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Wearables for Everything

Wearable tech is a big trend in mobile with ABI Research predicting 90 million wearable device shipments in 2014, almost doubling to 165 million in 2015.  This post explores some examples of devices and purposes across the growing spectrum of wearables.

FITNESS & HEALTH

Wearables that focus on tracking fitness or monitoring stats for human health are a big category.  96% of wearables on the market are activity trackers and run the gamut from heart-rate monitors, glucose measurement sensors, sleep monitors, activity sensors, etc.  Some of the oldest and biggest names in wearables fit in this group but there are some up and comers too.

Jawbone Up – A bracelet + app that tracks movement and sleep, empowering health improvements by allowing users to recognize habits and patterns.

Fitbit – Another bracelet + app to track movement, sleep, weight and food intake.

Nike Fuelband – Bracelet + app optimized for iOs devices that displays time, steps, intensity of workouts and sleep data

Instabeat – A training device for swimmers that attaches to goggles and displays real time heart rate, calorie expenditure plus laps and flip turns. Also tracks stats on an online dashboard.

Run-n-Read – A device that is a fitness tracker and allows you to read from your tablet and run at the same time.  Using bluetooth and accelerometer, and a microcontroller, it tracks your head movements and then moves the text on the screen in real time to always be in sync with your eyes.

Spire – A movement + respiration tracker focused on reducing stress and breathing related health issues. Click here to join the feedback group on this early stage offering.

PETS

Pet Wearables

Wearables are now extending to tracking other area of our lives, like our pets.  Here are a few of the pet tracking wearables available now.

Tractive – A device that attaches to your pet’s collar and works with the free Tractive Pet Manager Apps to monitor your pet’s activity or track your pet via GPS.  For example, the Petbit app helps track progress towards a goal and keeps your pet active.  Pet-Remote, made by the same team, uses the Tractive app plus vibrations or acoustic cues to train your pet to do tricks or complete commands (clicker training goes mobile!)

FitBark – A dog-bone shaped device attaches to your pet’s collar and then kicks into gear, tracking real-time location and activity by type (running, sleeping, etc.), benchmarking activity against breed specific guidelines, engaging family members via time spent info by person, status updates on the app’s messaging client, and enabling shared to-do lists, sending activity reports to the vet, etc.

PRODUCTIVITY

Google Glass – The orginal wearable.  Interactive glasses that allow the user to take pictures, share video, get directions, send messages, and more.

Sony filed a patent for a Smartwig, that it says is a more discreet and comfortable than Google Glass.  It relies on GPS, camera and a laser pointer system to help the user navigate and to control other devices.

Qualcomm Toq – Smartwatch that let’s you accept or reject smartphone calls, view text messages, meeting reminders and more from an always on display on your wrist

Embrace+ is a waterproof bracelet that alerts you through a combination of visual and tactile cues (like changing colors) to incoming phone calls, texts, emails, facebook or twitter updates while your smartphone stays in your pocket or purse

Update from Mashable and the Mobile World Congress:  7 Head-Turning Wearables We Saw This Week

What’s your favorite wearable?
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