourself to follow regular exercise routines? Get the Lumoback wearable fitness device, strap it on to your lower back – and keep getting reminders! Lumoback automatically vibrates when you remain static for a couple of hours – so that you know it’s time to get up and burn some calories. The health reports (activity charts, calorie counts, etc.) can be seamlessly transferred to iPad and/or iPhone too. Lumoback isn’t just another smart device – it’s almost like a caring guardian!
Acoustic Sheep RunPhone
If you fancy listening to music on the go, you’ll absolutely love these headphones. Two alternative brands – the Intensity and the Wireless – are available, at $150 and $100 respectively. The former model has an in-built WAV music player, while the standout feature of the latter is its wire-free headphones. The earplugs are embedded in thick, sporty headbands and even offers exclusive ‘pace-setting’ options. RunPhones bagged the prestigious Design award at CES 2014.
Until we manage to get a first-hand feel of the Healthbook app on iPhone 6, Sync Burn will remain the external fitness tracking device with the most reasonable price tag ($99). Both motion intensity levels as well as cardiac rates are monitored constantly by this smartwatch, which also has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity options. Thanks to the reversible straps of Sync Burn, it fits easily on wrists of all sizes as well.
Cute Circuit K-Dress
Oh well, this stunningly beautiful taffeta and silk chiffon smart dress does not perform any specific function, other than to, well, make the wearer look lovely. The dress has a large number of built-in LED lights, which can be switched on/off via a one-touch controller. The battery is relatively long-lasting, and recharging the dress is easy. If you don’t mind splurging a bit to look pretty, get this dress. Katy Perry was spotted in it, and she looked like a million bucks!
Yet another smartwatch (looks like iWatch will have a fair bit of competitors to deal with!), and this is an award-winning one as well. Right from streaming data to and from your smartphone handset, to letting you keep track of health metrics (heart rates, running speeds, etc.) – Echo is a smartwatch that brings to users an awesome range of functionality. You can even enjoy mobile music through the device. Sports-based mobile apps, like Strava and iSmoothRun, can be easily used with the Magellan Echo.
Vuzix Wrap 920AR
Priced at $1499, this gadget is likely to be the chief rival of Google Glass. The near-eye view of the Vuzix Wrap makes it ideal to be used with Windows computers. Pictures in both two and three-dimensional (stereoscopic) formats can be captured via the device, along with high-quality (HQ) videos. The AR feature ensures that connecting with PCs remains a glitch-free process.
Pebble Steel, another smartwatch which can work in collaboration with multiple Android and iPhone applications, is gradually becoming popular among users across the globe. Jawbone UP is a top-notch fitness-related wearable device, while Silicon Micro Display ST 1080 makes video-watching a richer experience than ever before. Some of these smart devices will be successful, while a few would fade away – but each of them are contributing their bit to the worldwide evolution in mobile technology.