We’ve been talking about wearable tech for 20 years, but 2015 looks like the year when it’s going to break through in a big way. These are some of the most exciting products you can look forward to over the next 12 months.
The big piece of tech everyone’s talking about this year is, of course, the Apple Watch. Even though no-one really knows what it does yet, Apple’s marketing know-how means it’s sure to be a game-changer. It’s not the only smart watch coming out this year, however, so keep an eye out for others, such as Android’s revamped LG G Watch R, which promises to employ 4G technology, and Xiaomi’s eagerly anticipated budget version, which will probably be no less smart.
The ultimate in training aids, Viper was originally designed for soccer players but can be adapted to many different sports. Strapped across the chest, it monitors both your vital signs and the movements you make, providing you with invaluable downloadable data that you can use to track your performance with a view to improving next time around. Already adopted by top athletes, it’s now available on the mainstream market at a competitive price.
A smart piece of crowdfunded tech, Skully is a helmet you can wear on your bike that will give you up-to-date info in a digital display right before your eyes, jet pilot-style. You can see how fast you’re going, how much fuel you’ve used, how far you are from your destination, how to get there, and what the traffic’s like on the way – all without taking your eyes off the road. The helmet also meets the usual crash protection standards.
In this brave new world, even babies are getting connected. Mimo is a smart onesie that comes with a green plastic turtle that lets parents know not only how well their babies are breathing but also how much they’re moving, how well they’re sleeping, and where they are in their sleep cycles. This can make it easier to optimize bedtimes and feeding times so that parents can enjoy a bit more uninterrupted eating and sleeping themselves.
The changing nature of mobile tech
All these new devices create challenges for the established app market. Will our old favorites still be able to work on smaller screens, or will they be superseded? The reality is probably a bit of both. With display technology also getting more interesting, thanks to flexible roll-up screens and mini projectors, small screens are no longer essential to portability. Specialized devices like the above are fantastic for specific sets of tasks, but many people are still going to want more flexible all-rounder devices that give them the power to build in new developments without making major new purposes. The sheer speed of advances in the quality mobile app market means flexibility is a big selling point, so we don’t expect to see more traditional mobile devices going away any time soon.
Watching the wearable tech market is going to be a lot of fun this year, but expect 2016 to be every bit as innovative.