2014 could mark a turning point in our relationship with technology as we move from holding on to our devices to wearing them. From smartwatches, to health monitors and Google Glass, wearable technology is emerging as the next big thing.
With Sony’s recent announcement to sell off its computer division many pundits are speculating the company will re-invent itself with wearable technology.
Hinting at more to come at the most recent CES, Sony has already released a second generation of its smartwatch. The Smartwatch 2 (SW2) is compatible with Android 4.0 and higher smartphones and tablets and takes over 200 apps from Google Play.
Smartwatches are still very much dependent on mobile phones which serve as a wireless hub to connect to the Internet and this is where Samsung may have the rub over Sony.
Samsung recently launched the Galaxy S 5 and also sell the Galaxy Gear smartwatch – an extension to the succesful mobile phone which all work in harmony together.
No wearable technology article would be complete without mentioning the Pebble watch which launched with much fanfare backed by funders on Kickstarter. The original Android watch is being beefed up with the launch of the Pebble Steel. The original Pebble with its 4MB of RAM and plastic strap and face is still available at around $150, but the Pebble Steel is now shipping and boasts 8MB of RAM and a metal strap and Gorilla Glass face. More sleek and chiseled than its younger brother the Pebble Steel will cost you about $100 more, retailing at $249.
Smart, wearable fitness gadgets will be big in 2014. If you’re into your running to get fit you know it gets lonely pounding the streets. But they say you’re never alone with a mobile phone! Connect these devices to track and share your life activities and feel smug that you’re getting fit while friends watch on from the virtual sidelines.
If you want to count your steps and measure your motion and see where that ranks you in comparison to other fitness freaks in the universe then the Nike FuelBand SE is for you. All that data is sent to your iPhone app (there is no Android support yet) or computer and gets converted to NikeFuel points. Points get matched to your personal fitness goals or I can see how far ahead I am of other men aged 30-39 at this point in the day.
If you want to track your daily steps, sleep behaviour and food intake – and how all these combine for your overall wellbeing then the Jawbone UP is for you.
Waking up in the morning and plugging your UP into the app will tell you how long it took you to get to sleep, how well you slept and how many hours deep sleep you got. When you’re up and about the UP will tell you how many steps you’re taking and give you a buzz if you’re falling behind (you should be doing about 10,000 a day on average).
Your UP will even monitor your food intake. If you’re eating packaged food and scan the barcode on the packaging the UP will record the calories, sodium and saturated fat levels you’re consuming. Track the relationship between your exercise levels, food intake and sleep patterns and it might provide some food for thought.