Wearable technology has exploded into popularity in the last couple of years, and it’s not really surprising to see why. Who wouldn’t want to have technology as part of themselves rather than as a separate device you have to use with your hands? It’s still early days, and a lot of the really amazing tech is either expensive or isn’t available just yet. But, it you have the money, or you’re willing to wait a few months, then you should check out what we consider to be the 10 best wearable gadgets in existence.
1. Google Glass
Possibly one of the best known wearables currently available, Google Glass is an augmented reality headset from Google that essentially acts as a smartphone that you wear on your face. Able to take pictures, record video, surf the web, send messages, and make phone calls, Google Glass is the closest thing you can have to a smartphone that isn’t actually a smartphone.
It runs on Android KitKat, with a 5MP camera that can record 720p video, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and has 12GB of internal storage. There’s not much else like it available right now, so I can’t compare it to anything, but since augmented reality seems to be taking huge strides, this might be something you want to look into. If you can afford it.
Buy it here for £1,000
2. Skulpt Aim
One of the things a lot of people do when they’re exercising is work on shedding fat and building muscle, but the problem is there hasn’t really been anyway of knowing the muscle/fat ratio in individual parts of the body, just the overall thing. Fortunately Skulpt Aim is a gadget that aims to change that.
By measuring the percentage of body fat and muscle quality in individual parts of your body, the aim is that Skulpt Aim will help you stay motivated, and more importantly show where you’re going wrong so you can alter your workout accordingly. Exercise isn’t easy by any means, but if you know what you’re doing then at least you can take one thing off your mind.
Pre-order it here for $220 (£130)
3. Neuro On
Sleep is a rather important part of life, and without it you can end up feeling sluggish and lacking in energy. Neuro On is a sleeping mask that aims to end that, by ensuring that you get the correct amount of sleep. What it does is monitors biological signs like brainwaves, muscles tension, and eye movement, which is uses to wake the user up at the most appropriate times to ensure they’re well rested. It also sends data to the smartphone app which can calculate an individual sleep pattern so that it can further work to what you need.
It can also apparently help ease the symptoms of jet lag.
Neuro On isn’t available for pre-order yet, but you can subscribe for updates here.
4. Smarty Ring
An unusual wearable, but it’s not that takes advantage of a part of your body that technology always seems to ignore: your fingers. Smarty Ring, as the name suggests, is a smart ring, and it functions as a miniature version of a smartwatch but on your finger instead of on your wrist. It shows off notifications and the time, as well as functioning as a remote control for various functions on your phone (like media).
It’s got a fairly nice design, having been made from allergy free stainless steel, so it’s a darn sight better than strapping a miniature smartphone to your wrist, or wearing a miniature computer on the side of your head.
Now that the Indiegogo campaign has been funded pre-orders are currently closed, but you can find out more here.
Vigo is a clever little gadget that has one function, it’s designed to monitor your state of alertness and give you a nudge if you happen to be dosing off — even if you yourself don’t realise it’s happening. You can choose what this nudge is, whether it’s a soft pulsing vibration, discrete LED lights, or a ridiculously loud pop song.
It’s not going to be one for everyone, but if you have periods where staying alert might not happen (driving for instance), then this is definitely a gadget to consider — especially when you consider how cheap it actually is.
You can pre-order Vigo here for $80 (£47)
6. Fitbit Flex
Fitbit Flex is a wireless activity and sleep tracker that does a whole host of things to ensure you’re kept healthy and well rested. The wristband monitors you all the time and records how active you;re being, how many calories you’re burning, how long you’re sleeping for, and how good that sleep actually is. Better still it can connect to your phone and sync all this data with your own set goals to make it easier for you to keep track of everything.
Fitbit Flex is also water resistant, and has a silent wake alarm so that you can be gradually woken from your sleep rather than jerked awake by the loud noise you’ve set on your alarm clock.
Buy it here for £69.
7. Nike Lunar TR 1+ Running Shoes
These are shows that come bundled with Nike+ training, a programme that is filled with concentrated workouts, guidance, knowledge, and motivation. The sensors inside the shoes capture all your activity in real time, converting it into NikeFuel in the process. All you need to do is register on the Nike+ app and connect it to the shoes.
The best part is that these trainers have been designed to be able to cope with the stress of sudden intensive activity, as well as interior support to protect your feet. Plus in comparison with some branded trainers on the market, these aren’t that expensive when you think about it.
Buy a pair here for £90.
8. Samsung Gear Fit
The Gear Fit is a smartwatch and a fitness sensor rolled into one. It comes bundled with all the usual smartwatch functions like notification alerts, call screening, and a selection of apps. The clincher, though, is that it also has the heart rate sensor to monitor your activity and Samsung’s Gear Fit which supports and motivates you in the road to achieving your fitness goals.
It’s by no means the cheapest fitness band available, but considering it comes with the smartwatch fucntionality as well, it’s worth a look into next time you want either one of them.
Buy it here for £130.
Don’t you wish you could know where you’re going without having to stare at a Satnav or phone screen every few seconds? You can now with Lechal, a pair of haptic shoes that connect with your phone’s GPS app and ensure you know where to go. How does that work exactly? It’s quite simple, when you need to change direction, Lechal will vibrate the appropriate foot. So if you need to turn left, you’ll feel your left foot vibrating. It’s actually quite a clever and obvious thing to do when you think about it.
Not only that, but it’s actually rather a subtle way to traverse and area or route that you don’t know very well.
Lechal is not up for pre-order yet, but you can register your interest here
10. Oculus Rift
Oculus is possibly the biggest name in Virtual Reality technology, and the Oculus Rift is the company’s flagship device — a virtual reality headset that can be used for a whole host of purposes (but mostly for gaming). Currently this is only available as a development kit, mostly because Oculus want’s people to use them to create things. If you are a budding developer or game designer, then this is definitely something to look into. If you’re not, then you can always find things that other people have made online and enjoy the fruits of their labour.
A lot of good things have been said about the Oculus Rift, and with virtual reality gaming really starting to kick off you might want to get in there soon.
You can Buy the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 here for $350 (£207)
By Tom Pritchard | July 30th, 2014