Wearable Tech Takes CES 2014 By Storm
Every January, electronics manufacturers from across the globe descend upon Las Vegas, Nevada for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). CES is an industry convention for these makers to show off their wares for industry retailers and worldwide press. Notable past products that were introduced at CES are the VCR, CD Player, HDTV, Microsoft Xbox, and Sony’s Blu-ray technology. This year, the “it technology” appears to be wearable tech, and we’re not the least bit surprised.
Major apparel companies have been racing to the wearable tech market for a few years now. Nike has its Nike+ devices, including the Fuelband. Under Armour has its Armour39 product, and they even recently purchased Austin-based fitness tracking company, MapMyFitness. Even Apple is rumored to be working on a device dubbed the “iWatch.”
One of the most notable unveilings from this year’s CES was from chip maker Intel, but they were not showcasing the latest in fitness tracking like so many other companies. No, they were showing off a baby onesie—made by a company called Rest Devices—with an Intel Edison chip that acts as a wearable baby monitor. The onsie can measure respiratory function as well as the baby’s position, activity level and skin temperature.
Another company looks to take aim at Google’s Glass product. GlassUp, and Italian startup unveiled a prototype at this year’s show. Their product has a lot of the same functionality of Google Glass, but in a sportier design. It seems like this product would do very well with cyclists who would need to see GPS directions without letting go of their bike.
LG is also getting in on the wearable tech trend with a pair of products, the Lifeband Touch and some earphones that measure your heart rate. The Lifeband Touch is a bracelet like device that looks similar to Nike’s Fuelband. This band will track your fitness activities as well as connect to your smartphone. With that smartphone connectivity, you can use the band to see notifications, and even silence you phone when it rings. LG also showed off a pair of earphones that measure your heart rate. Both products connect to an LG app that can show you just how efficient you are with your workouts.
Last year, one of the biggest splashes at CES was from the smartwatch maker, Pebble. This year, Pebble is back with a newly designed smartwatch they named the Pebble Steel with new bands to make the device look just like a normal analog watch. We’ve seen a lot of tech writers note this will be the product to watch this year.
And finally, Sony is jumping into the wearable technology game with both hardware and a new Android app. Sony showed off their new product, the Sony Core along with what they call the Lifelog App. The Core is a fitness tracker that not only measures your activity, but offers suggestions based on your history and goals.
Wearable technology is by far one of the most buzzed about areas at this year’s CES, and it’s evident that the market is only going to grow going forward as movement tracking technology improves. And judging by the amount of Fitbit fitness trackers that showed up in the office after this past Christmas, we think it’s safe to say we’ll be watching this space with great anticipation.